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King Kong

3.8 out of 5 stars 495 customer reviews

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King Kong (1976)
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Editorial Reviews

The Big Apple is again besieged by the monstrous King Kong. Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange star in this ambitious remake of the 1933 original, which adds a great deal of camp and good fun to the story, Again, the gargantuan ape battles attacking aircraft high above the streets of New York, this time plunging from the top of the World Trade Center to his death amidst thousands of horrified onlookers. King Kong won an Oscar for special effects, and the horror and the thrills are brought anew to another generation in this classy production.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph, Rene Auberjonois
  • Directors: John Guillermin
  • Writers: Edgar Wallace, James Ashmore Creelman, Lorenzo Semple Jr., Merian C. Cooper, Ruth Rose
  • Producers: Christian Ferry, Dino De Laurentiis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B8I9YK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,588 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "King Kong" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By curtis martin on February 3, 2005
Format: DVD
Firstly, I'd like to dispel a misconception that many "reviewers" here onsite are promoting: that the 1976 verison of "King Kong" was a notorious financial flop. This is simply not the case.

King Kong (1976)was a huge hit back in the seventies--I know because I was there, I saw the frenzy, I remember the crowded theaters. It cost $24 million and made $60 in 1977 dollars, only a little less than the highly regarded blockbuster "Jaws" made a couple of years earlier. Calling the film a commercial "flop" is not just inaccurate--it is a statement that borders on stupid.

Now, admittedly, it also had a huge pr campaign, which undoubtedly helped it garner a lot of that dough, but there was a lot more to the flick than just the hype.

While the commercial success of the film is a matter of indisputible record, its artistic success is a matter of personal opinion. I happen to think this is one of the best pop films of the Seventies--and there are a lot more folks out there who agree with me than you think.

Many people rag on the film for not being reverential to the original, ignoring that fact that "being reverential" was the antitheseis of what the 70s were about. Kong 76 could have probably been an even bigger hit than it was if the filmmakers had played it safe and hadn't gone out of their way to make a film so stubbornly odd. I mean this thing stomps over a gigantic swath of styles: panoramic spectacle, high adventure, pathos, romance, social commentary, absurdist comedy, thrills, and occasionally outright goofiness--all comprised in a slyly satiric package designed to tweak the noses of Kong purists. Lorenzo Semple Jr.
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Format: DVD
I'll admit this film holds extra appeal for me. That's because it made a King-sized impression when I first saw it in a darkened theatre in Massapequa Park, Long Island at seven years of age. I still remember the anticipation leading up to the first big "reveal" of Kong: The sounds of heavy foot-falls and the downing of trees as the giant gorilla approaches the primitive altar where Jessica Lange stands tethered with vines as the sacrificial bride. The score grows louder as torch-holding natives chant atop heavily fortressed walls ("Kong!, Kong!..."). Finally, he emerges in full view and beats his chest as the ominous score goes suddenly, eerily quiet. Lange looks up from her drug-induced stupor, her swimmy eyes now focusing, sobering with fear...and screams!

This is one of the great cinematic sequences of my personal memory bank.

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September 11, 2001 came in all its horror and loss. Some days later, I found myself thinking of this movie, which features the World Trade Center prominently. This was one of only a few movies to cast the Towers in such a prominent role up to that point, and they provided a scale grand enough to fuel our imaginations for the task at hand - bringing Kong to life. During that September, I ordered the DVD so I could see the towers once again as they were meant to be seen, at a time when they stood tall with promise - over-sized symbols of over-sized American optimism.

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Sure the movie has its flaws, and many of the effects aren't effective anymore, but if you enter in as a willing participant, many charms await. The film features the talents of Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, and Charles Grodin. The cinematography is rich with vast hawaiian vistas.
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5 Comments 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid (I was 2 when it came out), and I was a little scared to watch it again, thanks to its reputation as a disaster.

However, I found the movie to be fairly good. I can certainly see why I loved it as a pre-teen. The decision to have Kong be so obviously infatuated with Jessica Lange is a strange one, for sure, and leads to a lot of scenes that involve Kong glaring at Lange and widening his eyes like the world's biggest pervert (literally, one supposes). He even tries to remove her top at one point, and while that may seem like a natural enough desire given the inescapable fact that Jessica Lange was, in 1976, hotter than broiled charcoal, I'm not sure it is believable from a ten-story-tall gorilla.

I always like seeing Jeff Bridges, and he's pretty good in this movie. Charles Grodin is pretty good, also, playing an oil prospector who will do anything to salvage his professional reputation. The music by John Barry is just what you'd expect from late-'70s Barry; that is, it sounds like James Bond music. Since I really like Barry Bond music (no baseball or steroid jokes, please), this is fine by me.

The special effects aren't too special by today's standards, but I've got to think that they were pretty fine in 1976. Keep in mind that this was before both "Star Wars" (which revolutionized effects in general) and "Superman" (which revolutionized blue screen effects specifically), and I think the blue screen and matte painting work looks good, considering. The gigantic Kong robot at the end is a piece a crap, though, and is wisely held to about half a second of screen time.
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