Mike Wilson and Rod Serling's script plays heavily (and sometimes simple-mindedly) on the conflicts between faith and science, while the paradoxically inverted relationship of man to apes allows the filmmakers to drive home some rather pointed attacks on racist behavior and intolerant attitudes on our planet. Charlton Heston's performance is not particularly subtle, but, between contorted grimaces and hollered epithets, he does create sympathy for his lost and angry character. The most compelling performance is by Roddy McDowell, who must spend the entire movie hidden in an ape costume. Director Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton, Papillon), along with his set designers, art directors, and makeup artists, creates an intriguing alternative world, with rabbit-warren-like habitations and cold, clinical ape masters. Planet of the Apes has an undeniable camp appeal -- several lines of dialogue are both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious, gender roles are badly dated, and the ape costumes have not aged well -- but the final scene holds up as a stirring and evocative moment of self-realization. John Chambers won an honorary Oscar for his innovative makeup.