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He promised he would be introducing a huge new star in the form of Jessica Lange.But most importantly—and garnering the most publicity—was his claim that instead of a stop-motion animated 18-inch doll (as was the case in 1933), Kong would be played by a 40-foot-tall robot gorilla designed by special effects whiz Carlo Rambaldi.
Most important of all, although he’s just a guy in a gorilla suit, a Hollywood standard since the ‘30s, Rick Baker understands what Kong is all about.A small exploratory team made up of all the principal characters discovers a village of natives who worship a mysterious and surprisingly large god they call “Kong.” The natives want to sacrifice Dwan, what with her being blonde and all, and when the oil company team refuses, she’s kidnapped from the ship and tied to an altar outside the village walls.Nearly an hour into the film, Kong finally crashes through the trees and makes his entrance. All the trademark scenes are here (sometimes as shot-for-shot recreations of the original): the search party finding Kong, but sadly finding him while they’re crossing a deep chasm on a fallen tree; Kong defending his new blonde from assorted large creatures; Kong’s escape right in the middle of his premiere exhibition in NYC; Kong smashing an elevated subway train.The script, in which she was expected to shout lines like “Put me down you goddamn chauvinist pig ape! Critics ripped into the film endlessly, in part for De Laurentiis' failure to come close to living up to any of his own hype, and in part for his arrogance in thinking he could even begin to compete with an untouchable classic of American cinema.Very quickly, the film became a joke—a model for all flashy, bloated, big-budget Hollywood bombs to come.The film has both (intentional) laughs and solid scares.
Both Grodin and Bridges are quite good here, in spite of their embarrassment.Taking another look at this still-maligned film over three decades later, however, it seems that original vicious response on the part of audiences and critics alike was more in reaction to the publicity surrounding it and not the film itself.For all its flaws, it’s hardly the monster disaster it’s been made out to be. Although screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.’s script updates the plot to the mid-’70s, switches out the maverick film director for a sleazy oil company executive (deadpan comic actor Charles Grodin), makes the blonde, Dwan, a castaway in a life raft discovered by the crew of the oil company ship, adds a stowaway in the form of a young and handsome grad student with a camera (Jeff Bridges), moves the iconic Empire State Building confrontation to the WTC (which had been completed just three years earlier), and replaces the biplanes with attack helicopters, the scene-by-scene storyline remains remarkably close to the original, at least once the ship reaches Kong’s primitive island.A ses côtés, le professeur Prescott est en quête de tout autre chose : une créature préhistorique gigantesque. Bientôt, ils se retrouvent sur l'île, au contact de sauvages, qui vénèrent une créature nommée "Kong"... Applaudie par la critique et le public, cette version a profondément marqué les esprits, au point de provoquer de nombreuses adaptations.Une première version King Kong a été réalisée en 1933 par Merian C. La version réalisée en 1976 n'est pas, en effet, le premier sequel du film : une version indienne homonyme fut réalisée en 1962, et une série américaine de 1966 mettait en scène King Kong et son ami Bobby Bond.The only thing missing from the original, it seems, is the final line, replaced here with the sound of Kong’s slowing heartbeat as he lay bloodied at the base of the twin towers with Dwan weeping quietly beside him.