[Planet of the Apes] [John Chambers, 20th Century-Fox]: Screen-used Background Actor Ape Mask, 1968
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Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968. Brown-faced rubber ape mask with attached mohair black hair, with a flap on the back lower part of the hair which lifts and reattaches with Velcro. This allowed the actors who wore the masks to easily put them on and take them off. The mask is mounted permanently to a mannequin head and shoulders and housed in a custom-made shadow box. Shadow box: 12 x 14 x 19.75 in.; mask: 10 x 10.5 x 16 in.
Though the main actors in the film who played apes (Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowell, etc.) spent hours in the makeup chair every day to achieve the amazing ape effect, there wasn't the time or budget to do the same for the other actors playing background apes (still, $1 million of the $6 million budget was spent on makeup). Therefore, they were each provided with a mask such as this one, designed by makeup artist John Chambers. Under his direction, as many as 78 makeup artists were employed for the production, and Chambers won an Honorary Academy Award® for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup.
The 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and loosely based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle was written by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, and starred Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison. In the film, an astronaut crew crash-lands on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins. The film was groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, and various merchandising. In 2001, Planet of the Apes was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".