Was Jessica Lange unable to get work after King Kong?
She didn't do anything else until 3 years later.
Yes, she said so herself. No one in the industry took her seriously and referred to her dismissively as "King Kong's girlfriend". It is said that's how they introduced her to Baryshnikov when he asked about her at a party: "oh, that's King Kong's girlfriend" to which the dancer allegedly replied (genuinely): "Could I meet this Mr. Kong?"
I think she is just fine in King Kong considering what the film was. Jeff Bridges and Charles Grodin are both kind of hammy but she certainly wasn't awful. She comes off best of the three.
She modeled until her next movie role.
Understand that King Kong was probably on the embarassment scale somewhere between Waterworld and Showgirls. It was bad in a way that bad didn't play in the late 70's.
If Lange wanted a film career [and she did] she had to wait out the silly offers that came into exploit Kongs failure in a tacky way and find a way to get something where she could reposition herself in the business.
She managed to do that which is a testament to her on many levels.
King Kong was embarrassment to everyone. It's something few people remember and the name Dino De Laurentiis was always a bad sign when a film was produced by him.
With that said, all the actors were terrible. Count the number of times Jeff Bridges runs his hands through his hair.
But Lange was especially awful and she had to say some of the worst dialogue (screenplay by hack Lorenzo Semple jr) ever written. Calling Kong a "Goddamn chauvinist pig ape!" or when Dwan says to Jack "You're an Aries. I can tell, from the shape of your earlobes."
Hey, those sound like great lines!
Still better than the literally unwatchable 1986 "King Kong Lives", allegedly a sequel to this.
It's more amazing to consider how after that start, she made herself into a real actress and forged a career. And nailed some great men, en route.
I think she had Barishnikov's baby during that three year hiatus.
That King Kong is now a nice remembrance of the twin towers.
I loved King Kong. As a kid, they played it once a year on NBC, it was like Wizard of Oz levels of anticipation.
I saw the 76 version of King Kong on TV when I was about 8 (1980) and even then, I felt it was a bad movie and not as fun as the original. I hated the scene when Kong stepped on those people and their smashed bodies were still twitching.
Agreed, R2. She did a good job in a corny movie. But it's still a fun movie, better than the trash that comes out today and isn't fun at all.
She got a good review from Pauline Kael, who compared her to Carole Lombard.
The 1976 King Kong is still a million times better than Prometheus, Avatar, and the Nolan Batman movies in particular, for instance.
Wasn't this the period where she turned down the few offers she got, and took heavy-duty acting lessons?
That took guts, I mean, nobody does that.
Was King Kong really that bad? When she won the Golden Globe for AHS, I thought I heard the announcer say she'd won for King Kong too.
The name Dwan still must go down as one of the worst names in film history.
Agreed R17, but the ridiculousness of it fits the movie. It's an entertaining movie.
I usually stop watching after King Kong makes his first appearance, I like that part.
Jessica Lange is the best American actress today--and has been so since her brilliant performance in "Frances" in 1982. Nominated for Best Actress for that role, she should have won.
Yes, M, Jessica is better than you.
R16, it wasn't that bad, it just wasn't exceptionally good.
Those of us who are old enough to remember, King Kong arrived on the heels of a Kong-sized PR blitz, with King Kong merchandise and memorabilia everywhere you turned – posters, trading cards, stickers, t-shirts, lunchboxes, Coca Cola glasses, 7-11 Kong cups, etc. – and Lange, who was being promoted as De Laurentiis' sexy new model-turned-actress discovery, gracing the covers of Time, People, and whatever else was out there. Naturally, there was a backlash against all the hype, and Lange, who played the part of an airhead bimbo all too well, was assumed to be one in real life.
Lange won the Golden Globe for "New Star of the Year". Her male counterpart that year was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
[quote]Wasn't this the period where she turned down the few offers she got, and took heavy-duty acting lessons?
Yes, she did. Jessica wanted to be the best that she can be as an actress. Her break-out role was in "The Postman Always Rings Twice"...that's when people started to notice that Jessica can really act.
Now, Jessica is up there along side Meryl Streep as the world's greatest american actresses.
Please, please, please do not bait The Streep troll (tm). That asshole ruins every thread on acting.
I really liked it. It was never going to be an oscar winning film but I'm not sure it was meant to be.
At least she got work afterwards ...
bwahahaha.. love you R24
your comment has made my night!
Agree with R24 and R26. Get over your witch obsession, R23.
Excuse me, but Meryl Streep is the greatest actress, Jessica only comes in second place!
I don't mind the Streep troll. At least his obsession is a great talent, unlike the far more odious Janbot.
Meryl Streep's performance as Margaret Thatcher was a historic event!
Really good edition of Inside The Actor's Studio with Jessica Lange, from about 1996, before the show got too cheesy.
She talks about King Kong, Fosse, Tootsie, Frances, all of that. Worth watching, she is remarkable.
R48, Lange and Bob Fosse had been lovers a few years prior to All That Jazz. However, both were married to others (he to Gwen Verdon, she to Paco Grande), and he was a serial womanizer, so the relationship ended. When Fosse got word that Lange was having trouble getting acting gigs that didn't involve her being an airhead bimbo, he cast his former lover as his Angel of Death in ALJ. According to Lange, Fosse wanted to rekindle their romance, but she had already moved on to Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Kongs dying ,fading heartbeat scene with Jessica Lange in his eyes is the saddest moment in the film, still gets me, even through all the silliness and bad dialogue , pretty soundtrack to.
Fosse never had an affair with Lange. He wanted her but she was too cagey. And then he still cast her in All That Jazz.
Also the fact that Fosse was married to Gwen Verdon never stopped him from having affairs.
Lange also got good reviews very early in her career for the comedy,"How to Beat the High Co$t of Living." She was able to hold her own with comedic actresses Susan Saint James and Jane Curtain
Ha r57 I love that movie. Jane Curtain is one of the great underrated comedic actresses - have we ever discussed this on DL?
And it's got Dabney Coleman, too!
You all DO know, don't you, that Meryl Streep was up for the role of the girl in KING KONG that went to Jessica? She didn't get the role because producer Dino di Laurentis thought she wasn't pretty enough. She told the story on Letterman years ago....
R59 I totally get that she wasn't thought to be sexy enough, but supposedly he told M she looked like a pig. That I don't get. If he had said she was witchy looking, that I can see.
Interesting how M tells that story badly.
[quote]Understand that King Kong was probably on the embarassment scale somewhere between Waterworld and Showgirls.
That's utter bullshit....the movie was a pretty big hit for Paramount,tripling its budget. It was the 5th highest grossing film for that year.