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King Kong (1976)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ScottR, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    Does anyone know why this has suddenly become so hard to find? I have gone to every store, and everyone is out of it. I know it is available online, but I'm wondering if Paramount is going to re-issue it when the remake comes out. It may not be all that great of a movie, but it's the version I remember from my childhood, and I think it is fun.
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i enjoy it very much too Scott (went to see it on opening day with a new friend and have some potent memories of spending the night at his house afterwards as well as the pastel colored rubber figures of Kong they were selling out in the lobby of the theater...neat little sculpts on those).

    i just watched a few scenes from it about 2 nights ago as i was trying out a new dvd player (its actually a disc i use as reference- cause its one movie that will get regular play about once every 1 1/2 yrs.

    funny you are having a problem finding it.
    i could have sworn i saw it just the other day, and always seem to run across it regularly.
    if you want me to pick one up and mail it to you, PM me.
    have you checked DDD?

    i'm kind of hoping that Paramount will go back and give us afull blown SE off this to tie-in with the Peter Jackson remake.
    even if that film isn't any good (hard to believe it won't at least be an interesting mis-fire with that cast), the next movie from the man who helmed a $1 billion $, critically praised, an audience beloved franchise will get some easy hype regardless.
    Paramount (and Warner with holding back the release of the '33 version as it looks obvious they are doing) would be fools not to try to cash in on it too.

    as the very least, i hope they dust off the tv additions (something like 40 minutes extra footage wasn't it?) or remaster the current one.
    its not bad, but techniques and software have improved since it was released and theres room for improvment.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The original '33 version is coming in Q4 of this year...

    The delay had to do with source material (apparently to get rid of the bad splices in the last reel).
     
  4. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Wow! I didn't know they announced the '33 version!

    I didn't know that the 70's version was even released, is the PQ decent? If I can find it cheap, I might have to pick it up. I have fond memories of this from when I was a kid.
     
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    current disc is good- its miles ahead of something like Blade Runner, or some of the other earlier anamorphic discs, but its not quite at the level of something like the recent group of "old stars in the 70's" movies that warner released on 3/30.
    ( i realize one title is Paramount and the rest are warners, but they are the best i can come up with from the same era).
    there is some compression related artifacting,, and instability in the image at times, but on the whole it is quite watchable on a large screen.
    i happily paid $25 for mine, but i've since seen it reduced to around $10-15.
    try Target and Circuit City, they usually have a few.

    it would be nice to see the original make it out this year, but i wouldn't be surprised at any further delays.
    there is a good chance people will get this disc expecting it to look as silky clean and improved as Casablanca and if it falls short of that we'll get a lot of
    "they took this long for this?"

    it will be interesting to see.
     
  6. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    I liked this version and saw it in a theater when it first came out. Lange had a great relationship with Kong and, on the whole, the story was quite faithful to the original. I'm not sure why Jackson feels the need to remake Kong but I have serious reservations about it living up to either version.
     
  7. StevenFC

    StevenFC Second Unit

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    Wonder what it's gonna be called...Return of the Kong??

    Actually, I'm a big fan of the '76 version also. It had a big affect on me as a 13 year old boy. I still haven't figured out why I haven't bought it yet. Perhaps I want to keep the memories I had as a boy. Maybe...I don't know. I imagine I'll get it someday. especially if it's a special edition.
     
  8. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    Somebody mentioned a tv version with 40 mins or so of extra footage. That'd bring the movie close to three hours. Can anyone tell me what the extra scenes in the extended edition were?
     
  9. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    Are you guys for real???

    The '76 version was a complete travesty! The special effects were horrendous (altho Rick Baker's gorilla makeup was incredible as always). The blue-screened scenes were so bad they were laughable. I'm amazed that Jessica Lange doesn't try to make the film vanish off the face of the earth; she was TERRIBLE. The dialogue was as bad as the remake of Godzilla (history DOES repeat itself!) And the much-hyped "life-size" Kong wouldn't even pass in a second rate amusement park!

    Considering what the Rings trilogy was like, I have really high expectations for this film (although the casting of Jack Black has shaken my faith a bit). I hope that he does this as a serious film, with well-developed characters and well-written dialogue. And I am sure that the effects will blow the '76 version away.

    Go back and watch the original version to see a movie that deserves praise bestowed upon it....
     
  10. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I agree that it should be done seriously. Doing it for laughs would ruin it. I'd love to see Jackson do it in glorious B&W!



     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Nothing official, but I think they said it's coming at the end of the year. I'm just repeating stuff.
     
  12. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    Digital Bits has it listed as 2004 (TBD)...I seem to recall that this was originally supposed to come out sometime in '03. I'll believe it when it's in my grubby little hands.
     
  13. Ryan Belfast

    Ryan Belfast Stunt Coordinator

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    Kong 76 Is a great movie and deserves SE DVD treatment.
     
  14. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    There is a great looking R2 French set out of the 76 version. Anamorhphic and DTS. Includes something like 8 deleted scenes that I had never seen before.
     
  15. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    '33 version
    the thing that had me suspicious of this getting released this year, were comments about it in the last chat.
    while they were good hype, didn't they stop short of giving any kind of definite time frame for its release?

    here's the quote from the chat


    that was actually my attitude in 1976 when i was 9 yrs old and i was reading the hype about it in SuperMag (basically Dyn-O-Mite for the older, cooler kids)
    "Jack Driscoll is a hippy?! what the hell is that?
    D-Wahn? that is so STUPID! this will never take the place of the original. Oh God, they have to make everything suck now. why couldn't i have been born in an era with class and style?..like the 1930's!"

    i went and compartmentalized my affections and enjoyed it, and would even buy some of the merchandising 'cause it was Kong and it was in the stores (apart from the Aurora model kit and a cheap K-mart bend-able, it was hard to find much merchandise for the 40 yr old version on store shelves).
    but in conversation with friends and fellow film fans, i always did my part to re-enforce the superiority of the original.
    and i actually did like it better.
    at the time.

    somewhere in the late 80's though, i realized that there were things to like about the remake though.
    actually a bunch of things
    -John Barrys score is great
    -Jeff Bridges is always good and makes a great, idealistic hero (hippie hair or not)
    -Grodin plays a great heartless, crass, company man (although its hard to see Oil Company executives being made out to be villians)
    -the monkey suit works for me, its an amazing make-up job.
    -the hawaiian locations are interesting
    -the WTC (which as a 9 yr old i thought didn't have a smidgen of the class or character of the ESB)but current events have forever changed the context.

    although i give jackson props for LOTR, i have to wonder- why re-make the film if you are going to give it the same tone as the original?
    you may hate the '76 version, and even i think it has a few 'cringe inducing moments/lines of dialouge, but at least it attempting it's own take on the material, with its own voice and tone.
    to me, its almost more sacrilegious to re-make the film with the same spirit and tone, because then, the end goal is to supplant the original, not comment on it or contrast with it.
    if the remake is going to replicate all the great qualities of the original, while adding color, better effects, greater realism, etc...then how many people in the future are actually going to be compelled to discover the film in its original version?
     
  16. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    While I would agree that as a film, the 76 version is inferior to the original it has gotten a bum rap for too many years. It benefits from some breathtaking cinematography and a great John Barry score, and while there are some cringe-inducing moments, I find them far fewer then what we got in the Godzilla remake. Lange looks quite beautiful and comes off better than Jeff Bridges (whose hippie appearance was already behind the times in 1976) or Grodin.

    There's also one other haunting aspect to the 76 Kong today and that's the location photography of the World Trade Center, with scenes shot inside the Trade Center lobby and inside the Trade Center elevator that take on a new dimension today for obvious reasons.

    As for extra scenes, I have the 1978 NBC broadcast on tape and truthfully there isn't much. The extra 40 minutes mostly came from padding scenes out with extra reaction shots such as during the boat trip to Skull Island. But from a substantive plot standpoint these were some of the additional scenes.

    1-Crewman Garcia is being held over the side of the ship by the ankles so he can be a peeping tom inside Dwan's cabin. Presscott nonchalantly walks by and causes the crewman to drop Garcia into the ocean (and then tosses him a lifering).

    2-The establishing shots of Kong inside the tanker's hold are tracked with John Barry's Main Title music. In the theatrical cut this is done with no music.

    3-When Kong breaks out of captivity, there is a scene of the Petrox chairman indignantly waving his umbrella at Wilson and screaming, "This will cost the company billions!" The Petrox chairman is in the final credits but his one scene was only seen on TV because it really was silly to see one guy managing to do this while everyone else is running for their lives.

    4-The most significant new scene is when Presscott and Dwan are having a drink in the bar, and he says that if Kong is killed they'd never be able to look each other in the eye and have a serious relationship. This scene explains in better context the film's ending shot.
     
  17. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    theres also the scene in the bar at the begining that explains where Jack got his Petrox credentials.
    -and wasn't the shot of Kong stepping on Grodin a little different?


    there did seem to be a lot of padding that didn't make a difference, and was probably better off just cut to maintain a leaner meaner pace, but i haven't seen the tv version since 1978, so it would be interesting to see those scenes again.
    especially since we already have an OAR theatrical version of the film on disc.
    but even if we got the extra scenes in a deleted scene section, i would be happy to upgrade- as long as the actual film looked tighter (fewer artifcts, better compression, etc).
     
  18. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    You're right in the TV cut they used a closeup of Wilson's crushed hat which was actually the shot done for the original preview cut where Wilson survived, but audience reaction caused a recut to make it look like Wilson had been stomped.
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i see its a 2 disc collectors set from Studio Canal (the same people who did the excellant 2 disc Flash Gordon CE).
    the same problem as with Flash though, the French subs remain on while the English track is engaged.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    So burn me at the stake for heresy but I prefer the 1976 King Kong to the 1933 version. The 1976 Kong had better taste in women. Lange was a babe. Wray was a bit of frump.
     

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