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Latest Member: paulbb69 Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  King Kong (1976) « previous next »
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Author Topic: King Kong (1976)  (Read 31749 times)
The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2007, 03:52:41 PM »

I admit that my style of reviewing is more or less to simply recap what happens, because I feel that the events in the film(s) speak for themselves, although there are occasions where I offer my own personal opinion about why something works or doesn't work. I write my recaps this way because I, personally, don't normally read movie reviews to be told the opinion of the author; I just wanna know what happens, so I give what I prefer to get, basically. In the case of something like King Kong, though, I did have a lot of thoughts and opinions I wanted to get across, but I left those at the beginning of the review before launching into the actual recap, due to the fact that I dislike interrupting the flow of the plot by interjecting my own commentary.

This all stems from me, personally, not only not minding spoilers but also liking them on occasion. Some people find this really weird, and impossible to understand, but the fact is I just don't like going into a movie without knowing what's going to happen. And whether or not people share my feelings on this matter, I still make the primary aim of my reviews to simply tell people what happens in the film(s) so they can decide whether or not they want to go see what it is I'm describing. All my recaps are therefore very spoiler-heavy, and I'm sorry if this upsets people or bores them; I do try to recap the story in as entertaining a fashion as possible.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 03:57:35 PM by Kooshmeister » Logged
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2007, 04:09:14 PM »

I admit that my style of reviewing is more or less to simply recap what happens, because I feel that the events in the film(s) speak for themselves, although there are occasions where I offer my own personal opinion about why something works or doesn't work. I write my recaps this way because I, personally, don't normally read movie reviews to be told the opinion of the author; I just wanna know what happens, so I give out what I prefer to get basically. In the case of something like King Kong, though, I had a lot of thoughts and opinions, but I left those at the beginning of the review before launching into the actual recap, due to the fact that I dislike interrupting the flow of the plot by interjecting my own commentary.

To me, your statement makes me want to look at the review again and see it more from your point of view. Although I don't care for long recaps, I think that your viewpoint is well stated, and perhaps may even be a good preface to your recaps to give the reader a little insight as to how and why you are looking, or telling about the movie in a particular way.

Even though I don't care for long recaps as reviews, they do serve a, what I consider, necessary purpose in providing a reference. Sometimes, say like in a 'what is this movie' moment, a review won't provide the information someone is looking to find, but an extensive recap will. I don't read recaps often, but they do come in handy when I need them.

Thank you for the reply.
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2007, 05:44:59 PM »

Jessica Lange was so freaking hot back in the day,  she's about the only thing this version of King Kong has going for it.

"There is no way out of here. It'll be dark soon. There is no way out of here."
Bill C.
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« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2007, 08:15:48 AM »

Wait, there was the exploding railway car, and Jeff Bridges' hair, and the SOB who ended up as just a hat smooshed into the concrete...

No, Torgo's right.  Jessica Lange's hotness (vapid though it kind of was) and the decent John Barry score just might be the only redeeming factors about this movie...
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Pathetic Earthlings

« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2007, 05:13:15 PM »

Well crap how did I miss this debate? ....  Question Far be it from me to avoid an opportunity to stir the pot.  TongueOut

Well for my $0.02 like it matters now ... the recap/review/novel what ever you want to call it is too long for me. I perfer something I can read in a couple of minutes or so. A recap as it's being called leaves nothing to see in the movie, so whats the point? I didn't even bother reading it as I could see the movie in less time.

Just my opinion, and that's all it is, is an opinion. If that's what you like, go for it. I perfer capsuled reviews I can scan in a few minutes. If you like recaps, then read them, not my perferred choice.

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« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2007, 09:35:13 AM »

When I was younger, I always thought that Jessica Lange was supposed to get eaten by King Kong, which is probably what the villagers were intending. Between this, Dragnet, and the end of Clash of the Titans, I had this weird fascination with human sacrifice. Needless to say, many of my action figures were ceremonially sacrificed to an angry swimming pool god.  Lookingup
« Last Edit: February 14, 2007, 09:57:21 AM by Fausto » Logged

"When I die, I hope you will use my body creatively." - Shin Chan

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The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2007, 04:09:36 PM »

Okay, here's the short version of the review for all of you people complaining about how ungodly long the first version was. :)

Name of the Movie: King Kong (1976)
Rated: PG
Rating: 4 slimes

Dwan - Jessica Lange! Her name used to be "Dawn," but she changed it to Dwan for reasons never really gone into. Found adrift in a life raft.
Jack Prescott - Jeff Bridges! Jack is a primate paleontologist, and a scruffy hippie-ish one at that. Pines for Dwan but finds intense competition from a giant ape.
Fred Wilson - Charles Grodin! Abrasive, greedy, and outright stupid executive of the almighty Petrox Corporation. Squashed.
Captain Ross - John Randolph! The wise old captain of the Petrox Explorer.
Carnahan - Ed Lauter! Ross' irritable first mate. Does a fatal bellyflop off a log bridge and into a deep chasm.
Roy Bagley - Rene Auberjonois! Roy is (apparently) a geologist and is the only person in the world Fred Wilson can be considered friends with.
Joe Perko, Boan, Garcia, and Timmons - Some of the ship's crew. Most of them die when Kong shakes them off the log.
King Kong - Rick Baker! The real star of the movie, a giant gorilla with a real short temper. Machine-gunned by army helicopters, he swan-dives off the Twin Towers.

The Petrox Corporation has learned that there may be oil wells on a newly-discovered island somewhere in the South Pacific, an island eternally wreathed in fog and concealed from view for hundreds of years. It was only found by accident, when a N.A.S.A. spy satellite went off course and photographed it by mistake (how's that for a coinky-dink?). Petrox executive Fred Wilson spearheads an expedition to the island to search for the oil, in order for Petrox to get ahead of its competitors in the current (at the time anyway) Oil Crisis. Unknown to anyone, though, primate paleontologist and Princeton professor Jack Prescott has stowed away aboard their ship, the Petrox Explorer, and he has very different reasons for wanting to visit the island, as he reveals when he makes his presence known during a speech Wilson is giving about the island to the ship's crew. It seems that Wilson's island may not be as undiscovered as he thinks, as Jack recounts a variety of prior discoveries of the island by various other countries throughout the years, all of which have been hushed up. He is aware, though, of a cryptic message written on the life boat of one of the ships that ran aground there: "From thy wedding to the beast who touches heaven, lady, God preserve thee."

As interesting as Jack's stories are, Wilson becomes very angry when he discovers he is a stowaway. Proving to be an extremely paranoid fellow, Wilson believes Jack is actually a spy from a rival oil company, and orders him locked up in the brig. But while Jack is being forcibly escorted thus by a pair of sailors, he happens to glance something on the horizon which turns out to be a life raft containing Dwan, a beautiful woman in an evening gown. She is unconscious, so the crew bring her aboard and put her in Captain Ross' cabin. Since no one else has any medical experience, Wilson lets Jack out of clink and agrees to let him be a part of the expedition after all, if he'll try and help Dwan. He does, and when she comes to, she tells her story. Turns out she's an aspiring actress who was aboard a friend's yacht when a storm hit. As far as she knows, she's the sole survivor. The journey to the island continues, with Dwan and Jack becoming fast friends and starting to fall in love, etc., and then, finally, we arrive at the dang island and Jack, Dwan, and Wilson lead a landing party ashore. They quickly discover some pools of what might be oil, and that there are natives living on the island, and the chief, wearing a gorilla costume, sees Dwan and tries to buy her from the Petrox party. When Wilson refuses, the natives attack the group, but are driven back by gunfire. The landing party retreats to the ship.

As in the original, the natives won't take no for an answer and that night they sneak out to the Petrox Explorer and kidnap Dwan, although one of them accidentally drops his bracelet. When Jack finds said jewelry on the deck of the ship and Dwan nowhere to be seen, he quickly realizes what happened and alerts the others. A rescue operation is mounted. Meanwhile, Dwan, dressed in native ceremonial attire, is tied between two pillars on the other side of a gigantic wall that separates the native village from the rest of the island. This goes about the way you'd expect: King Kong, played here by special effects guru Rick Baker in suit (but a good one, no matter what anyone says) and takes Dwan away. Jack takes First Mate Carnahan and some of the Petrox Explorer's crew and sets off into the jungle after Kong to try and save Dwan. Ironically, she may not actually need saving, as it turns out, because despite a rocky start where she keeps trying to run away, enraging Kong, she and Kong soon become fast friends and he even gives her a bath by holding her underneath a waterfall. Jack, Carnahan, and their party catch up to Kong at a gorge bridged by a huge fallen log. Kong rolls the log, sending Carnahan and the men to their deaths, but Jack survives and continues after Kong.

He's able to whisk Dwan away when Kong becomes preoccuied fighting with a giant python (which was originally supposed to appear earlier and attack Jack and Carnahan's party, but the scene got cut). Kong kills the snake and chases after the two lovebirds, determined to reclaim Dwan. But what none of them know, however, is that in the meantime, Wilson has been up to no good. You see, the "oil" seen earlier turned out to be no good, and, faced with the utter failure of the expedition, Wilson has hatched a maniacal scheme to capture Kong and use him as Petrox's mascot. So when Kong chases Dwan and Jack back to the village, they accidentally lead the big ape right into Wilson's trap, and Kong is subdued by a buttload of chloroform. Following a tense and awkward return trip to the States, Kong is put on display at Shea Stadium in New York City, during which Dwan participates in a phony re-enactment of the native ritual from the island, and is "offered" to the chained Kong. Needless to say, Kong very shortly thereafter escapes, causing a panic. He kills Wilson by stomping on him, destroys an elevated train, and eventually recaptures Dwan. The army is called in, and they pursue Kong to the World Trade Center. Boxed in with nowhere else to go, Kong, Dwan in hand, climbs up one of the Twin Towers...

I'm one of this movie's few fans, I'll go ahead and say that. King Kong 1976 is a movie that I feel is often unjustly panned by people. I first saw the movie in the early 90s (I'm unsure precisely when) and I remember being initially disappointed that there were no dinosaurs, only a hokey giant python. However about two years ago I was inspired to revisit the film when I read online all the really awful things everyone says about it. I remembered being upset about no dinosaurs, but that was my only problem with the movie. Surely it couldn't be as bad as everyone said it was. Luckily the local video store had it for rent and I gave it another whirl as soon as I got home. I found it to be a little slow in parts with some hammy acting but otherwise surprisingly not that bad. Since then, I've become a defender of the film whenever people start going off on it, and I have never, ever understood the sheer hatred people seem to have for it.

-An island can remain undiscovered for hundreds of years, if properly hidden by perpetual fog.
-Excess carbon dioxide is caused by giant gorilla breath
-Horoscopes really work!
-Never shoot at giant apes while standing on a log bridge over a bottomless chasm.
-Giant apes are naturally attracted to blonde human women.
-Anything certified by the New York City government is worthless.
-Chloroform gas clouds only affect giant apes.

00:46:38 - So, is Dwan drugged or what?
00:47:57 - Okay, Ape Mask Guy is really freaking me out...
00:53:50 - The big reveal, Kong does his thing.
01:09:54 - Boy, I hope for her sake his breath doesn't stink.
01:14:20 - White sailors die; token black sailor lives.
01:30:03 - So why isn't the chloroform knocking them all out?
01:21:30 - Kong, you perv!
01:44:59 - "Great was the fear and trembling?" Oy...
01:57:07 - Hey, it's John Agar!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 04:16:55 PM by Kooshmeister » Logged
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2007, 09:03:40 PM »

Now since when did this thread become a discussion about the movie King Kong? TongueOut

Joking aside, it is actually a shame that this got derailed into a discussion about anything else, and I am as much to blame, perhaps even more, than anybody else.

I think I have statement or two (ahem) about how I feel about long recaps. I do feel, as I have mentioned, that they do serve a necessary purpose in providing a reference for films that a review will not provide. Even though I don't like long recaps, generally, I would like to say that, when I do get around to actually reading them, Kooshmeister, in addition to providing a recap of the film, also provides an input of his feelings toward the film; not just in saying it, but in the way he writes about the different parts as I can get how he feels about a movie from the way he descibes thing, not to mention that he provides some humor here and there as well.

Kooshmeister is not alone in liking this movie; just in admitting that he likes it TongueOut.


I remember having seen the poster for this movie before it was released when I was in junior high; I was at the drive-in taking in a showing of Too Hot To Handle and Tender Loving Care (ahem).

I wanted to see the movie, but missed out on seeing it when it was released. However, I did luck out as it was shown on television (maybe two or three years later) in an extended version split between two nights.

I enjoyed the movie; and no, Kooshmeister was not there holding a gun to my head.

It has been a while since I have seen it, so I don't know what my reaction would be to it today. I did, however, in comparison with the original, like the more sympathetic treatment of Kong.

In the original, Kong's death seemed celebrated as the beast having fallen to the beauty without concern for what had happened to the city or any feeling of responsibility by those responsible for it.

The 76 version plays on the element of greed going too far in trying to rape nature and society and nature both suffering for it (my opinion only). Don't get me wrong, Kong caused countless deaths and destruction and had to be stopped at any cost to him, but Kong was not the one who caused it, and he truly put his foot on the problem.

Various little tidbits I recall about the film (they may or may not be in the theatrical version) include: Dwan having been saved by the movie Deep Throat, being that the crew of the ship she was on were occupied with watching it and she lwft their company because she did not care for it; and that the oil was essentially immature, needing only a geologic 'tick of the clock' (oh, about 10,000 years) to be useful as a petroleum interest.

I liked the final battle between Kong and the copters more than the original battle between Kong and the planes. The stand-off atop the twin towers was more of an edge of your seat moment which, in a certain way, not only was a battle between a giant ape, but in some ways was symbolic of the ecological awareness alive in the 70s showing a vibrant force of nature against an encroachment of modern technology. Of course, there is also the simpler translation: big ape versus helicopters; helicopters 1, big ape 0.

Just a few passing thoughts on the original subject of this thread and a thank you to Kooshmeister for sharing his thoughts on it and bringing back some memories.
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« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2007, 04:45:06 PM »

Menard's tidbits are correct. I don't remember where I picked them up, I am presuming the theatrical film, but I remember those two tidbits as well.
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2007, 11:31:24 PM »

When I first stumbled into the review forum here, I couldn't believe that the KING KONG review had generated a staggering 38 replies. Buggedout 

Personally I like the more lengthy Jabootu-esque cinemautopsies just as much as the quick pithy reviews here.(a Gemini thing or somethin) Like my competing obsessions of Abraham Lincoln, zombies, the Third Reich, Jesus movies and Philip Glass all comes down to balance.  A little of this, then a little of that.

I liked Kooshmeisters re(view, cap)..both long and short.  Very funny and covered many thoughts I've had over the years.  For myself, I love the film(and the original and Jackson's testament to good theatre seat cushioning), and I believe that comes from opera(I know, WTF!?!, right?) Being a Wagner fan, I have to appreciate multiple takes on the same core story.  It's a damn requirement in the "Ring" racket.

It's been sad at times to see the film dismissed so out of hand, so I can appreciate Koosh's frustration.  For new viewers today, it comes with so much baggage, it tends to create  presumptions that seem just as misapplied and damaging as the expectations from the superlative hysteria that usually accompanies someone watching CITIZEN KANE for the first time.
(Woo hoo..I did it..I tied Guillerman's KING KONG to CITIZEN KANE in a serious point...well that's another personal best TeddyR )

I can vividly recall seeing this in a packed theater as a kid with my dad. Since I was all of seven years of age. I naturally thought the movie was flat out awesome. In years since I have come to realize that the film is lacking in several areas, but since I am who I have always been (channeling Kosh it seems - who gets that reference?) and am a devoted lover of all monsters and cinematic beasties, I still like the 76' version quite a bit.

Same age here, same impression here.  I even had this ridiculous magic silly-straw thing where as you sucked the fluid up the tube, Kong slid up the straw between two towers!

I think De Laurentis was making films for us at exactly that age.  The problem is he kept making them for 7 year old me, but I continued to get older. Bluesad

That's my driver's license picture....I hate that picture!"
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2007, 11:17:45 AM »

Different writing styles for different people.  The reviews that I write, they fit me.  Ken, Albert, and Kooshmeister like to do all of their work in the plot section and cover most of the film.  With the latter, you can start to notice the trends, like certain groups always wearing trenchcoats or that the person in charge of sets liked blinking lights.  Watching the film, you will notice the crazy fishbowl in the background, because Ken told you about it and talked about how strange or out of place it was.

Besides, everyone using the same review style would be a bit tedious.  With the variation of writers, you can get everything from detailed observations to capsules, with lots of ground in between.
In effect, Andrew writes "Short storys", Ken Begg does Tolstoy.

"Aggressivlly eccentric, and proud of it!"
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2007, 11:40:42 PM »

    How can you go wrong with this movie?

    Sexpot "Dwan" winds up on a boat full of  Thumbup

    Jeff Bridges - too intense for the role IMO. And damn, shave that shag! Thumbdown

    Kong is scary! Especially the way his eyes get all buggy when he's bathing Dwan under the waterfall  Thumbup

    Grodin rocks! "There is a girl out there who might be running for her life from some gigantic turned-on ape." Thumbup

    Me like when Kong steps on "tiny town" and throws woman from subway Thumbup

    Apes make good blow dryers for the gal on the go! Thumbup

    The scale of the wall had more of an impact in expressing the isolation of the villagers than the original  Thumbup

    "That's not a hole you fell it. It's a footprint"  Thumbup

    Splendid Scenery and a real boat! No computer generated water to be found! Thumbup

    If oil supply runs low it's always good to know you can use the tank in the ship to store giant gorillas.  Thumbup

    Yep, this film oozed sex. Even the tribesman who was seducing Dwan in the ceremony was Clearly the director made this film with the intent to turn everybody on: man,woman and ape.

The log scene was scary to me, but not as effective as the original. Kong was more likable in this film. And he moved slow - which I like. Obviously they were limited with their effects and robot kong but while the new king kong is FUN with it's effects, animals that by the laws of nature cannot move that fast. yup yup yup

My folks had an awesome VHS collection growing up and this was one of the films i used to watch over and over. I own it on DVD. Yeah, it can be long but it's a good saturday afternoon kinda film

And again - CHARLES GRODIN! he totally made the film with all his witty lines, all the way until his squishy demise. You gotta admire the man who grabs opportunity the balls, in seeking his fame and fortune in oil and finding out it must age a few more million years, why not exploit a giant monkey to be their mascot?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 11:56:25 PM by Susan » Logged
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