King Kong

Unfairly maligned as a lesser Kong, the Dino De Laurentiis-produced, John Guillermin-directed 1976 King Kong is actually a ton of fun. Starring a smoking hot Jessica Lange, a pre-Lebowski, long-haired and bearded Jeff Bridges, and a great love-to-hate Charles Grodin performance, this Kong doesn’t try to remake the ‘33 classic note for note, but rather updates it for the “Me Generation” of the 70s. Cinema’s most beloved giant gorilla – brought to life by some incredible Rick Baker suits and massive to-scale animatronics – is captured as a by-product of an oil company’s greed, and meets his fate on top of the World Trade Center. Add to that a stirring score by John Barry and you have a Kong that stands tall in the pantheon of giant monster cinema, and is deserving of a big screen re-evaluation!

Dir. John Guillermin, 1976, digital presentation, 134 min.