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PLANET OF THE APES ORIGINAL STATUE OF LIBERTY PROP

Updated: July 17, 2009

Statue of Liberty head from Planet of the Apes. (TCF, 1968) Standing approximately 15 feet tall x 14 feet wide (at the crown) x 8 feet deep, this iconic piece was built for perhaps the most shocking scene in cinematic history. Sculpted in a haunting, almost sorrowful, comic-book fashion, the symbol of liberty and escape from tyranny provided the apocalyptic revelation at the end of Planet of the Apes when astronaut Taylor looks up from the beach to realize at he was on planet Earth all along!

Typical with the filmmaking process, the revelation scene was shot from two different perspectives, utilizing two separate techniques. The first was shot from behind the head of the statue when the camera pans from right to left behind the spires of the crown, looking down at Taylor and Nova on the beach. This piece was utilized during this sequence. The Liberty head was hoisted by crane and mounted atop the scaffolding erected at Point Dume, Malibu, California where the scene was filmed. Due to the forced-perspective detail in its construction, it is plausible that this was intended to be used in another shot from the front at a low angle. The second perspective of the Statue of Liberty is from the beach as Taylor looks up in horror to the statue, seeing it half-buried in the sand. A matte painting of the statue was used for this purpose.

This Statue of Liberty head was custom-fabricated using plywood and sculpted Styrofoam, and hand-finished with plaster. It was completed with multiple layers of paint to mimic the patina of extremely weathered copper. The crown is built in two sections, which are removable for ease of transport. The piece has recently been professionally restored to its former glory using period-correct materials.

Arguably the most iconic piece one could hope to acquire from this science-fiction classic.

Value: $30,000 - $40,000

(*) Photos & info courtsey of "Profiles in History!"

(*) Update: I was informed that this prop was not the prop used from the Planet of the Apes film! This revised prop was used in the 2004 Steven Speiberg film, "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks!


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