King Kong 1976 John Guillermin
King Kong. There have been 3 versions of the Epic Film. The first… And the greatest.. With Fay Wray in 1933 and the latest from Peter Jackson in 2005. And then there is the one in the middle. 1976.
The 1976 version is unique as it is set in the present time. It is also unique for one other reason. Which I will deal with last.
In this version we have a young Jeff Bridges. He does an excellent job in the film as he always seems to do. We have Charles Grodin. Who overacts for virtually the entire film.
We have the debut, the discovery of Jessica Lange. Who at the time, could not act. Her job here is to scream, and to look good. She excels in her two assignments. After this picture she didn’t appear in a film for 3 years, and I read it was to take acting lessons. They worked. She has developed into a fine actress.
The monster himself is Rick Baker dressed as an ape. And a mechanical hand for the close-ups. The mechanical hand actually is pretty realistic.
This film had a lot of hype as it was released. And it finished 5th in box office that year.
Now to the last reason it was unique. And why I’m doing a post on the film. As I watched I realized I hadn’t seen this film since it first came out. And while in New York, and the final battle scenes as the military tries to stop Kong, he moves to…The World Trade Center.
I had a sudden sense of uneasiness. It was a very strange feeling that came over me. Close-ups of Jeff Bridges character and others running around the base of the towers. You see the statue and grounds that had been there. You see the exterior of the buildings at ground level. See them run into the lobbies. See them get into the elevators. The feelings I had caught me off guard as I hadn’t anticipated seeing all of this. And even if I knew it was coming, I don’t think I would have expected the reactions I had. Eerie.
Is this why this film isn’t shown much if at all anymore? Or maybe I just don’t notice. But watching the film this weekend definitely had me experience a different type of emotions that I do not normally run into while viewing a film.