King Kong (1976)

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
King Kong (1976) Movie Poster Image
Bad script and acting ruin a classic story.
  • PG
  • 1976
  • 134 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Stereotypical ditzy blonde and the men who shamelessly ogle her are worthy of a few winces.

Violence

Kong tears the jaw off a fake-looking giant snake. The shootout finale goes overboard on squirting blood.

Sex

Scantily clad natives thrust suggestively during a ritual. A fleeting glimpse of breasts. Kong's in love with his female hostage and, as hard as it is to believe, some of their scenes together are erotically charged.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know the 1976 version of contains sexually-charged scenes and violence. Scantily clad natives thrust suggestively during a ritual. We get a fleeting glimpse of breasts. Kong's in love with his female hostage and, as hard as it is to believe, some of their scenes together are erotically charged. Kong tears the jaw off a fake-looking giant snake. The shootout finale goes overboard on squirting blood.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrobertmcmillan February 25, 2015

70s critique on petro-power

My daughter was horrified by the 1933 version, which features people being eaten, thrown and squished by the monster. To say that this 1970s movie's scri... Continue reading
Adult Written bywhovian85 April 9, 2008

the hidious middle child

This is one of the most pathetic remakes ever. Unlike the original or the most recent remake there are no exciting dinosaur battles except Kong wrestling with... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 15, 2015

Seriously.

This movies blood looks like Monty Python blood(watery ketchup), the script has some major problems, and bad acting. The effects are bad and I will say is it is... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 20, 2011

Not Bad at all.

It wasn't that bad, in fact, I thought it was better than the 1933 classic. The only thing bad was all the blood coming out of Kong on the World Trade Cent...

What's the story?

In KING KONG, an expedition to a mysterious fog-shrouded island turns up not fuel oil as Petrox emissary Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin) had hoped, but a giant ape, which only stowaway Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges) had anticipated. The ape, who the natives call Kong, falls for the crew's only female, Dwan (Jessica Lange), and stomps off with her. Not wanting to leave the island empty-handed, Wilson comes up with a scheme to capture Kong and use him as a Petrox promotional gimmick. They capture him and ship Kong to New York, where he breaks loose, nabs Dwan again, and shimmies to the top of the World Trade Center for the inevitable final showdown.

Is it any good?

Stars Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange do what they can to keep this film afloat, but a hokey script and uneven effects nearly sink the boat they rode in on. The overblown love angle between Dwan and the giant monkey is laughable, with scenes of Kong leering at his little blonde handful, washing her in a waterfall, and blow-drying her with his hot simian breath. The scene in which Kong's giant unwieldy finger tries to peel her like a banana made the cover of TIME Magazine and helped make the movie a huge success. That Jessica Lange overcame this debut to become a serious actress is a testament to her strength.

By today's standards, the pacing and the effects in Kong Kong are less than dramatic, certainly no match for Disney's Mighty Joe Young (another remake of a classic giant ape movie). Still, there's plenty here for young viewers to enjoy. They won't mind the tacky dialogue, or seeing Charles Grodin inexplicably cast as the unfunny villain who exploits Kong for money. Kids might even come away with an appreciation for the movie's vague environmental message, that rare animals should be treated sensitively, not paraded around in cages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about monster movies like King Kong. What's the fascination with seeing oversized, threatening monsters on screen? How is this one different from and the same as other monster movies you've seen?

  • Is Kong scary -- or do you feel bad for him?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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