King Kong

The most exciting original motion picture event of all time.

Adventure Fantasy
134 min     6.213     1976     USA


In this remake of the 1933 classic, an oil company expedition disturbs the peace of a giant ape and brings him back to New York to exploit him.


talisencrw wrote:
I had first seen the outstanding original of 'King Kong', still transcendent and captivating in its then-prescient use of special effects wizardry, then Sir Peter Jackson's recent remake, which was still extremely impressive. I had only heard horrible things about the 70's version, but I have come to admire Guillermin's films that I had watched, and look at that cast, so when I found the blu used, for a good price, I took a chance. It's definitely the runt of the litter, but is by no means a disaster. It's intriguing that they had originally wanted Joseph Sargent to direct with Peter Falk starring, and that Meryl Streep was considered for the role that eventually went to Jessica Lange. The changes they made to update Kong for the seventies were intriguing (as they wanted the script to be completely different from the Cooper/Schoedsack masterpiece), and I'm left curious, had Sir Peter Jackson chosen to make Kong a 21st-century schizoid apeman instead of doing a period piece, how that would have transpired. Even being Canadian, seeing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made me wistfully nostalgic. The only part of the film that was excruciating to watch was when Kong is made to perform for the American Bicentennial festivities, and at the ending, I was curious how Lange got down from the rooftop of one of the towers so fast. The answer probably lies on the cutting room floor, and the editing was probably rushed for release date, so no one must have noticed...
John Chard wrote:
No, you're dead wrong. He was the terror, the mystery of their lives, and the magic. 1976 and I had already been spellbound and terrified by Jaws the year previously, I mean I was only 10 years old. Having been introduced by my film loving parents to the original King Kong from 1933, as soon as this update - in colour - was released, I stood in that queue for two hours to see it. I was spellbound, absolutely loved it, telling everyone in school or on the playing fields how great an experience it was. Those things never leave you, it's love of cinema with youthful eyes, and none of us should ever decry those moments as being ignorance. Much later in life, watching this reworking of the Kong story becomes a battle to not extinguish those youthful fires. For now you can see just how poor the effects are, in fact just how much of a cheat (through research) that uber producer Dino De Laurentiis was as he put this onto the screen. Conversely, though, you can now see just how adult much of it was. The pic is full of sexual connotations and imagery. I mean look at Jessica Lange's first scene, she is introduced in a wet dress with erectus nippleus in full effect. I didn't remember that as a 10 year old boy... There's some smart era concerns in the narrative, fuels, discrimination etc, and for sure the array of characters on show are 1970s intelligent. Hell! even the change to helicopter attacks instead of aeroplanes for the finale deserves respect - with the added sombre setting of the WTC twin towers now more attention grabbing - yet it's hard to get away from just how poor the production is. So as we may still shed a tear as the giant beast is felled by his love for a beauty, and we curse mankind for just not leaving him on his island, this is still poor film making that comes close to shattering fond memories of the young movie lovers back in 1976. 5/10
JPV852 wrote:
A bit long but not terrible and had some adorably funny moments like seeing a man in an ape outfit tossing around a model train or hiding behind a building to avoid a helicopter. But seriously, the ape costume wasn't bad however his expressions were at times creepy, especially when looking at Dwan. Certainly one of the lesser of the Kong movies (though haven't seen King Kong Lives) but I guess watchable. **3.0/5**