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

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Merian C. Cooper ...
Himself (archive footage) (archive sound)
David Strohmaier ...
Himself - Interviewee
James D'Arc ...
Himself - Interviewee
Himself (archive footage)
Paul M. Jensen ...
Himself - Interviewee
Ted Curtis Jr. ...
Himself - Interviewee
Herbert Hoover ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself - Interviewee
Carl Denham (archive footage)
Jack Driscoll (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage) (archive sound)
Himself (archive footage)
Marguerite Harrison ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself - Interviewee


A chronological celebration of the life and contributions to movies of Merian C. Cooper (1893-1973), adventurer turned filmmaker. Tossed from the Naval Academy and wanting to make his father proud, he becomes a bomber pilot in World War I, assists the Polish resistance, escapes from a Soviet prison, and becomes a documentary filmmaker. He brings his camera close to stampeding elephants and lunging tigers. With "King Kong," he used stop-motion animation. Other innovations include his use of aviation in movie making and his embrace of Technicolor and Cinemascope. Archival interviews of Cooper and his partner, Monty Schoedsack, add to the soundtrack. Talking heads also comment. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

3 September 2005 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary was released on DVD in the King Kong (1933) Two-Disc Special Edition the same day it was aired on Turner Classic Movies, Nov. 22 2005. See more »


Edited from The Big Parade (1925) See more »

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The amazing life of the man who did more than father King Kong is required viewing for anyone who loves movies or just a really good story
10 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a most amazing documentary about Merian C Cooper, the man who created King Kong. Cooper's statement that he was King Kong was made when he described his life to the man who was helping put together his (unfinished) autobiography. It was not an idle boast since Cooper did more than 20 other normal people, from fighting in three wars, escaping from a Russian prison camp, making movies, running an airline, having a family, and on and on and on. This documentary about his life is a wonderful look at man little known to most people. Thats due, as one person says, to the fact that he was doing so much you could never get a hold of him. Done for Turner Classic Movies and on the new DVD release of King Kong, this is a must see documentary for anyone who loves movies, regardless of if you like King Kong or not. This is the story of a man that changed the face of not only the movies, but the world we know today. What he did, what he developed influences how we see the world and what we think America is (This goes for everyone in the world who has ever seen any of his films as well). This is a movie that will move you and make you wonder why someone hasn't made a movie about Cooper himself since it has more drama than 99% of the movies ever made.

The only flaw in the film, and the one thing that prevents me from giving it a 10 out of 10 is that after the film deals with King Kong the film loses sight of Cooper the man, instead focusing on his technical achievements. Cooper's life should have been told in twice the 57 minute running time. Its a minor flaw, that doesn't diminish the "Oh Wow!" factor, however it does increase the "I want more" factor by several degrees.

See this film.

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