Was there ever a cut of the 1972 movie Conquest of the Planet of the Apes in which Armando addressed Roddy McDowall's character as "Milo" at the beginning?

I could swear that the first time I saw this film (on PBS in late 1989 or 1990), the circus owner calls him "Milo" at least once early on. And so, when I saw it again a few years later on home video, I was surprised to see him called "Caesar" all the way through.

Maybe my memory is faulty, but I'm not convinced. I saw the previous movie in the series, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, out of order. At the time, I didn't know Caesar was originally named Milo by Cornelius and Zira. (Conversely, when I did see the earlier film, I already knew what they were going to call him.)

If there was, at some time, an editing change made to the film, then it changes the significance of Milo selecting the name "Caesar" out of the dictionary. He was accepting his destiny as the conqueror of the human race. If he was already named Caesar, though, he was merely looking up his own name.

Tell me I'm not imagining things.


1 Answer 1


He was named Caesar by Armando, at some point between Escape and Conquest. Armando calls him Caesar before they are separated.

The scene where he chooses his name is still significant, because the audience knows that Caesar can read and chose his own name, and Governor Breck doesn't know that.

On page 5 of the final shooting script, Armando says: "Listen to me, Caesar. There can only be one talking chimpanzee on Earth."

Edited to add: that page 5 dialogue is the first point at which Armando addresses Caesar / Milo by name.

I imagine he renamed him because he used him as a performer in his circus. During Escape, the fact that Cornelius and Zira knew an ape named Milo was known to the investigators. If Armando suddenly has a star performer in his circus named Milo it would have been very suspicious.

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    Scanning that shooting script, it looks like that dialogue on page 5 is the one time that Milo/Caesar is addressed or referred to by name before he chooses "Caesar" from the dictionary or Armando dies. Armando could have called Milo "Caesar" in public, but addressed him by his given name in private, presumably. I suppose it's plausible that a TV edit of the movie might have made a drop-in dialogue replacement to make the continuity between the third and fourth movies plainer. But if that is indeed a copy of the shooting script, the it's more likely my own memory is at fault. Thanks! Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 19:13

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