King Kong

King Kong

John Guillermin (1976)

129min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Rather than over-respectfully pay homage to the 1933 classic, copycat producer Dino De Laurentiis struck box-office gold by dragging the ape-meets-girl fable into the disaster-movie age, tasking Towering Inferno director John Guillermin with re-scaling it. Stop-motion effects are upgraded by Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) and Carlo Rambaldi (ET) to a combination of man-in-a-suit and expressive full-scale face and hand models, which "humanise" Kong, once again kidnapped but this time by an oil company sensing a giant marketing mascot. The then unknown Jessica Lange plays the Fay Wray role with a valiant attempt at empathy, while Charles Grodin brings comic glee to the exploitative oilman. It's colourful, noisy and fun - camp, in fact, thanks to former Batman TV series writer Lorenzo Semple Jr - and John Barry's score hits all the right melodramatic notes. While it strains at the limits of technology, it makes excellent topical use of the recently built World Trade Center for its New York climax.

Summary

Oil prospectors travel to a recently discovered and remote Pacific island, where they encounter a gigantic gorilla. The men manage to capture the huge ape and bring it back to America - but the confused creature is terrified by events and escapes, wreaking havoc in New York. Remake of the classic 1933 fantasy adventure, with Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange and Charles Grodin.

Cast & Crew

Jack Prescott Jeff Bridges
Dwan Jessica Lange
Fred Wilson Charles Grodin
Camahan Ed Lauter
Roy Bagley Rene Auberjonois
Capt Ross John Randolph
Boan Julius Harris
Joe Perko Jack O'Halloran
Director John Guillermin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Some violence and swearingAvailable on: video and DVD
Drama