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Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the Golden Gate Bridge's Best Movie Scenes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is just one of the many indignities the landmark has endured on the big screen.

By James Grebey

It’s tough to be an iconic landmark in a movie. The poor Empire State Building, for instance, has had a giant gorilla climb up it and had an alien mothership blow it to smithereens with a massive laser. But, perhaps no landmark is more of a target than the Golden Gate Bridge.

In Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is now streaming on Peacock, the Golden Gate Bridge is the site of a dramatic conclusion, when dozens of apes with enhanced intelligence flee San Francisco and do battle with the cops in an attempt to cross the bridge and flee to the safety of the redwoods on the other side. 

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It’s a memorable moment, but not the worst the Golden Gate Bridge has experienced on the big screen. Before you watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Peacock, check out this list of the Golden Gate Bridge’s best movie moments, listed chronologically. 

The Golden Gate Bridge's Best Movie Moments

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)

A giant octopus (who really only has six tentacles due to limits on the budget of stop-motion special effects master Ray Harryhausen) emerges from the sea and attacks the Bay Area, bringing down a section of the Golden Gate Bridge in the process. When this classic creature feature came out, the bridge was only 18 years old. 

Superman (1978)

The diabolical Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) has a dastardly plan to use powerful missiles to trigger earthquakes. Superman (Christopher Reeve) is able to stop most of the missiles, but one does trigger earthquakes along the West Coast, causing the Golden Gate Bridge to start to crumble and crack. Have no fear, though! The Man of Steel arrives just in time to prevent a school bus from going over the edge. 

A View to a Kill (1985)

James Bond (Roger Moore) has his climatic confrontation with Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) on top of one of the Golden Gate Bridge’s towers, having already foiled Zorin’s attempt to trigger an earthquake that would destroy Silicon Valley and also stopping him from escaping in his airship, which Bond was able to tie to the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge does not take much damage in this movie, luckily for it. The same cannot be said of Zorin and his airship. 

The Core (2003)

In The Core, one of the most fantastically stupid movies ever made (that’s a compliment), Earth’s core has stopped rotating, causing the collapse of the planet’s magnetic field. As a result, a bunch of disasters start happening, including a burst of ultraviolet rays from the Sun, creating a superhot beam that slices right through the Golden Gate Bridge. 

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X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Magneto (Ian McKellen) leads his Brotherhood of Mutants in an assault against a research facility that’s been set up on Alcatraz Island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. The lab there is creating a serum that will “cure” Mutants of their X-gene, something that Magneto cannot allow. In order to get his army of Mutants to Alcatraz, Magneto uses his abilities to break of a segment of the Golden Gate Bridge and use it as a platform, delivering the Brotherhood to the site of their last stand. 

Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

DreamWorks Animation’s loving spoof of the monster movies of the ‘50s fittingly features a Golden Gate Bridge sequence. When a giant alien probe attacks San Francisco, a group of “monsters” including the (nearly) 50-foot-tall Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) are unleashed to stop it. They defeat the hulking robot, using the bridge itself as a guillotine. Unfortunately, the bridge is very much destroyed in the process.  

Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim begins with a kaiju emerging from the ocean depths and attacking San Francisco, plowing through the Golden Gate Bridge. Pacific Rim owns. 

Godzilla (2014)

The Golden Gate Bridge got smashed by a kaiju for the second time in two years in the first MonsterVerse Godzilla movie, as the King of the Monsters waded through the landmark in order to fight with the two MUTOs that were about to lay a clutch of eggs in the city. 

Stream Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Peacock!