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Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

G | | Action, Sci-Fi | 15 June 1973 (USA)
2:31 | Trailer
Ten years after a worldwide series of ape revolutions and a brutal nuclear war among humans, Caesar must protect survivors of both species from an insidious human cult and a militant ape faction alike.


J. Lee Thompson


Pierre Boulle (based upon characters created by), Paul Dehn (story by) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy McDowall ... Caesar
Claude Akins ... Aldo
Natalie Trundy ... Lisa
Severn Darden ... Kolp
Lew Ayres ... Mandemus
Paul Williams ... Virgil
Austin Stoker ... MacDonald
Noah Keen ... Teacher
Richard Eastham ... Mutant Captain
France Nuyen ... Alma
Paul Stevens ... Mendez
Heather Lowe ... Doctor
Bobby Porter ... Cornelius
Michael Stearns Michael Stearns ... Jake
Cal Wilson Cal Wilson ... Soldier


After conquering the oppressive humans in "Conquest for the Planet of the Apes", Caesar must now keep the peace among the humans and apes. Gorilla General Aldo views things differently, and tries to cause an ape civil war. In the meantime, other human survivors learn of the ape city, and decide they want to take back civilization for themselves, thus setting the stage of warring ape factions and humans. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The final chapter in the incredible Apes saga. The most suspenseful showdown ever filmed as two civilizations battle for the right to inherit what's left of the earth!


Action | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Colleen Camp's film debut. See more »


During the final battle, several of the explosions are really the same single pyrotechnics gag (a blast that destroys a tree house and splits the tree in two) shown to us from different angles. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: North America, 2670 A.D.
The Lawgiver: In the beginning God created beast and man so that both might live in friendship and share dominion over a world of peace. But in the fullness of time evil men betrayed God's trust and in disobedience to His holy word waged bloody wars, not only against their own kind, but against the apes, whom they reduced to slavery. Then God in his wrath sent the world a saviour, miraculously born of two apes who descended on Earth from Earth's own future and man was ...
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Crazy Credits

The 20th Century-Fox logo does not appear on this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original video release eliminated all footage with actress France Nuyen, including all shots revealing the bomb. The DVD issue includes the missing footage as bonus features. See more »


Features Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) See more »

User Reviews

Hail Caesar the King! But Every Caesar has his Brutus
4 June 2006 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

A point raised by Caesar's enemy, Kolp (Darden in a mustache-twirling snidely elegant turn at maddened villainy), in this 5th and final Apes film. But a king usually has more than one enemy, as Caesar finds, to his grief. A predictable and mostly logical follow-up to the previous "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," this one, like "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," stresses sci-fi action rather than any deep themes related to slavery or culture shock. Several years after a nuclear war, we find a surprisingly peaceful yet primitive village occupied by both apes and humans, governed by chimp Caesar (McDowall), who began a revolution in the previous film, as a young radical. Now much older - either about 10 or 30 years older, depending on various sources - he projects a benign fatherly personality. It's not quite paradise: though not the slaves as apes were previously, humans have shifted to 2nd-class citizens, despite an image of equality, and tension escalates due to local bully gorilla Aldo (Akins - 'call me by my proper rank, General, huh!'). Then Caesar himself opens the door to other possible problems by visiting a nearby nuked city (obviously the same one from the previous film). There, the human governor from "Conquest..." has been replaced by his security chief, Kolp, who was bad enough as 2nd in command - now he's bored just sifting through the rubble with his few mutated followers - time to work off the doldrums and teach a clever ape how to show respect.

This entry is generally regarded as the worst of the 5 films, if most fans had to pick one, but it's not a complete waste by comparison. There really is a battle at the end, a mini-war between the invading mutants and the village - but then the final confrontation between Caesar & Aldo is slow going. This film is almost like a precursor to all of those post holocaust sci-fi pieces in the eighties ("Steel Dawn," etc.). The biggest weakness is that nothing really new is added to the saga. The new character, Virgil (Williams), for example, is a genius orangutan, but he's a retread of the genius chimp from "Escape..." What this film does, really, is bring things full circle for the 5-film saga, though not in a very creative way. As with the previous film, "Conquest...", events that should occur over the course of decades or centuries are depicted in the span of days. The filmmakers got all the old costumes from the first 3 films out of mothballs and outfitted the apes here the same way, against logic. The mutated humans from the bombed out city are the ancestors of the mutants we've seen in "Beneath..." - they even show the alpha-omega bomb which, though almost detonated here, remains as is until it supposedly destroys everything in two millennium. However, a prologue and epilogue set about 600 years from now with the orangutan Lawgiver (Huston) shows that the future is not set, so now we're left guessing. This movie was followed by the short lived TV series, which took place about a thousand years in the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 June 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle for the Planet of the Apes See more »


Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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