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King Kong More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I wonder if there will ever be a remake that will be as loved as the first one

7/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
8 September 2004

The first "King Kong" is a classic. It's almost nearly impossible to make a good remake. One that was better than the first. Examples, "The Thing", "House on Haunted Hill", and "Thirteen Ghosts". Those were good remakes. They also surpased the first. This "King Kong" is almost there. It really is. I was impressed. They did of course change a few things. The effects are pretty cheesy, but so was the first one. What did you expect? I would recommend if you enjoyed the first "King Kong". Just to see what it was like. As a movie to watch again and again, I'd skip.

7/10

What do you think? In 2005, will it be Beauty that killed the beast? Again?

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

pales to the original, but is nostalgic in its own right...

6/10
Author: slavejuan (slavejuan@aol.com) from <sparrow, AZ>
6 January 2004

who'd ever thought this movie would become nostalgic, but in a way it has. the original is so classic that this remake always seemed simply: NOT AS GOOD!!! but time has passed, and with the CGI effects running rampant, it's nice to see a movie that relied on "human special effects". kong is a man in a costume, okay. but the movements within made by special effects maverick rick baker make him seem real enough - at least to garner some feeling for the poor doomed banana eater. and the model sets look pretty good too, especially of the giant wall surrouding the tribal village. for kong's size, and how he really seems bigger than everything else, it really gives you the impression, on the island scenes anyhow, that kong is definitly king. the first half of the movie is great. a terrific lead up. the boat journey is very entertaining. jeff bridges gives an awesomely eerie speech to the sailors and to the main bad guy, an oil monger played by the classic charles grodin, about the legend of the island that they are about to embark. and jessica lange - by LORD!!! she was, at that time, the prettiest woman ever; and a great actress too. playing an airhead isnt as easy as it seems; that is, a lesser actress would seem all to fitting in this role, making people think: "She's not a good actress, she's just being herself." lange brings out the damsel in distress very nicely. she's more of a loose modern woman than faye wray - that is, she's somewhat of a loose lucy - but then again it was made in the liberal 70's as opposed to 1933. & speaking of the 70s, some dating shows here since jeff bridges is an environmentalist hippie type. his long hair and beard makes him look like a warewolf in that about-to-change-into-a-moon-crooner transitional stage. (if you wanted to see his hippie character Lebowski from THE BIG LEBOWSKI as a young man, this movie is worth viewing) but he's very good in the role and quite believable, and that whole environmental slant works well with the plot. charles grodin is hilarious. sure he's the bad guy, but for the first hour you cant help but to like him. his dead pan delivery is great, as usual. he brings a fine mellow likeableness to the bad guy role. there's some funny lines too, made for audiences at that time who, sitting in the theater, anticipating the giant ape, know exactly what's to come. grodin, when he gets out of the small boat onto the island says, "We might get eaten alive here", then turns to his friend and says, "Bring the mosquito spray." and lange, before going on the same boat to reach the island, says to bridges about grodin: "Do you think he's the one? My horoscope says I'm in crossover waters and will meet the biggest person in my life". those kind of lines are catered right at the audience, and it is done well - not seeming forced. the second part of the film (the film has three like the original), after kong gets his gal and takes her on the island "honeymoon", is just okay. there's some great action scenes herein, but it lacks very much what the original had with the dinosaurs and all that great stuff. there's a snake in one scene that looks like it was made from paper machee for a third grade project. the face of the snake resembles michael keaton's face in BEETLEJUICE when he turned into a serpent, but the effects are... well... kind of lame compared to the original - back in a time when special effects were just beginning. the third part of the movie is the worst. the picture pretty much falls apart in new york. it is very sad to see the World Trade Center, but it was somewhat clever, at that time, using these two buildings to remind kong of two thin mountains back on the island. but the whole part lacks something. lange and bridges having a drink in a dusty tavern while kong is out killing new yorkers is kind of lame. and the end scene when kong reaches the top of the buildings is a big letdown, being that it was the best part of the original, that is, the plane vs. kong battle, which is reduced to a seven minute fight scene of kong vs. a couple GI JOE toy helicopters. all in all, this movie isnt that bad. it is nostalgic in its own way. the special effects remind me of SUPERMAN, being that that movie had the same producer. the effects arent perfect but they stand up pretty good today. because I'm not the only one who thinks that the almighty CGI is anything but allmighty. sure it looks great at times, but let's face it, no matter how good it looks, it just ain't ACTUAL!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Campy, but not a total disaster...

5/10
Author: gridoon
10 November 2001

This ambitious remake of the 1933 classic is neither as bad nor as good as you may have heard from many different sources. It's just kind of "average". In its first hour, about the only thing that keeps it going is Jessica Lange's gorgeousness (she has a superbly well-defined figure, which is very often exposed). Then, the pace picks up and the special effects take over, but they are variable in quality; sometimes Kong looks awesome, just like he should, but other scenes don't work at all (the low points are his fight with a rubber snake and a scene at the end where Lange supposedly "touches" his bleeding body). What I disliked most of all here were the moments of campiness (Kong grinning leeringly to Lange, Lange calling him a "big chauvinist ape"). But it's fairly entertaining, and the last 20 minutes are now historically important, too - for obvious reasons. (**)

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, campy fun

7/10
Author: Hessian499 from Pittsburgh, PA
7 October 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers below!

King Kong never quite reaches the high water mark the original 1933 movie did, but it is quite good on its own merits. The special effects of the guy in the ape suit are not spectacular as others have mentioned, but are fairly well done and by 1976 standards quite good. The acting is also good, especially the debut of a young Jessica Lange.

One drawback of the movie is that it takes a rather liberal slant, and while this in itself is not a bad thing it would have played better in 1968 than in 1976. Jack Prescott is basically a hippie who just happens to be a scientist; he seems outdated in a film in the mid-1970s. Grodin plays the leader of the expedition, and comes across as more dangerous than King Kong in his ruthless quest to find oil. The liberal, questioning tone does not damage the film that much, but it does make it a little less fun than the original.

A lot of things are copied from the original 1933 King Kong, however; not only the plot line itself but some smaller points as well. Jessica Lange and Fay Wray both portray down on their luck actresses who end up on the ship mostly by luck or fate; when kidnapped by the natives off the ship, both rip a necklace from one of warriors which leads to the sailors going ashore to rescue them. Both the original Kong and the 1976 version shake exactly four sailors off a log bridge in the jungle. There are many other similarities as well, and it is interesting to watch both versions of the film to find them.

While not close to being the classic the original film was, the 1976 version of King Kong is definitely worth watching. When you realize that it is not trying to top the 1933 film, you'll relax and enjoy it for its own good points.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Beauty Did indeed kill this savage beast

10/10
Author: PORTCITYPOET31407 from United States
8 October 2005

Dwan what a charmer, like Faye Wray, well ALMOST like Faye Wray. She holds over the beasts being total absolute sway Atop the dual phallouses that sadly are no more. The Queen Begs Don't LET ME GO! But he knows what is is store. Is his own gargantuan simian way as tears fills his giant eyes He seems to know in his giant heart that he is going to die. "O beautiful queen, I will die, before you I let them kill. You have, my heart with total joy given such great fill." And man with his instruments of destruction go after the kings beautiful head. The king falls off the palace top and on the street lays dead. His beautiful queens weeps bitterly for her king is no more. She was a regent in his eyes. And never was the whore.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

best film ever

10/10
Author: howard nicholson from rochdale, uk
4 July 2004

surely in these days of over produced CGI nonsense this film stands head and shoulders above what was filmed before it. i know that its a man in a monkey suit but i still feel sorry for kong when he is ruefully shot from the top of the WTC. i admit it after all these years i still get a tear in my eye every time he pushes jessica lange away from him just has hes about to take another round from the helicopters. all in all if i had a choice between this film and any Oscar winning borefest id know which one i would choose, this film without a doubt its got horror romance suspense a tiny bit of comedy everything that you could wish for in a film i would like to give this film 10 out of 10, if you disagree its up to you but while you're getting sick of matrix -u-likes this film will be spinning gleefully around in my DVD player for many a year to come.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The Best Version Of King Kong

Author: StuOz
15 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A giant ape is found.

Seen in my 1970s childhood and watched more recently, this is THE version of King Kong to me, I have seen most of the other versions but they just don't compare to this grand epic.

The casting, the special effects (with a Land Of The Giants-look at times), the script, the lavish music score, the photography, the Twin Towers...it is all here!

But having said all this, King Kong (1976) is not a film I often return to with repeat viewings as the ending is just so depressing. In fact, next to Escape From The Planet The Planet Of The Apes (1971), Kong might have the most depressing film ending ever seen in a sci- fi/disaster film. Enjoy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hail Disco Kong!

7/10
Author: NutzieFagin from United States
1 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ahhh the 70's!! Most people disdain the 70's but I grew up in the decade and the movies have fond memories for me. One film I remember was the 1976 remake, King Kong.

When news came out about the film, it was heavily touted and publicized. Of course everyone has seen the classic Fay Wray original, can a remake be better? well....yes...and no...

This film marked the debut of Jessica Lange and launched her on an acting career. Previously she was a model and heard a casting call for a part for a blond actress for the part of Kong's hapless mate. It was said that they were seriously considering Barbara Striesand (oy vey) for the role. But rumor had it that Babs was VERY demanding so they decided to go with an unknown for the part.

Some imaginative special effects are used but by comparison with today's technology, they are considered to be pretty lame. There are major plot changes since the film is set in modern times. First, the gas shortages or "Energy Crisis" was alive and well during this time. So it is not surprising that an oil company is made the primary villain in the 70's Kong. Also the environmental movement was starting out and the character of Jack was influenced by it.

Much was published that the "New" World Trade Center was picked as the building which Kong would make his famous climb on. Looking at it now and seeing films from the past 911 tragedy still gives me a little chill and a sorrow for past days.

However, all and all, despite the God forsaken cheesy script, the mechanical gorilla arms etc... I would recommend King Kong 1976 as a popcorn guilty pleasure or cult film. Just see it--like all monster films it is pure fantasy magic.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's not that bad.

7/10
Author: swedzin from Deadwood
8 October 2012

I don't usually like remakes, but for this one, I'll make an exception. As you know... the 1933 original version was really something special, something amazing, and how do you expect for remake to beat it. It can't, it's impossible. But this film, it has something solid in it. After 43 years later, this film has some particular details from the original version (original was powerful even back then). The idea about "beauty and beast" is more distinctive than before (because in the original, the leading lady was scared and only did screaming) and it was set in the 70s for some necessary reason and I think that worked well.

John Guillermin did a solid job on this film, but I think that the edge lies within adorable Jessica Lange (who plays the bride of Kong), she was for reason chosen for the role, because her beauty and acting talent were immense for this version. Now, other actors... Jeff Bridges (who plays an primate paleontologist Jack), he did a good job, but some reason... I could not stop laughing, every time I see him, because he reminds me of a Dude Lebowski :D. So that's what Dude did before some leaked at his rug... Charles Grodin as a wealthy oil company business, he was good at his terrain John Randolph and Rene Auberjonois were also good, and to mention bit parts like Julius Harris (the deep voiced, menacing dude, who played Bond villain Tee Hee), Jack O'Halloran (the superman enemy Non) and always supporting actor Ed Lauter, who was good.

Now, for the Kong... this time it was a guy in the suit, who walked over a large forest models and for some scenes, they used a large hands and feet, which was a good usage for that time, (they also did that in original, but here felt much more better) and they also edited Kong's face on a large screen for most close-up scenes between lady and the ape. The ending brought as again in New York, where they planned to use Kong as a oil company mascot, but he didn't liked... and guess what... OK, I am not gonna spoil anything here, but you know what happens on the end. Overall, nice filming location, nice visuals, nice cinematography and nice score from John Barry. Enjoy this film. And, honestly... I like this remake more than 2005 remake...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not a min-ging kong !

7/10
Author: simonrosenbaum from New Malden, England
10 January 2010

This is not nearly as bad as you expect from it's reputation. I kept waiting for it to turn bad and it does slightly in the last 15 minutes but up to then it had been a highly entertaining engrossing action movie. Jessica Lange in her debut performance was pretty good only faltering a little at the end. I thought the monkey effects were a lot more impressive (and expressive) than I was expecting and totally acceptable for a 1976 made film. Maybe we've been a little spoilt seeing so many computer generated effects films in the last 20 years. Having John Barry compose the score is always a good way to make a film seem special and here he delivers another memorable score that certainly adds to the pleasure of watching the film. (7/10)

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