It took forty-three years to do it, but Hollywood demonstrated how NOT to remake a screen classic when producer Dino De Laurentiis released King Kong in 1976. Talk about awful, legendary make-up artist Rick Baker donned a gorilla suit to portray the "Eight Wonder of the World", but nothing could have saved this turkey of a film - which surprisingly became a commercial hit.
Crummy effects notwithstanding, the ONLY reason to watch this movie is to appreciate the smoldering sensuality of acting ingenue Jessica Lange in her motion picture debut. She was sweet, sexy, sultry and her just the right amount of girl-next-door charm, managed to lure you in, despite the goofiness oozing out of every other minute onscreen. Strangely, they opted to name her character "Dwan", I guess because she came across as a free spirit. Dwan bonded with the big ape the same way that original starlet, Fay Wray had in the 1933 version.
Co-star Jeff Bridges, still a few years away from some of his best theatrical work made it look easy to work alongside Lange. Based on his woolly appearance in the '76 film, one could say that, "even a caveman could do it". Of course, the lovely & talented Jessica went on to win two acting Oscars (and several additional nominations) after Kong premiered, but it took a few years due to the critical drubbing this film received - box office damned.
Jessica earns her spot in the Catacombs as the latest "Gal" Friday and to nicely to cap off my "Go Ape Shit" theme week. See ya next time around!