A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
Kong falls from the twin towers and he appears to be alive. However, his heart is failing, so it's replaced with an artificial one. All is well until he senses that there's a female Kong somewhere out there and escapes wreaking havoc.
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
An expedition of the "Petrox" company, is exploring in search of petrol. A strange island where they arrive is the home of a giant ape, King Kong, that is captured by the expedition in order to make money exhibiting it to the world. When in the U.S. the huge gorilla becomes restless, trying to return home... Written by
Seven different masks were created by Carlo Rambaldi, and molded by Rick Baker to convey various emotions. Separate masks were necessary, as there were too many cables and mechanics required for all the expressions to fit in one single mask. The masks were comprised of a plastic skull over which were placed artificial muscle groups activated by cables which entered the costume through Kong's feet, with the outer latex skins molded by Baker were placed over the top. The masks used hydraulics to provide movement, so much like the mechanical Kong and hands, the facial expressions were controlled by the team of operators working off-set with the control boards. To complete the look of a gorilla, Baker wore contact lenses, so his eyes would resemble that of a gorilla's. See more »
(at around 8 mins) During Wilson's slide projector presentation to the crew, he mentions the first photograph was taken in 1943. He then mentions the second photograph was taken "35 years later", which according to him was "2 weeks ago". 1943 plus 35 equals 1978 - some two years after this movie's actual cinematic release in 1976. See more »
OK, Boan, how much you got here?
About eighteen hundred.
Eighteen hundred? What's going on?
Hey, Mr. Bagley! Something's haywire. They only loaded me enough pipe to push one test hole. Less than two thousand feet.
Yeah, that'll be enough.
Are you kidding? On Bagatan, we didn't come until we were past twenty-six thousand feet.
You take my word, fellas. This hole proves out within two thousand, or it's a write-off.
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Opening credits prologue: SURABAYA INDONESIA See more »
"King Kong" was one of my all-time favorite movies when I was a teenager. It was the big 'event' movie of 1976 and showed on two screens in most multiplexes. It might have been the first movie to get that treatment. With a production cost of $24 million it was the most expensive movie ever made at that time.
Promotional material offered for sale dwarfed anything that had been done in that area before. A fast-food joint offered King Kong collectible glasses (I still have a set). And you could find posters, T-shirts and a 'Making Of King Kong' book.
I very much enjoyed 'King Kong' as a 17-year-old high school senior, but not so much later as an adult. The romance between Dwan and Jack seemed contrived once I got older. Other aspects of the film struck me as just dumb. Like the ship's radar being able to pick up Kong when he was walking around the island. Or the SUNNY aerial shot of the people walking on the allegedly fog-shrouded island. Or Jack's theory that the fog was produced not by a huge supply of crude oil near the surface, but by 'animal respiration.' As if King Kong's breathing caused the fog bank. Give me a break!
Yet there's something about movies one enjoyed as a youth that makes them special for the rest of one's life, no matter how bad they really are.
But 'King Kong' had it's good points, too. First of all, it was funny. Charles Grodin's portrayal of the greedy, desperate oil company executive is scenery-chewing at its best. For years after, I watched in vain for Grodin to play a similar character, but everything else he has done is nothing like his work in 'King Kong.' (Nothing as good either, I might add.)
Speaking of singular performances, you won't recognize René Auberjonois if your frame of reference is his work on 'Benson' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.' The voice he uses in 'King Kong' is nothing like the gravely voice we're used to hearing.
Jeff Bridges is perfect in the role of Jack Prescott. His long hair is a nice touch, although it probably turned off some of the older people in the theater. Jeff has a way with a sarcastic line that few actors can equal.
Jessica Lange comes off worse than any other actor in the film. Not because of her performance, which is fine, but because her character is an airhead who is only there to be protected (and rescued when that doesn't work) from Kong. The fact that her costumes were chosen for their ability to showcase her body and that her breasts are briefly visible when Kong undresses her has got to make the actress cringe nowadays when she thinks about this movie.
I'll close by noting that John Barry's score of 'King Kong' was terrific. Twenty-six years after the movie debuted and I can still remember the title tune.
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