King Kong (1976) is released on the 11th. Scream Factory’s May 2021 Blu-ray Collector’s Edition.

The two-disc set includes a theatrical version and an extended television cut, the latter also digitized in 2K by interspace. It features DTS-HD 5.1 and DTS-HD 2.0 stereo sound options, newly restored for cinema. Hugh Fleming took the new cover photo; the original poster is on the back cover. Characteristics:

Disc 1 : The theatrical version:
The audio commentary for King Kong: Film History Icon writer Ray Morton (new)
Audio interview with special effects artist Rick Baker (new)
Interview with actor Jack O’Halloran (new)
Interview with assistant director David McGiffert and production manager Brian Frankish (new)
Interview with sculptor Jack Varner (new)
Interview with second. unit director William Kronick (new)
Interview with assistant photo effects artist Barry Nolan (new)
Interview with producers Jeffrey Chernoff and Scott Thaler (new)
Theatrical trailer
TV spots
Radio spots
Previous galleries : Posters, business cards, backstage photos…

Disc 2 : Television version:
Aerotheatre 2016 panel with the cast and crew

 

In the meantime, here’s our previous review of the film:

The most exciting event in the history of original cinema.

King Kong is a 1976 American horror/adventure film about an oil expedition that finds a giant gorilla on a deserted island.

The film was directed by John Guillermin (Sheena, Death on the Nile, Raising Hell) to a screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Never Say Never Again, Flash Gordon, Batman: The Movie), based on the 1933 version. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis (Army of Darkness; Flash Gordon).

Starring Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, John Randolph and Renee Auberonois. Carlo Rambaldi (E.T. Extraterrestrial) designed the special effects with Rick Baker (American Werewolf in London).

In 1986, Dino de Laurentiis hired John Guillermin again to direct a zany sequel to Life of Kong.

Plot:

Petrox’s search for new oil supplies on an alien island causes a terror that civilized humanity has never seen: King Kong! The timeless fairy tale of Beauty (Jessica Lange) and the Beast comes to the big screen in this ambitious production by Dino De Laurentiis.

Charles Grodin is a cunning shark from an oil company who wants to exploit the giant monster to the full. And Jeff Bridges is the desperate hero, Jack Prescott, trying to wrestle the beautiful heroine from King Kong’s arms. New York City trembles with every echo the big monkey unleashes on the streets! – Official advertising

Reviews [click on links to read more] :

Semple tries to make Kong the tragic hero of the film, like the monster in the 1933 version, but his attempts to turn the strange bond between a giant ape and a human woman into a satisfying, reciprocal relationship yield nothing but eye-rolls and outbursts of mockery. 1,000 fake hours and counting

As the film progresses, some special effects work and others don’t. But it does tell a story, and the film is still entertaining. It’s a little dated, 1970s, but that’s what makes it more fun […] It’s basically a retelling of the original story, but filmmakers have a hard time keeping a straight face in a monster movie, especially when it comes to dialogue. Reviews about Black Hole

…The portrayal of Kong in somewhat awkward form is heartbreaking, especially with John Barry’s alternately menacing and moving score raising the emotional stakes, and some of the film’s swings work as they should. The special effects, more or less successful, include crazy stunts, such as monkey specialist Rick Baker running around in a monkey suit, and impressive animatronic monsters created by Carlo Rimbaldi….. All films from the 70’s

King Kong (1976) is a fun movie about King Kong with lots of action and a cool giant statue, while a movie that constantly entertains me looks pretty bad. This is the version of Kong I grew up with, so maybe I’m being too lenient with its flaws, but I like it. mcbastard’s mausoleum

…King Kong is one of the films that captivated an entire generation, including your generation that grew up with things like Battlestar Galactica, Black Hole, Moonraker… Moonraker. You know what I mean. Regardless of its cinematic origins, this Kong holds up well, and it’s still mindless fun. Mondo Digital

The mechanical snake attacking Kong is just fake, an unacceptable denial. By comparison, the shark from last year’s blockbuster looks like the cartoon wonder of the decade. John Guillermin works reasonably well with his actors, but his direction does little to bring the adventure to life or mask the paltry effects work. Pendant from hell

…The lack of focus really hurts the film, and when you add to that the dishonest Jessica Lange (as a dumb blonde with Dwan’s stupid name), Jeff Bridges trying to play the hero but doing nothing heroic, and a bunch of special effects like a giant snake that just looks stupid, you have a big budget disaster. Video cemetery

 

Contemporary Reviews:

In the new film, many of the visual sensations have been replaced by pathos; the emphasis is on tragedy rather than spectacle and excitement. The original Kong also had a lot of pathos, but it wasn’t populated by the action of the film. The creators knew they were in trouble if they let viewers take the love triangle between a girl and a 50-foot monkey seriously, but De Laurentiis and his team are now making the exact same mistake. John Brosnan, Future Tension: Science Fiction Film, St. Louis St. Martin’s Press, 1978.

It’s something that makes you cringe […] when he tries to defuse criticism by making fun of himself (by proclaiming that the commercial is the most exciting original film event of all time), with dialogue designed to be instant camp (Fucking macho monkey!). I think when you spend as much as Mr. de Laurentiis does, you have to have something for everyone, including the crazies. Vincent Canby, New York Times, 18. December 1976.

Dialogue about the elections:

Jack Prescott [Jeff Bridges]: Who do you think did this? A guy in a monkey suit?

The actors and characters:

Jeff Bridges… Jack Prescott-Charles Grodin… Fred WilsonJessica Lange… Dwan-John Randolph… Captain RossRene Auberjonois… BagleyJulius Harris… BoanJack O’Halloran… Joe PerkoDennis Fimple… SunnyEd Louder… CarnahanJorge Moreno… GarciaMario Gallo… TimmonsJohn Lone… Chinese chef Harry Wahlberg… Army General John Agar… City Clerk Kenny Long… The man in the monkey maskSid Conrad … President RetgohGeorge Whiteman … Army helicopter pilot Wayne Heffley… Air Force General Forrest J.W.H. Ackerman… Escaped walk-on in the crowd (not credited) Rick Baker … King Kong (uncredited)Corbin Bernsen … Reporter (not accredited) …

Technical details:

134 minutes | 182 minutes (TV version)
Aspect ratio : 2.39 : 1
Audio : Mono

Trailer [HD 1080p]:

Associated companies

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