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Awesome: 18.18%
Worth A Look30.91%
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Pretty Crappy: 25.45%
Sucks: 5.45%

2 reviews, 43 user ratings

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King Kong (1976)
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by John Smith

4 stars

Worth watching if only to see the Twin Towers in all their glory, this monster flick from the golden age of the glamourous disaster movie ("The Towering Inferno", "Airport" etc) also shows off blond beauties Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange at their youngest and sexiest.

Before Lange turned into her eighties brittle bad girl ("Frances", "The Postman Always Rings Twice"), and long before she fell into her nineties schizo-freak sanity fringe dweller ("Cape Fear", "Blue Sky") she was a fidgety looker, wriggling around in a torn dress, in the clutches of a gigantic gorilla.

Lange plays the oddly named "Dwan", which you assume is a typo until the character announces that as an aspiring actress, she transposed the two middle letters of her name to make it more memorable. That's a misjudgement by "Dwan", as the only thing that her awkward made-up name reminds me of is the short, genderless "Billy Kwan" from "The Year Of Living Dangerously", or maybe someone out of "Tron". Also, a far cleverer explanation would have been that she thought "Dwan" was similar to the elegant "Swan".

As well, it turns out that it almost rhymes with the name of her unexpected leading man, "Kong", who thunders out of the jungle one night to make off with "Dwan", and take her to his favorite hidden jungle places, and once there, not eat her - but seduce her!

Bridges' "Jack" takes off in pursuit, and eventually a sedated "Kong" is brought back to New York in the cargo hold of an enormous container ship. But no-one's counted on mysterious "Dwan" becoming lovestruck by the great ape, and her curious swooning over the edge of his deep dark cage rouses him from his stupour. Apparently, "Kong"'s obsessively in love with "Dwan", and even though we never find out how or why his instincts are so confused - let's face it, what would their babies look like? - the next thing you know, ape and girl are straddling the roofs of the tallest towers in the world, and airplanes are buzzing about like crazy, trying to bring the monster crashing down.

Sound familiar?

It's awfully eerie to watch the climax of "King Kong 1976" since September 11, 2001. The theatrical grandeur of the towers was obvious from their completion - stationary manmade versions of Niagara Falls, they immediately became a setting for several authors, film makers and visionaries, who found them to be perfect visual or metaphoric backdrops.

When "Kong" hits the street, the pavement cracks up like an eggshell, and everyone gathers to look down at the debris, look up at the towers, and oooh and aaah like mad.

Since September 11, many people have commented that that day's events were "like a movie". What doesn't get acknowledged near as often is how a lot of us watched it with the same excitement we'd always felt when we'd looked at big buildings, and contemplated the thrill of things falling off them, or of them burning or collapsing.

Like "Making Love" (1982), this is a film that would hold little value if it hadn't been for unforseen subsequent disastrous historical events that make it, in hindsight, a piece of pop culture to treasure.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2311&reviewer=305
originally posted: 11/17/02 21:20:56
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User Comments

7/13/13 Max Quibbish Pretty bad movie. "Special effects" ? Hah !! 2 stars
12/04/09 art THIS TURKEY SURE SOLD alot OF MERCHANDISE,trading card's,bubble gum,candy bar's,a straw! 3 stars
11/01/09 Cubby Except for a few good moments it's marred by terrible effects and dialogue. It's lackluster 2 stars
5/24/09 art GOOD FOR LAUGH"S! 3 stars
1/30/09 Vousvous Pivv tribal beauty....finnesse 3 stars
12/13/07 David Cohen Worth seeing only for a few laughs 2 stars
9/02/07 Mobo Your review sucks! The movie rules! 5 stars
8/10/07 Vip Ebriega A guilty pleasure to say the least. 3/5. 3 stars
6/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Average remake. Fun and simple, but lost the magic. 3/5. 3 stars
3/09/07 swamprat Perfect choice for "Bad Movie Night" 2 stars
3/08/07 CHAS Might have better reviews if they just colorized the origional. 3 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini not as good as the original or the second remake 3 stars
11/12/06 alex 1994 original googd, new one great 1976 god awful 1 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Guy in a gorilla suit,New York miniatures, vomit-inducing sexual tension between ape&woman 1 stars
4/20/06 Dk The weaker than the original and Jacksons recent hit, the film does still retain some charm 3 stars
4/05/06 Heckle This film beats all other versions of King Kong HANDS DOWN. It is a CLASSIC film 5 stars
3/31/06 Kammy Jones Not as good as the new King Kong 3 stars
1/03/06 John a little slow at times but not at all as bad as you may have heard 4 stars
1/01/06 Adrian Burns Your not missing anything. Don't waste your time! 1 stars
12/24/05 Agentgary7 It's obviously just a guy in a gorilla suit. Nuff said. 2 stars
12/21/05 Old Dirty Best Kong movie of them all.Jessica Lange was HOT!!! 5 stars
12/19/05 David Fowler Certainly flawed, but fascinating, and compelling. Great John Barry score. 4 stars
11/22/05 Jeff Anderson A braindead & stupid remake to a great classic. John Barry's score is film's saving grace! 2 stars
11/07/05 LP Quagmire The all-time monster classic! Improves on the one-dimensional original in every respect. 5 stars
8/01/05 Stewart Did'nt anyone notice the awesome scenery? I also thought Barry's score was one of his best. 4 stars
5/06/05 Kristina Williams Jessica Lange used to be THAT hot?! Damn. 4 stars
9/28/04 nate crap 2 stars
9/02/04 Marisa Monroe The KING of all monster movies. 5 stars
7/30/04 Harry HEY Scott Weinberg!! In 1976 special effects sucked, we got ur point. 4 stars
12/29/03 George Kearley I liked the movie very much and Jessica Lange's work was excellent 5 stars
12/21/03 john it's flawed but a lot of fun - 4 stars
11/07/03 Someone this movie had soul. special fx was ok for that time. and there's Jessica 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston This film is hysterical and so is Scott Weinberg this guy is fucking FUNNY! 5 stars
9/22/03 Dude It rocked 5 stars
5/19/03 Ryan F. Oh God kill me now...are those jessicas boobs?...Oh God kill me now 2 stars
1/20/03 Deanna Giant ape wants to sleep with Jessica Lange understandable but creepy. 4 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Kong should have squeezed Lange's head until it popped 3 stars
3/07/02 Mo Anand The movie, in my opinion, is better than the original...and a great effort 4 stars
9/17/01 LP Quagmire Best monster movie ever has alot of heart , great special effects, and Jessica Lange. 5 stars
6/26/01 R.W. Welch Flat and uninspired compared to the original. 3 stars
4/02/01 Andrew Carden EXtremly well done, better then the original. 4 stars
11/26/00 The Evil Penguin More realistic than the original, but a little dull in the dialogue 4 stars
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  02-Dec-1976 (PG)
  DVD: 22-Nov-2005



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