Despite the low budget and the harsh editing obligations, the fourth part of the "Planet of the Apes" series made enough money to justify a fifth movie. Director J. Lee Thompson, who also directed the prequel, made a comeback as well - despite his negative experiences during the final cut of the last movie. Fox cut into the budget once again so it was even smaller than it has been for part four. Altogether the production cost were only about 1,8 US-Million Dollar (about 8,9 Million US-Dollar conditional upon inflation) and before the production even started it was clear that "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" would be the last part of the saga.
Contrary to the prequel, Thompson had a lot less to compromise - longer dialogue sequences had to be cut as well as some violent shots in order to ensure a PG rating, but the keynote was not changed at all.
Not artistically nor economically was the movie able to tie in with its prequels but the popularity of the series was still big enough to keep the viewers interested and recoup its costs.
Some short-lived Live Action- and a n animation series followed.
II. The versions
II.a) The Japanese Laserdisc
For years the Japanese Laserdisc version was the longest official version of the movie and is (supposedly) about ten minutes longer than the Theatrical Version. Many dialogue scenes as well as some violent shots during the final battle have been re-integrated into the movie. Whether or not the Laserdisc version is identical to the Unrated US-BluRay could not be found out.
II.b) The US-TV Version (CBS)
In the year 1975, the movie was aired on American television for he first time. for this, about fourteen minutes were cut from the Theatrical Version but new scenes were put in. Especially the scene in which the mutants talk about the Alpha/Omega bomb is of interest since it makes clear that the cult around the mutant Mendez are supposed to be the ancestors of the mutant cult from the second movie. This already has been made clear in the Theatrical Version with the mentioning of the name "Mendez" in the second movie but thanks to the scene about the bomb all doubts are gone for sure.
II.c) The US-DVD and BluRay (Fox)
In 2006 the Director's Cut was released in the USA on DVD and has now been remastered and released on BluRay - as a single disc as well as in a box set containing the whole movie series. This version has been used to create this report.
Remarkable is that no little shots have been cut out but always chunks of several seconds.
III. Screen comparison
Compared to the German DVD the BluRay has a lot more image information to offer. The red framed area is the screen of the DVD embedded into that of the BluRay.
IV. Censorship report
Comparison between the German DVD (identical to the Theatrical Version) and the US-BluRay (Unrated).
Both versions are released by Fox on DVD and BluRay.
The Unrated Cut is 601 seconds (10 minutes and 1 second) longer than the Theatrical Version.
General Aldo rides through the village longer.
The teacher Abe writes the first law of the apes („Ape shall never kill ape!“) onto the stone board and prompts the gorillas to read it. They are unable to, so the rest of the class reads it out.
Abes escape from General Aldo and his soldiers is longer.
As Aldo and his men capture Abe, Caesar steps in to conciliate. The following dialogue, in which McDonald too expresses himself, is longer.
Governor Kolp walks back and forth nervously while being watched by an employee.
Virgil, Caesar and MacDonald are roaming the ruins in search of the archives.
After Virgil has destroyed the security monitor, the group decides to go right away.
Caesars son Cornelius and a human child are playing War.
More scenes of the human patrol searching the city of the apes.
After the humans have decided to raid the ape city, Governor Kolp orders Alma to launch an atom bomb onto the city should they fail - this is the Alpha/Omega bomb from the second movie.
The march of the humans through the desert is longer. Many humans die on the march before reaching their destination.
Virgil tries to get to Caesar while Kolp gives the last orders to his men.
More scenes of the artillery shooting.
Scenes of the barricade being built.
More battle scenes. Caesar shoots a rifle at attacking humans.
Tzhe defending of the (now burning) barricade is longer.
More scenes of the defending of the barricade and the humans advancing.
Shots of Caesar and the humans.
The fallback of the apes from the barricades is longer.
More combat operations as the humans enter the city.
The humans advance further.
Despite Caesars orders to let the defeated humans go, Aldos soldiers attack the convoy and kill Governor Kolp and his men which is presented in a more detailed manner in the Unrated Version.
After the murdering of Kolp, Aldo lets his men praise him.
After it is revealed that Aldo has killed Caesars son, the mob chases him up a tree. Caesar pursues him. The Unrated Version is a few seconds longer.
Sergeant York manages to escape after the battle and tells Mendez and Alma of Kolps death. Alma wants to launch the missile onto the city but Mendez holds her back. Not only because it would destroy them as well as the whole world but also because it has made them what they are and therefor has to be respected and honored so that all progeny can see the bomb as their creator.