June 30, 1995 in UK cinemas: Congo

“Where you are the endangered species”

Congo-1995Congo is an action adventure film loosely based on Michael Crichton‘s novel of the same name. It was directed by Frank Marshall (a frequent collaborator of Steven Spielberg, who directed another film based on Crichton’s work, Jurassic Park). It stars Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, Grant Heslov, and Joe Don Baker. The film was released on June 9, 1995, by Paramount Pictures. Congo opened to negative reviews but performed better than Paramount expected.

After the success of The Great Train Robbery. Crichton decided to write a screenplay specifically for Sean Connery. The film was envisioned as an homage to classic pulp adventure tales, and Crichton successfully pitched the movie to 20th Century Fox in 1979 without a fleshed out story. The film ran into problems however when Crichton learned that he could not use a real gorilla to portray the character of Amy, which was a breaking point for him and he left the project. From there, it was offered to several directors including Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter who both passed. A brief attempt was made to revive the project in the late 1980s but to no avail. Ultimately Frank Marshall would go on to direct the film in the 1990s with little, if any involvement from Crichton. [Wikipedia]

A megalomaniac C.E.O. sends his son into the dangerous African Congo on a quest for a Cinema-UK-06-30-1995source of diamonds large enough and pure enough to function as powerful laser communications transmitters (or is it laser weapons?). When contact is lost with his son and the team, his sometime daughter- in-law is sent after them. She is a former CIA operative and, accompanied by gee-whiz gadgetry and a few eccentric characters (including a mercenary, a researcher with a talking gorilla, and a nutty Indiana-Jones-type looking for King Solomon’s Mines), sets out to rescue her former fiancé. What they all discover is that often what we most want turns out to be the source of our downfall. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

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