I just read a blog that said that the original Planet of the Apes film had a “phenomenal twist ending.” What? No it didn’t. When I first watched the original Planet of the Apes, the ending did not surprise me. Maybe it had somehow already been revealed to me (it must’ve been 20-something years old by the time I first saw it). But the crew crashes on a planet with an earth-like atmosphere (the air isn’t toxic or anything, and is just the right temperature), the animals are just like animals on earth, except the apes are the ones who can talk (albeit using many less facials muscles), they all speak English, and, as if that wasn’t enough, they dig up some old human relics. It should be plainly obvious where they are. I never thought the ending was meant to be a “twist” as if the audience was supposed to realize anything new; it was just a powerful way for the main character to at long last face the painful truth.
I do, however, remember Darth Vader revealing his fathership to Luke being a genuine surprise to me, even though the film must’ve been out for almost 20 years by the time I first saw it. I thought that was the coolest twist ever; I never saw it coming.