I'm King Kong!: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper
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 cin... Read allThis 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.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.
Well, the first few sentences in this feature seem to confirm that. "He was the genuine Indiana Jones," said one man. "We will never see his like again."
"His whole life was adventure," says another. "He was unbelievable.....if it weren't all true. He was a legend unto himself."
This 57-minute look at Cooper and not only his adventures but his movies and innovations in motion pictures, like the incredible "This Is Cinerama" were all fascinating to watch.
Cooper, like others who wound up "overachievers," if you will, had that mindset to succeed early on in life for two big reasons: 1 - he was kind of short and stocky and wanted to prove he could do a lot things physically others couldn't do, and 2 - more important, he wanted desperately to impress his father and gain approval through deeds. Often, one of these is a big motivator, and Cooper had both, and he certainly accomplished both goals.
There is no sense detailing all his adventures and accomplishments. Suffice to say they are many, and he was ahead of his time on a lot of his ideas and deeds. He also was unbelievably courageous. The story of how he survived after being shot in the neck and his WWI plane on fire, or being held in a Russian prison camp in the middle of winter with dead bodies piling up each day, are pretty wild.
In addition to tales of the real-life adventures, there are film clips from many of the Cooper- Ernest B. Schoedsack films and, since this is part of the "King Kong" special-edition DVD, the emphasis is on some technical aspects of making that film.
Unlike the others here, I enjoyed the last 60 percent of this which dealt with the movies and didn't mind they switched to that topic. They still mentioned more of Cooper's adventures, like his WWII heroics so, overall, you had half and half - half of Cooper's wild adventures and half his movie-making genius.
The only downside of this documentary is that Cooper and Schoedsack are heard on tape describing some of their adventures and they use the Lord's name in vain about every third sentence. That's ridiculous to hear on a documentary, of all things, but it only lasts for about a five-minute period.
Overall, a fascinating look at a real "original," and an amazing person.
- Aug 1, 2007