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King Kong (1976)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy, Horror  |  17 December 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 21,276 users  
Reviews: 207 user | 74 critic

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.



(as James Creelman) , , 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jorge Moreno ...
Chinese Cook
Garry Walberg ...
Army General
City Official
Keny Long ...
Ape Masked Man


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 <lcarvach@lascar.puc.cl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | gorilla | king kong | oil | ape | See All (81) »


The most exciting original motion picture event of all time.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Kong: The Legend Reborn  »

Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)


$52,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (television)

Sound Mix:


(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fay Wray was offered a cameo role but turned it down because she didn't like the script. See more »


(at around 1h 22 mins) When Kong is 'fighting' the giant snake, if you look closely, the snake is still the entire time, and the only time it moves is when Kong moves it around himself. It is quite obviously fake. See more »


[first lines]
Joe Perko: OK, Boan, how much you got here?
Boan: About eighteen hundred.
Joe Perko: Eighteen hundred? What's going on?
Boan: There's Bagley.
Joe Perko: Hey, Mr. Bagley! Something's haywire. They only loaded me enough pipe to push one test hole. Less than two thousand feet.
Roy Bagley: Yeah, that'll be enough.
Boan: Are you kidding? On Bagatan, we didn't come until we were past twenty-six thousand feet.
Roy Bagley: You take my word, fellas. This hole proves out within two thousand, or it's a write-off.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: SURABAYA INDONESIA See more »


Referenced in No 73: Ding-Dong (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Definately has its moments
23 May 2003 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

In an era when many hollywood blockbusters are criticised for an over-reliance on sophisticated special effects to the detriment of everything else, this poorly remembered remake stands as a cautionary example of what can happen when a basically decent film gets let down by low-tech back up.

Producer Dino De Laurentis both cheated and deceived his audience here; selling the film on the hype of a state of the art full-size hydraulic ape that would re-define the effects landscape. Instead, what we got was the tired old fallback of the man in a monkey suit waddling bow-legged around some highly unconvincing sets.

Its such a shame because this film actually has a lot going for it. The screenplay is sprightly, good-humoured and faithful to the original while updating it with some then topical issues like fuel crises, feminism and even pornography. The makers also have a whale of a time with endless phallic imagery and self-referential quips more common to movies of the 90s than 70s.

The characters are far more quirky and idiosynchratic than you normally get in this sort of fare; a hippie academic, a star-struck, dipsy blonde and a buttoned-up corporate shark. Lange has gone on to become one of the most honoured and respected actresses of her generation, yet her career almost died right here. She was actually so good at playing the shallow, D-list airhead that critics and public alike thought it a reflection of her real self and dismissed her out of hand. Yet looking at her performance in hindsight she just oozes skill and star quality.

The film hardly puts a foot wrong until Kong appears. The production is smooth, the photography impressive, the locations superb and the story and characters engaging. But a fantasy adventure stands and falls by the suspension of disbelief achieved at the crucial moment. The first act of the 1933 Kong drags interminably until the King himself appears - then it soars. The reverse happens here; Rick Baker turns up in his ape suit, knocking down plastic trees and fighting a big rubber snake and the spell is shattered - in fact it was never even cast. The problem is also compounded by the screenplay's only serious error; making Kong sympathetic and pitiable far too early. The original Kong was always awesome and scary, even when he began to become sympathetic. Here he is just a bit too likeable, to quickly.

That the film remains just about watchable after this point is a testament to the performers and the strength of the story, but ultimately this effort has to go down as a missed opportunity to make a quality remake of a legendary film. Lets hope Peter Jackson doesn't make the same mistake next time round. You can't imagine him getting the film visually wrong, but it would be ironic indeed if he fell into the modern malaise of neglecting other key elements like story and character. Indeed, he could do worse than give the first hour of this movie a peek before he puts pen to paper.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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