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[This Day in Horror] ‘King Kong’ Was Released in Theaters

Not THE King Kong, but the 1976 King Kong that starred Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin and Jessica Lange – yes, Lange from “American Horror Story” – opened in theaters across America.

Budgeted at $24 million, the John Guillermin-directed “remake” made $52 million at the box office. It opened to $7,023,921 on December 17 weekend in 1976. It was the 7th highest grossing film of 1977. The great Dino De Laurentiis produced this gem.

The Big Apple is again besieged by the monstrous King Kong. Bridges and Lange star in this ambitious remake of the 1933 original, which adds a great deal of camp and good fun to the story. Again, the gargantuan ape battles attacking aircraft high above the streets of New York, this time plunging from the top of the World Trade Center to his death amidst thousands of horrified onlookers.

King Kong won an Oscar for special effects.



  • miradotheblack

    I have always loved King Kong.

  • djblack1313

    same here! this is the KING KONG i grew up with (sounds funny typing that!) and i loved it when i saw it in theaters (yes, i’m old. lol). Jessica Lange was as awesome in this as she is now!

  • Baphochrist

    King Kong 33 > King Kong 76 > Japanese King Kong movies > King Kong 2005 = Son Of Kong

  • John Marrone

    I was 6 or 7 when the World trade Center was new and wow, and had been raised on 33 King Kong and monster movies, so this one has a special place in my film favorites. Would take it over Peter Jackson’s version 1,000 times in a row, any day. The practical effects are epic.

  • Boonraiser

    I used to love as a kid when he tore the people and the alligators in half, only to eat them or throw them away. Actually, I haven’t watched this in years. Hmmm…

  • Ravinus

    I loved this movie when I was a little kid. King Kong is a great story. I equally enjoyed Peter Jackson’s.

  • Marty McFly

    King Kong is great, screw everyone that hates it. The original is a landmark in cinema. The 05 remake was awesome, and the 76 version should burn in hell. World Trade Center? It’s supposed to be the Empire State Building! A guy in a suit. Helicopters? Who greenlit that movie?

    • Ultrazilla

      What’s wrong with a guy in a suit? Did people complain because the original was a lump of clay and wires? Why the World Trade Center? Because at the time of the original, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York. In 1976 it was dwarfed by the Trade Center, so they wanted to regain some of the spectacle of climbing the tallest buildings. Sure it’s not the classic, but Kong ’76 is underrated. Now King Kong Lives…that one was terrible!

  • VictorCrowley

    Surprised to see so much love for a movie I usually read nothing but crap about.

    I enjoyed the ’76 version. ’33 rules of course. ’05 would’ve been a LOT better had they gotten a real actor to play Carl Denham. Still wondering how the hell trailer park jester Jack Black landed that role. Makes the movie nearly unwatchable for me.

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