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I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005)

This documentary explores the incredible life of Merian C. Cooper, from his time as a soldier and pilot in three different wars, to his exploits in Hollywood, as a director, producer and cinematic innovator.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Merian C. Cooper ...
Himself (archive footage) (archive sound)
David Strohmaier ...
Himself - Interviewee
James D'Arc ...
Himself - Interviewee
Himself (archive footage)
Paul M. Jensen ...
Himself - Interviewee
Ted Curtis Jr. ...
Himself - Interviewee
Herbert Hoover ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself - Interviewee
Carl Denham (archive footage)
Jack Driscoll (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage) (archive sound)
Himself (archive footage)
Marguerite Harrison ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself - Interviewee


A chronological celebration of the life and contributions to movies of Merian C. Cooper (1893-1973), adventurer turned filmmaker. Tossed from the Naval Academy and wanting to make his father proud, he becomes a bomber pilot in World War I, assists the Polish resistance, escapes from a Soviet prison, and becomes a documentary filmmaker. He brings his camera close to stampeding elephants and lunging tigers. With "King Kong," he used stop-motion animation. Other innovations include his use of aviation in movie making and his embrace of Technicolor and Cinemascope. Archival interviews of Cooper and his partner, Monty Schoedsack, add to the soundtrack. Talking heads also comment. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

3 September 2005 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary was released on DVD in the King Kong (1933) Two-Disc Special Edition the same day it was aired on Turner Classic Movies, Nov. 22 2005. See more »

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User Reviews

Fun Look at Cooper's Life
6 January 2012 | by See all my reviews

I'm King Kong! The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Here's yet another wonderful documentary from Turner Classic Movies that is co-directed by the one and only Kevin Brownlow. The film tells the rather wild and unbelievable story of producer-director-maverick-war hero-adventurer Merian C. Cooper who is best remembered today for bringing KING KONG to the big screen. Alec Baldwin narrates and we get interviews with Rudy Behlmer, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Bob Burns, Paul M. Jensen, James D'Arc, Faye Wray, James Karen and Harry Carey, Jr.. We start off hearing about Cooper's early life and how thinking he disappointed his family led to a rather incredible life where he cheated death several times. We hear about him being reported dead in WW1 and the amazing story of survival. From here we learn about the creation of some of his documentaries (GRASS and CHANG) and then we get into the production of KING KONG and how no studio in Hollywood wanted to make it. From here we follow Cooper as he gets involved in WWII, begins working with John Ford and eventually doing MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and introducing Cinerama. While watching this film it's rather amazing to see what type of life Cooper lived. It's amazing to see how many times he should have died and how many of his own life experiences ended up in all of his movies. The film historians do a great job at telling the story and getting to hear from those who personally knew Cooper was also a major plus. Fans of his films are certainly going to want to check this out but more important is just those interesting in seeing how much this man actually did.

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