King Kong Original and Limited Edition Art (1976)

The remake differs from the original in several major story details. It is set in modern times, and instead of a film production crew, King Kong's world is invaded by a petroleum corporation’s exploratory team. Fred Wilson (Grodin), an executive of the Petrox Oil Company, forms the expedition based on infrared imagery which reveals a previously undiscovered Indian Ocean island hidden by a permanent cloud bank; Wilson believes the island has a huge depository of oil, and has promised his bosses he will come back with “the big one.” Jack Prescott (Bridges), a primate paleontologist, sneaks onto the expedition’s enormous vessel en route and attempts to warn the team against completing its mission, citing an ominous final message about "the roar of the greatest beast" from previous doomed explorers. Wilson orders Prescott locked up, claiming that he is really a spy from a rival corporation. However, while being led below deck, Prescott spots a small life raft in the ocean and convinces members of the crew to search the raft. On board is the beautiful and unconscious Dwan (Lange) who states her name is really Dawn but spelled to make it more notable. Prescott’s medical experience enables him to perform a cursory exam of the unconscious Dwan, who, after awakening, tells Prescott that she is a wannabe actress who was aboard a director's yacht which suddenly exploded, apparently killing everybody except for her. During the ship’s ongoing voyage, Prescott and Dwan become attracted to each other.


Once arriving at the island, the team soon discovers a primitive tribe of natives who live within the confines of a gigantic wall, built to protect them from a mysterious god known as Kong. The team quickly finds that while there is a large deposit of oil, it is of such low quality that is unusable. The natives kidnap Dwan, drug her, and attempt to use her as a sacrifice to Kong, tying her to an altar outside of their walled village and chanting ominously the word “Kong” over and over again. The captive Dwan begins to scream in horror as something gigantic slowly approaches, crashing loudly through the jungle trees until it reveals itself as a monumental ape standing triumphantly over her, who then grabs her and departs back into the jungle. Although an awesome and terrifying sight, the soft hearted Kong quickly becomes tamed by Dwan, whose rambling sweet talk calms and fascinates the monstrous beast.


In the meantime, Prescott and First Mate Carnahan (Ed Lauter) lead a rescue mission to save Dwan. Kong takes Dwan back to a waterfall. He washes her, and then uses a great gust of his warm breath for a blow-dry. Prescott, Carnahan, and their party have the misfortune of catching up to Kong while crossing a log bridge spanning an abyss, and Kong rolls the huge log, sending Carnahan and the rest of the sailors falling to their deaths. Prescott and Boan are the only ones to survive. Kong then takes Dwan to his lair. Just as he slowly begins to undress his "bride", a giant snake appears and attacks the pair. Prescott finds Dwan, and as a battle of the beasts ensues, they escape. Kong rips the jaw of the snake open, causing blood and flesh to expose. Kong then chases the pair back to the native village, only to fall into a hole and be smothered with chloroform.


Without any of the promised new oil, Wilson decides to transport Kong to America as a promotional gimmick for his company. Brought back aboard an oil tanker, Kong is fed with wooden crates filled with fruit, and kept in the dark. When they finally reach New York, Kong is put on display in a beauty and the beast farce, bound in chains with a big crown on his head, and exhibited to the masses. Finally being mobbed by reporters, and exposed to dozens of bright camera flashes, the unhappy ape goes berserk, breaking his chains and terrorizing the city in an orgy of destruction. Wilson trips while running away and Kong steps on him, killing him instantly. The ape also destroys a subway train. Prescott and Dwan flee across the Queensboro Bridge across the water to Manhattan; since apes can't swim they think that they are safe.


However, because of his great size Kong is large enough to simply walk across the East River. They stop at an abandoned bar so that Jack can call the military and tell them where Kong is headed. Before he walks into the bar he gazes up at the World Trade Center and has a deja vu (he says he's "seen that view before"). While in the bar Jack decides before he calls the military he needs a drink. While talking to Dwan he realizes "where" he's seen the view before. He storms outside and takes a second look. He is shocked to see the World Trade Center looks almost identical to two large rocks in Kongs native habitat. He then immediately calls the military and tells them to let Kong climb to the top of the Trade Center. Kong locates Dwan and she allows him to take her; he then begins to make his way to the World Trade Center, with Jack and the military in hot pursuit.


In the climax, Kong climbs the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After being attacked by men with flame throwers while standing on the roof, Kong flees by leaping across to the North Tower. Later, he is attacked by helicopters while Dwan is trying to stop them. The fatally injured Kong falls from the roof to the World Trade Center plaza, where he dies from his injuries. Dwan cries and is bombarded by a sea of photographers for the New York Daily News. She desperately wants to be hugged by Jack (this is because she is heartbroken that Kong is dead, and because she has been through so much excitement). The crowd is so big though that Dwan can't even get close to Jack. She stands still and is photographed relentlessly by reporters while Kong lies dead in a pool of blood and broken concrete. She cries until the credits roll.

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