At the Movies

The Ape
The paper Don Draper was reading in the theatre.

The internet went crazy over Mad Men revealing the iconic ending of Planet of the Apes during its April 28 episode. Pardon me for being slow on the uptake; I’m still a few weeks behind.

But Planet of the Apes is something like 45 years old, so I’m not sure it matters. Should there be a statute of limitations on spoilers? If so, 45 years is long enough. Did I mention that Rosebud was Charles Foster Kane’s sled? Ooops, sorry.

The scene with Don Draper sitting in the movie theatre with his son watching Planet of the Apes was poignant for a lot of reasons, but for me it was a real hit in the gut because I was about that age when my father took me to see the same movie. And the ending completely freaked me out.

I recall other movie-going experiences with my father. My earlirest movie memory was going to see the 1966 Batman movie, which featured a brief on stage appearance by some guy in a Batman suit. In the twisted logic of a five-year-old, I was convinced it was my Uncle Ed dressed as the Caped Crusader. And then there was the James Bond marathon, where we sat through three or four 60s Bond movies at the Park East theatre.

Going to the movies will always be more special than TV. Sure, you may remember seeing things on television, but the intensity of the experience you have in a theatre is so much greater — and it’s not just about the film, but about who you were there with.

2 thoughts on “At the Movies

  1. I didn’t see Planet of the Apes until my early 20’s. I was really enjoying the movie until about 3/4 of the way through a little song started going through my head. It took a few minutes to surface and found myself singing aloud: “Oh my God, I was wrong, It was Earth all along….You’ve finally made a monkey…Yes, we’ve finally made a monkey…. Yes, you’ve finally made a monkey out of me.” The dang Planet of the Apes musical they did in the Simpsons completely ruined the ending of that movie – and I made it into the early aughts (and most of the film) without knowing the ending.

    The big reveal in Empire Strikes Back was given away to me during the opening credits by my 9 year old niece. I was 14 and had made it all the way to 1994 without knowing that Vader was Luke’s father. Oy!

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