To re-make one of the best loved movies of all time takes more than courage. Some might say it takes cheek. Producer Dino De Laurentiis has never been short of either, for he has the showman zeal of the great Hollywood tycoons of the past. Inspired by the sight of a poster of the first King Kong on the wall of his teenage daughter's bedroom he decided it was high time the biggest star of cinema should roar again. Realising his dream meant eight months of filming, at a cost of £14 million. Shot entirely on location on the Hawaiian island of Kausi and in New York, King Kong (1976 version) is a fantasy which comes over as amazingly real. Even though we know the giant Kong is actually an electronically controlled mechanical monster, he seems to live and breathe and react as naturally as any of the puny humans who surround him. Sometimes as regal as a monarch of the wild, sometimes a bloodthirsty savage out for revenge, but always a tragic hero to be loved. As he always been loved. No wonder his creators won an Oscar for Special Visual Effects.
Apart from a few updatings of motives and characterisations - the explorers are now prospecting for oil, and the beautiful heroine (Jessica Lange) tells Kong off for being a "male chauvinist pig ape" instead of screaming all the time - the well-known story needs no re-telling. It is still a rattling good adventure, with a unique difference which sets it apart from all the countless other movies about captured who go on the rampage. True to his name, Kong has remained the King; and his Beauty and the Beast devotion to the girl who fits so snugly into his giant hand is as deeply moving as it ever was.
© Dino De Laurentiis
Genre: Fantasy, Action and Adventure
Official Run Time: 128 mins.
* N/A or Unknown
Small Box - Rental Tape
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