Monday, July 10, 2023

Movie Monday: King Kong - 1976

Movie Monday: King Kong – 1976 Edition

As most of you know, I love movies and books from the 1930s and 1940s. Movies made prior to 1934 when the Motion Picture Association began to enforce the production code adopted in 1930 are especially entertaining. The 1933 movie King Kong was a box-office success and is now considered by some to be the greatest horror film of all time. Whether or not you agree, the Library of Congress has deemed it “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” which means it will be preserved in the National Film Registry.

As is typical of Hollywood when a film is highly successful, it is followed by remakes. Thus, there
have been two more King Kong movies; one in 1976 and the other in 2005. Today, I’m going to focus on Dino DeLaurentis’s 1976 production, which despite its ensemble of Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, and Rene Auberjonis, did not perform as well as anticipated with box office receipts of “only” $90M (compared to Rocky which came out that same year and earned more than $225M). DeLaurentis had boasted the movie would surpass the previous year’s Jaws, and Paramount executives expected gross revenues of at least $150M.

According to a quote from screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, “We made a very deliberate attempt not to be anything like the original movie in tone or mood. Dino wanted it to be light and amusing, rather than portentous. We thought times had changed so much that audiences were more sophisticated. We hoped to do sensational things with advanced special effects on a big screen.” At least a few people thought they succeeded as the movie won Special Achievement Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Meryl Streep and Barbra Streisand were both considered for the female lead. Sources indicate DeLaurentis didn’t think Streep pretty enough, and Streisand turned down the role that eventually went to Jessica Lange, a fashion model with no previous acting experience. The male lead went to Jeff Bridges who by the time he was cast had made multiple appearances with his father on Sea Hunt and the Lloyd Bridges Show as well as nearly one dozen movies.

Have you seen either version?


Dial S for Second Chances

Can years of hurt and misunderstanding be transformed into a second chance at love?

Jade Williams agrees to be on the high school reunion committee because the-one-that-got-away is out of the country and won’t be home in time to attend the festivities. Now, he’s not only home, but joined the committee. Is it too late to back out or can she set aside forty-five years of regret and pretend she isn’t to blame for her broken heart?

One of the downsides of being rich means fielding requests for money and favors. But when an old high school buddy contacts Derek Milligan to be on the reunion committee as just one of the gang, no strings attached, he can’t resist. At the first meeting, he’s dismayed to find himself sitting next to his former high school sweetheart. He should be angry. Instead, he’s attracted. Can he risk his heart a second time?

Pre-order Link:

No comments:

Post a Comment