King Kong (1933)

Passed   |    |  Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

King Kong (1933) Poster

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

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  • Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack in King Kong (1933)
  • King Kong in King Kong (1933)
  • King Kong (1933)
  • Fay Wray and King Kong in King Kong (1933)
  • King Kong in King Kong (1933)
  • Fay Wray and King Kong in King Kong (1933)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

8 October 2012 | swedzin
| One of the most significant movies of all time.
This amazingly large film, is definitely one of the biggest movies ever made, even in his genre, a mixture of adventure, fantasy, SF and horror. The movie that set some new standards that were used over and over, most importantly - the meaning of a true blockbuster adventure. This film was one of the first mega hit blockbusters at big budget and high gross (for that time). Directed by Ernest Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper, these two guys were credited for creating a large ape adventure. The story was really something new back then, a little bit with that "beauty and the best" element, which goes pretty good here. A director Carl Denham (played by great Robert Armstorng, who created a very lively, charismatic and enthusiastic, original version of Carl Denham) and his film crew travels on a isolated island where they stumble upon a giant ape that takes away their leading actress Ann Darrow (played by lovely Fay Wray. Alas Fay got stuck forever with that role, and most of the time, she played scream queens, but, she did a terrific job here, and that only matters), only to capture the ape and brought him to New York (an excellent ground for one of the most thrilling endings in the history of cinema).

Now, the story was written by Edgard Wallace, whose idea about giant ape was really astonishing, in that period, in movies before the Second world war, he created a modern story idea about the beauty and the beast. Wallace put a rational amount of melodrama in the film, because without it, it would be just another mindless film featuring a large monster, only with cool special effects. And the special effects were amazing for that time, no wonder that filming took almost two years, it was a lot of work to do, and really, I enjoy these stop-motion effects more than today's CGI. Nevertheless, this "dimension" of Kong's which makes him more closely to human, just because he fells in love with the leading lady, makes the plot better and it determined a pattern which will be used in later films. It is interesting that, the same year, The Son of Kong (1933) was filmed and released with even higher melodrama.

So, the cinematography (for that time), make up, filming locations and others were pretty amazing, everything is pretty amazing, to mention the musical score of one of the old master movie composers Max Steiner, who made a badass score. We also have an old manly, heroic element depicted in John Driscoll (played by Bruce Cabot), who saves Ann from the clutches of the large beast. To also mention a fact that Kong is not alone in the island, there were tribes that worships Kong as a God, but that tribe looked little silly... and also - dinosaurs. That's right, there were bunch of dinosaurs, also large insects who pumped action and adventure even more, and don't even let me start talking about the brilliant duel between Kong and T.Rex... now that was amazing! Earnest Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper were big fans of wrestling and they directed the fighting choreography between two beasts. That's professional, even with stop-motion special effects.

If you haven't seen this film, not even the two remakes... see the 1933 first, than proceed to the other, please don't watch remakes, you'll ruin the impression. Watch it and enjoy!

Metacritic Reviews

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Did You Know?


In the scene where Kong breaks into the village, a native jumps from an elevated hut and knocks over a chicken coop. As he falls backwards, it can clearly be seen that his wig comes flying off.


Charles Weston: Say, is this the moving picture ship?
Watchman: The Venture? Yeah. Are you going on this crazy voyage?
Charles Weston: What's crazy about it?


(at around 55 mins) When Kong is shaking the sailors off the log, the second person falls and lands at the bottom of the chasm, but when the camera cuts back, he appears to be back on the log.

Crazy Credits

Opening Card: And the prophet said: "And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty. And it stayed its hand from killing. And from that day, it was as one dead." Old Arabian Proverb

Alternate Versions

The original version was released four times between 1933 and 1952, and each release saw the cutting of additional scenes. Though many of the outtakes - including the censored sequence in which Kong peels off Fay Wray's clothes - were restored in 1971, one cut scene has never been found. It is the clip in which Kong shakes four sailors off a log bridge, causing them to fall into a ravine where they are eaten alive by giant spiders. When the movie - with spider sequence intact - was previewed in San Bernardino, Calif., in late January, 1933, members of the audience screamed and either left the theatre or talked about the grisly sequence throughout the remainder of the film. Said the film's producer, Merian C. Cooper, "It stopped the picture cold, so the next day back at the studio, I took it out myself". Recently, there have been rumors that the reason why the scene was cut was because it slowed down the film too much and didn't tie into the main story of Kong pursuing Ann. Peter Jackson and the crew at WETA "reconstructed" and re-shot the scene for the Warner R1 DVD using duplicates of the original stop motion models, the shooting script, and various storyboards. The sequence also includes the sailors running from an enraged triceratops.


St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by
W.C. Handy
Whistled by Robert Armstrong


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi

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