I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005)

  |  Documentary, Biography

This documentary explores the incredible life of Merian C. Cooper, from his time as a soldier and pilot in three different wars, to his exploits in Hollywood, as a director, producer and cinematic innovator.


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Christopher Bird , Kevin Brownlow


1 win.

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6 January 2012 | Michael_Elliott
Fun Look at Cooper's Life
I'm King Kong! The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper (2005)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Here's yet another wonderful documentary from Turner Classic Movies that is co-directed by the one and only Kevin Brownlow. The film tells the rather wild and unbelievable story of producer-director-maverick-war hero-adventurer Merian C. Cooper who is best remembered today for bringing KING KONG to the big screen. Alec Baldwin narrates and we get interviews with Rudy Behlmer, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Bob Burns, Paul M. Jensen, James D'Arc, Faye Wray, James Karen and Harry Carey, Jr.. We start off hearing about Cooper's early life and how thinking he disappointed his family led to a rather incredible life where he cheated death several times. We hear about him being reported dead in WW1 and the amazing story of survival. From here we learn about the creation of some of his documentaries (GRASS and CHANG) and then we get into the production of KING KONG and how no studio in Hollywood wanted to make it. From here we follow Cooper as he gets involved in WWII, begins working with John Ford and eventually doing MIGHTY JOE YOUNG and introducing Cinerama. While watching this film it's rather amazing to see what type of life Cooper lived. It's amazing to see how many times he should have died and how many of his own life experiences ended up in all of his movies. The film historians do a great job at telling the story and getting to hear from those who personally knew Cooper was also a major plus. Fans of his films are certainly going to want to check this out but more important is just those interesting in seeing how much this man actually did.

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