Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) Script

2 00:00:10,578 --> 00:00:14,164 "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 savior, miraculously born of two apes, who descended on Earth from Earth's own future."

"And man was afraid, for both parent apes possessed the power of speech."

Come on.

"So both were brutally murdered."

"But the child ape survived, and grew up to set his fellow creatures free from the yoke of human slavery."


"Yet, in the aftermath of this victory, the surface of the world was ravaged by the vilest war in human history."

"The great cities of the world split asunder and were flattened, and out of one such city our savior led a remnant of those who survived in search of greener pastures, where ape and human might forever live in friendship, according to divine will."

"His name was Caesar, and this is his story in those far-off days."

You're not gonna make it, Jake. We'll make it.

I'll show you how.

Thanks, Aldo. You will call me by my proper rank.


Yes, General.

Don't put him in the corral. I won't be long.

"Ape shall never kill ape."

Shall ape ever kill man?

You're late, General Aldo. Come and read this to the class.

I won't. You won't because you can't.

And you can't because you don't want to learn.

And it is my duty to report this to Caesar.

If my father were a gorilla, we'd all be learning riding instead of writing.

Silence. Silence.


Remember - you are Caesar's son and heir.

Being a good rider isn't enough for being a good ruler.

Though, in human history, quite a number of military dictators seem to have thought so.

Now, all of you, take your charcoal sticks and parchments and copy down what l"ve written.

The best shall be hung from these hooks.

I can think of better things to hang from those hooks.

But, Virgil, can we tamper with time? Accept my premise.

What premise? Man learned to travel faster than sound.

He could have learned to travel faster than light.

We accept. Then imagine a musician giving a live broadcast from London to New York on a Wednesday.

He then travels faster than light from London to New York, where he arrives, as physicists would confirm, on the previous Tuesday.

Listens to his own broadcast on the Wednesday, dislikes its quality, then travels faster than light to London, in time for him to decide not to give his broadcast.

Come. I'll prove it to you logically.

Good, Cornelius.

But you"ve made a mistake here. You have put a b in place of the second p.

Teacher, have you forgotten your own name?

Everyone has always called me "Teacher" - I had forgotten. "Ape shall never kill Abe."

Thank you, Cornelius. That was a very kind thought.

Gorillas? All right, Aldo, let's start with you.

General Aldo.

With respect, General Aldo, this is barely legible and will have to be written again.

Your capital A leans over like a tent in a high wind.

And your capital K...

"Ape shall never kill Abe."

No, Aldo, no.

Teacher! Teacher. You have spoken the unspeakable.

In all our years of slavery, "no" was the one word we were conditioned to fear.

Caesar has forbidden you its utterance in perpetuity.

An ape may say no to a human, but a human may never again say no to an ape.

Tell him you're sorry, Abe, and go home. I'll put in a good word for you with Caesar.

General Aldo, I'm... I'm sorry. The writing you destroyed was by Caesar's son.

I did not want you to suffer Caesar's anger.

What do I care for Caesar's anger? Let me give you a taste of mine.

Stop him.

Get him. Get the teacher.

Stop! Stop.

We'll teach the teacher a lesson.

Throw him in the corral, where all humans belong.

I said stop, Aldo.

He broke the law. With his own mouth, he broke the First Law.

I am the law. What has he done? Caesar.


I was there. Teacher only reverted to type under provocation.

He... he spoke like a slavemaster in the old days of our servitude, when we were conditioned to mechanical obedience.

He uttered a negative imperative.

Could you put that into words which even Caesar could understand?

He said "No, Aldo, no."

The schoolroom was wrecked. The class is ended.

The schoolroom is closed. Now we go back to riding horses.


You and your friends will return to the schoolroom and put it back in order.

Abe, no gorilla is to be dismissed until everything is back in its place.

Yes, Caesar. Father?

Since there won't be any more school today, may I go out and play?

Well, can't you study in the house? I could, Father, but...

Run along and play.

Where are my students? I was in the midst of explaining my theory of time relativity.

If Caesar permits, I would like to... Caesar permits.

You look concerned, MacDonald. I am, Caesar.

I think that Aldo's hatred is not confined to humans.

Look out!

I think Aldo may be riding for a fall.

If only my mother and father, whom I was too young to remember, if only they'd lived.

Perhaps they would have taught me if it was right to kill evil so that good should prevail.

But you know, Caesar, history shows...

Now that is human history, not ape history.

Ape never kills ape.

Here's the list of our winter supplies so far.

Well, l"ve gotta be getting along. I'm starving. I could eat a horse.

A horse? You remember Lisa.

They used to eat lots of things. Dead cattle, dead chickens, dead pigs.

Now we live and chew nuts at our masters" command.

That will be all, Julie. Thank you.

We are not your masters.

We're not your equals.

MacDonald, I believe that when you truly grow to know and trust a person, you cannot help but like him.

When we grow to know and trust your people, then we shall all be equals - and remain so until the end of the world.

Which may be sooner than you think. You are such a pessimist.

Or a prophet? Well, now that apes are at the helm, Earth will sail safely through space until the end of time.

And Virgil says "Time has no end." So you see, I cannot believe you.

Would you believe it if you heard it from the lips of your own parents?

Are my parents alive? No.

But their images and their voices are. MacDonald.

When you talk about my parents, please do not speak in riddles.

I cannot see or hear them.

They came out of the future. They cannot give me knowledge.

Caesar... You can see them.

You can hear them. And they can give you knowledge.

How? Under the dead city where we once lived, in the archives near the old command post, there are tapes - sealed tapes - of Cornelius and Zira being examined by officials of the American government.

When my brother was Governor Breck's assistant, he told me about them.

I know where they are. And I know that they concern Earth's future, from which your parents came.

But the city was flattened. The bomb left nothing.

Except, I suspect, the archives section - indeed, many sections of the underground city were designed to survive the impact of a ten-megaton overblast.

Then the tapes and pictures of my parents...

Are still down there.


I want to see what they look like.

I... I suppose every orphan does.

I want to hear what they thought and knew.

The city's radioactive.

Yeah, well...

Let me see, who... who is there among your people who knows something about radioactivity?

No one. Among mine?

Who knows everything about everything?

Virgil. Go and find him.

Lisa, you remember your parents.

I was too young when they died to remember mine.

But I don't want to have to remember my husband. I want to love him now.

Look, Virgil will be with us. Now, we'll take good care.

Say goodbye to Cornelius. I don't want him to know I'm afraid.




I'm going on a journey. What will you bring me back?

What would you like?

More nuts for my squirrel. He's growing fast.

So are you.

One day you will be as tall as a king.


He's asleep. Not eternally, I trust?


Who's there? Caesar.

What does Caesar want? Weapons.

For what purpose?

Self-protection in the pursuit of knowledge.

Self-protection against whom or what? We don't know.

Why protect yourself against a danger of which you have no knowledge, in pursuit of a knowledge you do not possess?

Oh, God!

Is it a knowledge for good or evil? All knowledge is for good.

Only the use to which you put it can be good or evil.

Well put. Thank you.

The sun is rising. I should like to get this matter settled before it sets.

Caesar has appointed me not only as the keeper of this armory, but as the keeper of his own conscience.

That is why I have asked six boring questions, and propose to ask a seventh before issuing or not issuing the weapons you require.

What is the nature of the knowledge you cannot seek without weapons?

The knowledge of Earth's ultimate fate, recorded on tapes in the forbidden city.

Which is contaminated, but still may be inhabited by humans.

Come in.

Name your protective pick. Three submachine-guns.

For? The removal of obstacles.



And three. Now what? Ammunition.

I really don't hold with knowing the future - even my own, which is short.

A Geiger counter.

If we knew for a fact there was an afterlife, and that the afterlife was bliss eternal, we'd all commit suicide in order to be able to enjoy it.


To remove smaller obstacles? It's a three-day journey.

With Caesar's permission, MacDonald may want to shoot, cook and eat a rabbit.

But who needs three pistols to shoot one rabbit?

Enjoy your meal. Thank you.

He may be old, but he's got a mind like a razor.

When I was a boy, he was my teacher.

Let's collect our stores and be on our way, huh?

There it is - or was.

Like a storm at sea, but solidified.

By a bomb from an armory 1,000 times the size of ours.

And nobody to keep its owner's conscience.

This is the hell my forefathers used to speak about.

Do you know where we are, MacDonald?

Yes. Now, this is... I mean was, 11th Avenue.

Ape Management was two blocks east from here.

The archive section, two blocks west - corner of Breck and Ackerman.

Get us there quickly.

The Governor's very irritable lately.

Who wouldn't be, living in this hell of radiation all these years?

If the bomb hadn't killed the old governor, boredom certainly would have.

Alma, I just want somebody to talk to. Anybody.

We are at best brave and at worst mad to be here.

This background radiation alone will give us 300 roentgens per hour.


That unless we leave this place within two hours, we shall become inmates.

This is a ghost city. I want to put some flesh on it.

Radioactive flesh?

Well, we're all radiated, but at least we're active.

Getting stronger. We must hurry.

Governor, look.

F6. F6. What now?

Alert Mendez.

Men... Mendez to Control Room. Mendez to Control Room.

Mendez to Control Room.

Somebody's breached the warning system at F6.

One of our scavengers. No. It's been locked for years.

It must have been someone else. Impossible. There is no one else.

Mendez, we have to act, and act quickly.

Alma? Yes, sir?

Work the B console.

Quick, Mendez, quick. Quick.

No, quicker. Faster.

Keep going... No, no. Back. Back.

This is the place.

That's Caesar, come back to reconquer his kingdom.

Doesn't he know that the bomb did that?

We're still all right. This way.

Quicker. Quicker.

There. Hold it.

Can anything live down here? I mean, for long?

Yes. But in the end, not recognizably.

The black man is the brother of my predecessor's personal assistant.

He supervised the archives.

I don't think I know the orangutan.

Look. It's been there for years.

The late governor had this whole place equipped with cameras.

To forestall ape conspiracies, as I remember.

Archives. We haven't been in there since...

I wonder what the devil they want in there.

We'll find the tape we're looking for under the heading of "Presidential Commission."

"Proceedings of the Presidential Commission on Alien Visitors, 1973."

Is this it? Let's see.

Yes, that's it. Now, if this thing works, the picture should come out on that screen over there.

All security forces, alert. All security forces, alert.

Check out all sections in areas M5.

Apprehend three strangers you will find there.

One human and two apes. But caution. I repeat, caution.

If they resist, you may shoot. But shoot to maim.

We want them alive for interrogation.

If we shoot, we break 12 years of peace.

Yes, it has been rather boring, hasn't it?

My mother.

Who won your war?

It wasn't our war. It was the gorillas" war.

The date meter on the spaceship. What did it read after Earth's destruction?


And you talk to your pupils about eternity.

There are only three.

There must be more. But how many?

That's the question we'll have answered when we get them.

My father.

That's my father.

How did apes acquire the power of speech?

They learned to refuse.

On a historic day, there came an ape who spoke a word which had been spoken to him time without number by humans.

He said "No."

No wonder all mankind thirsted for my blood and wanted my birth aborted.

In the year 3950, apes will destroy the Earth.

Not apes. Gorillas.

Besides, that's only one future. How can there be more than one?

You remember the old motorways?

I believe that time is like an endless motorway, with an infinite number of lanes all running from the past into the future.

It follows that a driver would try to change his lanes and change his future.

If you left this room right now, you might wind up shot. Dead.

If you left a minute later, you might survive.

It's a blind choice, but you can change lanes.

I know what it is I want to change.

The camera. It moved.

Are you sure?

Virgil's right.

Governor? We just lost the TV monitor. Our 8-41 archive.

I'm not interested in equipment failures. It wasn't a failure. It was destroyed.

We have to find another way out. Is there another way?

They got past you? Then shoot on sight. Never mind about bringing them here.

Just get them. Don't let anyone escape alive.

Sections M5 and R7 and 8.

Form a group here. Quick, quick. All right, move out. Move.

Move! Move!

Hurry! Run!


Now you"ve got your guns, we need another patrol quickly.

Quickly, men. Hurry. Hurry.

The rest of you, take your weapons and go to M5.

Go. Go. What are you waiting for?

To R8.

All forces into exit level 3.

They're getting away. Kill them.

Kill them. Kill them!

You knew every bolt and nut in those corridors.

You have a hundred armed men. How could you let them escape?

They were fast and smart, Governor Kolp.

Many of my men were sick. And the chimp surprised us.

Yeah... He surprised me too, once.

But he's an animal. He's only an animal.

No, Governor, he's more than an animal. He can speak.

So can they all. So speech makes them human?

Speech makes them intelligent.

And intelligence may make them not human, but humane.

Perhaps they came in peace. Idiot. They were armed.

From what we saw on the monitor, only for self-protection.

Let them return in peace.

To where? To wherever they live.

So that they can come back and exterminate those of us the bomb has not exterminated?

Where do they live? They came with few provisions.

It can't be too far. Which way did they head?

They headed north, Governor. Organize scout parties.

Assemble workable equipment and follow them to their camp.

Yes, Governor Kolp.

Why, Governor?

So that we can exterminate them.

It's Caesar. What a welcome.

We should have stayed in the city. The city is forbidden.

I know. I forbade it. Then why?

If a king forbids his subjects to wear a crown, that doesn't mean he can't wear one himself.

Caesar is Caesar. He went to the city for a reason.

What reason?

I went looking for my past. But I found our future.


You wouldn't understand. Aldo will make the future. With this.

Well then, Aldo may very soon be in the past.


Cornelius, are you all right?

No, Mother. I'm just dead. Dead?

We were playing war. War?

Cornelius, hasn't your father explained to you that war is not a game?

Yes, Mother.

And also forbidden you to play with guns?

Yes, Mother. Then you'll stop it.

Yes, Mother. Now come along. Father wants us.

My friends, I have convened this extraordinary meeting of the council in order that I may report upon an action which I deemed necessary: a reconnaissance expedition to the forbidden city, with Virgil and MacDonald as my aides.

Why MacDonald? Why not a soldier?

Because we went in peace to what we thought would be a dead city.

But, in case there were some survivors, we took MacDonald with us so that he could parley with them and secure permission for our search.

Survivors there are...

Maimed, mutated, hostile and human.

Did the humans follow you here? We saw no sign of it.

But we must prepare for the day when they may come out of the city, when they may come to find us.

No humans in council. No humans in council.

No. No. No. No.

Yes! They are here because I sent for them.

Now that we know the danger, we need their help and counsel.

No. No.

Yes. Come.

We shall not sit in council with humans.

Now, let us reason together and make plans.

Somewhere along the line of history, this bloody chain reaction has got to stop.

A destroys B, B destroys C, C destroys A and is destroyed by D, who destroys E.

Before anyone knows where they are, there won't be anyone left to know anything.

Governor. Governor, the captain has come back.

We found it, Governor. We found Ape City.


This... This is a gorilla outpost.

Below is a valley with orchards and vineyards - enough to feed hundreds.

Here is Ape City. Was it very large?

It is of a size we can deal with. Were you seen?

No, sir. Caesar was busy with a council of war.

One day soon they'll be coming for us.

No, we're going after them - now. You have your orders.

Caesar... On the Night of the Fires you swore an oath that in the future, apes and humans would live together in kindness and peace.

Why are you now making every sort of preparation to break that oath?

Because, unlike the humans in our city, those in the forbidden city are mad.

Mad enough not to want peace and friendship, but enmity and war.

Did they tell you that? Yes.

Yes. By opening fire on us without giving us a chance to explain.

You were trespassing on their territory.

But Lisa, we didn't know the city was inhabited.

But how, if you didn't speak to them, do you know its inhabitants are mad?

Lisa, you didn't see them. They're...

They're malformed.

Like the freaks in your foster father's circus?

Were they mad? What's "malformed"?

Cornelius, go to bed. When l"ve given Ricky his water.

Lisa, freaks are different.

These humans are the end product of nuclear radiation.

They're mutant, and they're mad.

Keep all emergency channels open. Yes, Governor.

All emergency channels will remain open.

If anything should miscarry, I'll signal you as arranged.

Yes, sir.

Hurry, man. We need it.

The school bus will be operational, Governor.

The convoy will join us at junction C.

Get moving.


Without guns, we have no power.

We shall take the guns, and we shall keep them.

They equal power.

Guns. Guns are power.

We are an elite. We are a superrace.

We have the right to lead. Without us, there would be no army.

What is an army without guns?

We need power. We deserve it. We deserve to have power.

We need power.

Guns. Guns. Guns are power.

We shall get them, and we shall keep them.

With guns, we will smash the humans.

All humans. And then, we will smash Caesar.


It's Caesar's son. And he overheard every word we said.

Cornelius... Come down.

Come down, or else.





I only heard about it this morning. His squirrel is missing.

He must have been out looking for it. How is Cornelius?

Hurt. He's badly hurt.

Speak the truth.

Even if we had a hospital...

I'm not going to tell Caesar. Not yet.

He still believes he can change the future.

Humans - going towards our city.

I'll get him.

Get ready to fire. Fire.

The doctor is doing her best. I don't believe Cornelius can live.

Caesar does. He... he refuses to leave his side.

How can a benevolent God allow the branch of one of His own trees to crack and injure an innocent child?

It didn't crack, Virgil. It was cut.

Order at council. Order. Order. The humans are attacking.

They have killed one gorilla, and they have wounded another.

Tell them.

We were scouting desert approaches to the city and saw their army.

They fired. My companion was killed.

I have come to warn you. And how long before they get here?

Soon. So now we must prepare.

Take the humans out. Lock them all in the corral.

Aldo. Aldo, you can't do this. You're acting against Caesar's orders.

Caesar is not here.

Hey. What the...?

Jake... Strong man.

Take him to the corral.

Take all humans to the corral.

All humans. Take them to the corral.

Where are you going? Martial law has been declared.

Everybody is to stay in their homes. By whose orders?

Go home.

We want guns. Guns are power.

Now we go and get guns.

Mandemus. Who's there?

Aldo. General Aldo.

What do you want? Guns.

Guns. What will you do with them?

We shall do with them what we will. "Do what you will" is the Devil's law.

And who are you, Mandemus? God? I am the keeper of Caesar's conscience.

And I am the keeper of Caesar's army. Under allegiance to Caesar. Where is he?

Mandemus, as I speak, our city is being attacked by humans from without and within.

Who cares where Caesar is? I care.

There is a law that weapons may only be issued under direct orders from Caesar, not under threats from a thick-headed subordinate, for whom war means only personal glory. Now find me Caesar. I will listen to him.

First, listen to this.

Take every gun in the place. Everything.

Get the ammo boxes. Get the handguns, grenades.

Stop. Stop! Caesar forbids you.

Well, there it is. Ape City.

When we leave, I don't want to see one tree left standing, two pieces of wood nailed together, or anything left alive.

I want it to look like that city we came from.

What the devil is all that rubbish down there?

Some sort of barricade, sir.

Nothing that a couple of flame bombs won't take care of.

Caesar, forgive me, but I couldn't get here before now.

Aldo has seized power.

He's broken into the armory and imprisoned all humans.

MacDonald? He was dragged away by Aldo's gorillas.

I can't leave Cornelius. He needs me.

Every ape and human in Ape City needs you. Now.

I... I think you should go to Cornelius.


They hurt me.

They want to hurt you.

Who hurt you? The humans?


Then who?


Shall I be malformed?


One day you are going to be as tall as a king.

Captain, lay the smoke screen, and when I give the signal, start the bombardment.

Men and equipment out of the bus. Deploy your weapons, quickly.

All is in order, sir. All right, let's go.

He said they hurt him. Who?

Who would hurt him?

I think you'll have your answer - and soon.

What do you know? That's what I know.

You did this. For security.

Did you raid the armory for the same reason?

For security. Caesar.

I order you to stop this. I order you to stop it now and release those people.

See? Aldo was right. War has come. Let's go.

Go to the barricade. To the barricade.

Come on. Go to the barricade.

They're laying a smoke screen.

Here they come.

Where's Aldo? Probably the other side of the valley.

Hurry! Fall back! Fall back!

Fall back. Go back to the village.

Get away from the fire. Fall back. Hurry!

Flee the barricade. Fall back! Fall back!

Get back to the village.

You can't stay here any longer. You must save yourself.


Your people weakened our city by rebelling against your human masters.

But we who survive will create a new race.

And you and yours will be brought low.

And you shall learn again what it is to have a master.

You're learning already.

Clever ape.

Oh, no.

Ape. Clever ape.

But then you always were clever.

I was told how you chose your own name.

But every Caesar must have his Brutus. Did you know that, ape?

Do you understand that, ape?

And now Ape City is about to lose its king.

No, Kolp! No!

Now. Fight like apes.

No. Stop. No killing. Take them captive.

Let's get moving.

No. No, no, no. Don't kill them. Take them prisoner.

No. No, Virgil.

All right, Virgil. Let's go home.

No prisoners. No prisoners.


Caesar! Caesar!

Hail, Caesar!

Let the humans go, Virgil. All of them. No.

They stay. Aldo says what we do now.

They have done nothing. They shall go free.

You like humans? You want them out of the corral?

All right. Kill them. Kill them.

Kill them all.

Stop. Stop!

No more killing, Aldo. Put down your weapons.

Take them back to the armory. No. We shall keep the guns.

Move, Caesar, or we shall kill you.

Ape has never killed ape, let alone an ape child.

Aldo has killed an ape child.

The branch did not break. It was cut, with a sword.

Aldo... You... You killed...

Aldo killed.

Aldo has broken our most sacred law.

Our child... You killed our child.

What's the matter with them?

I guess you might say they just joined the human race.

Ape has killed ape. Ape has killed ape.

You murdered my son. You murdered my son.


Should one murder be avenged by another?

Only the future can tell. So let us start building it.

If we appear to be lacking in gratitude, Caesar, what have we to be grateful for?

If you mean to set us free, then free us completely.

What do you mean? We are not your children, Caesar.

We have a destiny too. As equals.

Respecting each other. Living together, with love.


The human way is violence and death.

Aldo wasn't human, was he, Caesar?


You are a good and wise ape.

And you, Caesar, are a good and wise king.

We'll rebuild what's ruined and begin again.

Tell me something, MacDonald. Can we make the future what we wish? l"ve heard that it's possible, Caesar.

There. Every weapon is back in its proper place.

Caesar, I want to ask a favor.

This armory's been my home for 27 years.

You may live in it for the rest of your days.

But I don't want to live in it. No, no.

Now that the danger is over, I want to see it destroyed, blown up.

The greatest danger of all is that danger never ends.

And so, Mandemus, we must be patient and wait.

We still wait, my children.

But as I look at apes and humans living in friendship, harmony and at peace now, some 600 years after Caesar's death, at least we wait with hope for the future.

Lawgiver, who knows about the future?

Perhaps only the dead.