Updated: July 17, 2009
PLANET OF THE APES ORIGINAL STATUE OF LIBERTY PROP
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!