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King Kong (1976)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 18,762 users  
Reviews: 200 user | 73 critic

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

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Title: King Kong (1976)

King Kong (1976) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Capt. Ross
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Julius Harris ...
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Jorge Moreno ...
Mario Gallo ...
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Chinese Cook
Garry Walberg ...
Army General
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City Official
Keny Long ...
Ape Masked Man
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | gorilla | king kong | oil | ape | See All (79) »

Taglines:

The most exciting original motion picture event of all time.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Kong: The Legend Reborn  »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$52,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2 part television premiere)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Lange's screen test consisted of three scenes:
  • Dwan's discovery in the life raft by the Petrox crew


  • Dwan convincing Fred Wilson to let her join the crew on the island


  • Dwan throwing her fit and hitting Kong in the nose, which was a pillow positioned above the camera at the time.


See more »

Goofs

During Kong's final battle, soldiers with flamethrowers fire at him from the opposite tower of the World Trade Center. A matte painting is used to depict the building and the streets far below. When Kong causes a massive explosion, dispatching the soldiers, the bright light of the practically-created fireball somehow swamps the matte, revealing the ground beyond the "roof's" edge and obliterating the "street lights." Also, it is clear that the fireball originates from devices concealed in the roof's edge, rather than from the flamethrower. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Night Court: Monkey Business (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the great movies of my youth
3 August 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"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.


64 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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