MOVIE REVIEWS

King Kong (1976)

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6/10 PG 02 hr 14 min
Wikipedia

December 17, 1976

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By talisencrw January 31, 2017

I had first seen the outstanding original of 'King Kong', still transcendent and captivating in its then-prescient use of special effects wizardry, then Sir Peter Jackson's recent remake, which was still extremely impressive. I had only heard horrible things about the 70's version, but I have come to admire Guillermin's films that I had watched, and look at that cast, so when I found the blu used, for a good price, I took a chance. It's definitely the runt of the litter, but is by no means a disaster. It's intriguing that they had originally wanted Joseph Sargent to direct with Peter Falk starring, and that Meryl Streep was considered for the role that eventually went to Jessica Lange. The changes they made to update Kong for the seventies were intriguing (as they wanted the script to be completely different from the Cooper/Schoedsack masterpiece), and I'm left curious, had Sir Peter Jackson chosen to make Kong a 21st-century schizoid apeman instead of doing a period piece, how that would have transpired. Even being Canadian, seeing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center made me wistfully nostalgic. The only part of the film that was excruciating to watch was when Kong is made to perform for the American Bicentennial festivities, and at the ending, I was curious how Lange got down from the rooftop of one of the towers so fast. The answer probably lies on the cutting room floor, and the editing was probably rushed for release date, so no one must have noticed...

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