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USA 1976
Directed by
John Guillermin
136 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars

King Kong (1976)

Producer Dino De Laurentiis's big-budget remake of Merian C. Cooper's humble 1933 film, will only be of interest to fans of Jessica Lange who makes her inauspicious film debut here and those who enjoy mid-70s tackiness of which there is plenty (Bridges and Lange are probably two of the least-suited actors one can imagine to play their parts).  The special effects won an Academy Award but needless to say they look very dated by today’s standards. The plot is basically the same as the original but Kong’s tragic demise occurs atop the twin towers of the World Trade Center, which, from a post 9/11 perspective gives the film and the story of human greed and arrogance a certain additional resonance

FYI: Rick Baker, who inhabits the gorilla suit here, returned to the fur for a reasonable 1998 Disney kid's reworking of the 1949 Merian C. Cooper film, Mighty Joe Young, itself a revisioning of the 1933 classic. Fans of bad cinema should also look out for There was Dino De Laurentiis's sequel to this film, King Kong Lives.




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