Actor Roddy McDowall took home movies of a morning during the filming of the 1968 film Planet of Apes, and they're a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into this landmark science fiction movie.
Most of the silent home movie documents the process of applying the make-up for the groundbreaking ape costume that McDowall and the other ape actors had to go through. Then there's a helicopter ride to the beach set in Pirates Cove at Point Dume State Beach.
On the new Dana Gould Hour podcast, actor Lou Wagner (he played the ape Lucius) explained that star Charlton Heston got the studio to ferry the principal ape actors to the set by helicopter. The make-up process took three and half hours, and the drive to the location was over an hour, so they'd have to start in the middle of the night just to be able to start filming in the morning. Heston insisted that they be given a helicopter ride instead of driving to cut down on some of that time.
One website claims that at 9:20, as the helicopter flies over the Fox lot, you can see the Jupiter II spaceship from the TV show "Lost in Space," but I have to admit I can't spot it. It's claimed to be from the episode "Visit to a Hostile Planet," in which the Robinson family lands on Earth, and in that episode the ship lands in a town, but it clearly is filmed on a studio lot in front of a sound stage.
The home movie ends with shots of the cast and crew hanging around and clowning at Pirates Cove, with actor Maurice Evans (Dr. Zaius) in full orangutan make-up, but out of costume in a t-shirt casually sipping beverages through a straw under an umbrella to keep cool.
Screengrab: Lost in Space / DailyMotion.com