Jeff Bridges (who sports a beard that was the obvious inspiration for Teen Wolf) stars as the hero along with Charles Grodin as the cranky oil entrepreneur and Jessica Lange (making her film debut) in the Fay Wray role. She also gets the best line when Kong whisks her away she yells, “Put me down you goddamn chauvinist pig ape!” The standout scene is when Kong battles a giant snake in the pit of a volcano.
The energy crisis references and (unfortunately) the sight of the World Trade Center add to the film’s datedness. There actually was an actual size 40 foot mock up of Kong created (by Carlo Rambaldi) for some scenes. Director John (Shaft in Africa) Guillermin returned ten years later with the awful King Kong Lives, also from producer Dino De Laurentiis.