Planet of the Apes

112 mins.
Directed by  Franklin J. Schaffner
G
1968
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Wed, 3/13

Tara Mandalaywala, Assistant Professor of Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UMass Amherst, joins us to introduce PLANET OF THE APES.

Science on Screen® presents creative pairings of current, classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine.


Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in the 1968 science fiction film that launched a decades-long franchise.

Astronaut George Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport.

Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of Cornelius, a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).


Topic: “Who’s the damn dirty ape now? What PLANET OF THE APES got right (and wrong) about life as a great ape”

PLANET OF THE APES asks us to imagine a not-too-distant world where apes are intelligent, cultured, and at the top of the hierarchy, while humans are mere beasts at the bottom. This premise feels so outlandish because many people think of humans as the endpoint of evolution, treating humans as the “most evolved” species. But is there good evidence that present-day apes already have culture and intelligence? And could apes become human-like (and humans become ape-like) in a mere 2000 years (just a blink of the eye in evolutionary time)? Join Comparative Psychologist Tara Mandalaywala to learn what we share with, and how we differ from, our closest relatives.

Speaker: Tara Mandalaywala, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, UMass Amherst

Tara Mandalaywala is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UMass Amherst where she directs the Cognition Across Development Lab. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University and she earned her PhD in Comparative Human Development from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Mandalaywala’s research asks how young individuals learn about the complex social world they live in. In graduate school, she did this by chasing baby monkeys living on Cayo Santiago, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Now as a professor, she does this by chasing small humans around western Massachusetts instead.


Science on Screen is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre with major support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.