King Kong

King Kong

2.8 10
Director: John Guillermin

Cast: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange


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Famed producer Dino De Laurentiis tries to steal the thunder from Jaws, then the top-grossing film of all-time, in this big budget remake of King Kong. (De Laurentiis related his tactics to Tom Snyder: "When Jaws dies, nobody cries. When Kong dies, they all cry.") Updated to the 1970s, the original Robert Armstrong character is now Fred Wilson (Charles…  See more details below


Famed producer Dino De Laurentiis tries to steal the thunder from Jaws, then the top-grossing film of all-time, in this big budget remake of King Kong. (De Laurentiis related his tactics to Tom Snyder: "When Jaws dies, nobody cries. When Kong dies, they all cry.") Updated to the 1970s, the original Robert Armstrong character is now Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin), a big-shot oil magnate from Petrox Oil, looking for new petroleum deposits on a recently discovered Pacific island. Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) is a counter-culture paleontologist, stowing away on Wilson's ship, who warns that they are headed for "Skull Island," where prehistoric monsters still live and roam free. Also along for the ride is Dwan (Jessica Lange, in her film debut), a down-on-her-luck starlet, shipwrecked in the ocean after the sinking of a yacht. She really becomes down-on-her-luck when the group lands on the island and a giant ape, Kong, takes a shine to her. Kong kidnaps her and Dwan takes umbrage when the ape tries to remove her clothes by shouting, "You male chauvinist ape!" But Prescott comes to her aid and rescues her from the gorilla's big mits. Wilson, seeing money to be made on Kong, locks him in the cargo hold of his ship and transports him to New York City. Once there, Kong manages to escape and wreak havoc upon the beleaguered town, before being compelled to climb up the World Trade Center for sanctuary.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
The movie Dino De Laurentiis wanted to sell with the line "When Kong dies, everybody cries" is a camp-infested update of the 1933 classic. With a script by Lorenzo Semple Jr., creator of the similarly tongue-in-cheek Batman television series, this version of Kong is loaded with silly dialogue and situations. On this occasion, the sea voyage is reconfigured as executive Charles Grodin leads his crew in search of oil deposits. Star Jeff Bridges, as well as the big ape's love interest, Jessica Lange, and the rest of the cast all seem to be in on the joke. Special effects artist Rick Baker certainly succeeded in his efforts to give the face of Kong some emotive qualities, and at the time of the film's release, the special effects were state-of-the-art. Considering the extraordinary development in the last quarter century, the effects here are nevertheless likely to underwhelm contemporary viewers. Although King Kong did fairly well at the box office, earning a place as the third highest grossing film of 1976, it was not the blockbuster De Laurentiis hoped for, especially in light of its high budget.

Product Details

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Special Features

Closed Caption; Theatrical trailer; Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround, English Dolby Surround, French mono; English subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeff Bridges Jack Prescott
Charles Grodin Fred Wilson
Jessica Lange Dwan
John Randolph Capt. Ross
René Auberjonois Bagley
Julius Harris Boan
Jack O'Halloran Perko
Dennis Fimple Sunfish
Ed Lauter Camahan
Jorge Moreno Garcia
Mario Gallo Timmons
John Agar City Official
Keny Long Ape Masked Man in Dance
Wayne Heffley Air Force Colonel
Joe Piscopo Actor
John Lone Chinese Cook
Garry Walberg Army General
Sid Conrad Petrox Chairman
Corbin Bernsen Reporter
Richard Baker King Kong
Todd Baker Shea Stadium Spectator (uncredited)
George Whiteman Army Helicopter Pilot
John Barry Conductor

Technical Credits
John Guillermin Director
Del Acevedo Makeup
Archie J. Bacon Art Director
Richard Baker Special Effects
John Barry Score Composer
Terry Carr Production Manager
Don Chandler Consultant/advisor
Mario Chiari Production Designer
David A. Constable Art Director
Bill Couch Stunts
Joe Day Special Effects
Dino de Laurentiis Producer
Frederico de Laurentiis Executive Producer
Christian Ferry Executive Producer
John Franco Set Decoration/Design
Robert Gundlach Art Director
Dale Hennesy Production Designer
Richard H. Kline Cinematographer
Arnold M. Lipin Costumes/Costume Designer
Amy Lipin Costumes/Costume Designer
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
Wiliam L. McCaughey Sound/Sound Designer
David McGiffert Asst. Director
Kurt Neumann Asst. Director
Barry Nolan Special Effects
Carlo Rambaldi Consultant/advisor,Special Effects
Glen Robinson Consultant/advisor,Special Effects
Aaron Rochin Sound/Sound Designer
Lorenzo Semple Screenwriter
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Eddie Surkin Consultant/advisor
Anthea Sylbert Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry W. Tetrick Sound/Sound Designer
John True Consultant/advisor
Frank van der Meer Special Effects
Dan Wallin Sound/Sound Designer
Jesse Wayne Stunts
Fern Weber Costumes/Costume Designer
Harold E. Wellman Special Effects
Ralph Winters Editor

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King Kong
1. Surabaya [5:31]
2. Storm at Sea [2:20]
3. Sailing Into History [2:10]
4. Jack Prescott [3:10]
5. A New Dwan [4:42]
6. Into the Fog [2:32]
7. Exploring the Island [3:44]
8. Island Inhabitants [6:22]
9. Petrox Game Plan [:23]
10. Ceremonial Ritual [2:41]
11. Kong [6:39]
12. Pitching Camp [:10]
13. Kong's Lair [6:04]
14. Waterfall Shower [3:41]
15. Bringing in the Big One [1:57]
16. Perilous Crossing [3:53]
17. Setting a Trap [4:06]
18. Giant Snake [:44]
19. Kong Attacks [5:31]
20. A Kidnapped God [3:29]
21. Soothing the Savage Beast [:38]
22. King Kong World Debut [1:29]
23. Subway Destroyed [4:03]
24. Prescott Makes a Deal [3:11]
25. World Trade Center [4:00]
26. Helicopter Attack [3:12]
27. Death of King Kong [4:04]
28. End Credits [5:32]


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King Kong 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never understood why so many people love to hate this film. Of the three versions, this is the only one that presents Kong as a metaphor for the environment. The only one to treat the island natives and their religion with dignity. The only one to make us feel like we're on a real ship, going to a real island. The only one with a human actor (yes I consider that a plus) to give Kong thoughtful body language. It was this film, not the Peter Jackson version, that was first to establish an emotional bond between the ape and the woman. Of all three versions, the two principal lead actors in this version - Bridges and Lange - were by far the best. This film also has the best score, a majestic masterpiece by John Barry. I concede the film has its flaws, but it's no turkey. Watch it with an open mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, maybe Fay Wray herself thought it should have never been made. "Of course she never thought Peter Jackson's should have been made either. He actually had the nerve to ask her to utter the fateful line, "Twas beauty killed the beast!" She immediately refused." Maybe it is cheesy, and maybe it does exist as a benchmark of cinematic excess! Peter Jackson should be ashamed of himself for bad-mouthing this film to the degree he did, then stealing the 'cloud veil over Skull Island' theme from it outright! Apparently he's forgotten, that despite its flaws, Dino's King Kong contains multiple moments of true cinematic brilliance. Not to mention it's done in just slightly over two hours, compared to Jackson's masturbatory three! It also sports a truly astounding musical score. Don't listen to the negative hype here, this film grabs you from the very beginning, and doesn't let go till Kong's tragic fall from the now deceased World Trade Center. From a standpoint of social commentary alone, this film's WTC local resonates even more powerfully now that it's gone. Never let it be said that King Kong '76 doesn't deserve its place as an effective bookmark in the King Kong saga.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After nearly a year of hype, the most talked about dvd of 2005 is finally here, and I'm thrilled to report that Paramount has done a remarkable job in bringing KING KONG to the digital medium! One of the best discs the studio has ever produced, the care and attention lavished on this classic library title reinforces just how much the company is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of a wide variety of films. As far as extras, it must have been tempting for the good people at Paramount to provide fans with every last tidbit of production and promotional material related to this project, but the studio wisely avoided the "puff" pieces and instead put together a solid package of the most interesting and historically relevant information pertaining to the film the supplementary material included herein is nothing short of magnificent! It's releases like this one that have established Paramount's vaunted position in the dvd community, and builds anticipation for the many fine discs to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing the new King Kong (which I LOVED!!!) I decided to watch this one since I had not seen it when it was 1st out. I realize this was the 70's but it was beyond awful!! Jessica Lange was so annoying (and plays dumb, annoying blonde well) I was hoping she would get killed!! Her acting was terrible!!! All the acting was terrible!! Kong was a joke and if I had to see that big fake hand one more time I would have screamed myself! The original (from the 30's mind you!) was even better than this piece of poo was!! A clear attempt to de-throne Jaws, and a bad one at that. This film couldn't even do justice to the twin towers (which is what I really hoped it would) There was no connection to this Kong, couldn't care less how or when he died. Glad I didnt bother to see this in the 70's and wonder why I even bothered now! Blech!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not being a KK fan I had no interest in seeing this movie when it was out. However, after seeing the latest (and best!!) KK, I decided to see this movie. OMG! It was horrible! I understand it was the 70's, but special effects (what special effects?) aside, the story line and acting was the worst I have ever seen!! I actually prayed for Jessica Lange to get killed. It was clear she was not cast in this role for her acting abilities. No connection to any of the characters nor to KK himself. If I saw that goofy big hand one more time I would have screamed!! Now that I've seen it I realize I hadn't missed a thing! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is so stupid because this didn't have dinosaurs, and it made Kong look like Godzilla, a man in a rubber suit. I advise any King Kong fans to avoid this piece of trash stick to The Orginal and the second remake of Peter Jackson's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really bad remake. The acting, directing, script, special effects, etc., are all bad. Jessica turned out to be one of my favorite actresses in later years, but in this film she was not good at all. On the other hand, it might be worth renting just to have a good laugh i.e. the scene in which she's supposedly screaming in terror but then had to fit herself into Kong's hand because the mechanical/special effects were so bad they couldn't seem to get Kong to grip her! Di
Jay_Godzilla_fan More than 1 year ago
I was surprised for this being a 70's movie i was entertained and forgot i was even watching a movie about a giant monkey! it has the main bad guy from Iron man in it, he was way young here. there some wierd awkward/funny parts... like when kong is taking her cloths off? ha or he washs her off in a water fall and then starts to blow on her to dry her off... the scenes just dragged and made them seem silly. but i was expecting a horrible movie from what i read on these reviews. its really not that bad. if you do watch this movie, dont watch it comparing it to a movie mad 30 years after this one. just watch it for what this movie is. and teh Kong suit was better then the one in King kong vs Godzilla.
Toomer More than 1 year ago
I like this move because Kong was true to his heart about his lady.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago