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King Kong (1933)

Cast: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, more...
Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper
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Studio: Universal
Genre: Classics, Classic Action/Adventure, Classic Action/Adventure, Killer Critters, Adventure, Classic Action/Adventure, Lost Worlds, Precode
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"How would you like to star opposite the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood?" Enticed by these words, brunette leading lady Fay Wray dyed her hair blonde and accepted the role of Ann Darrow in King Kong -- and stayed with the project even after learning that her "leading man" was a 50-foot ape. The film introduces us to flamboyant, foolhardy documentary filmmaker Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), who sails off to parts unknown to film his latest epic with leading lady Darrow in tow. Disembarking at Skull Island, they stumble on a ceremony in which the native dancers circle around a terrified-looking young girl, chanting, "Kong! Kong!" The chief (Noble Johnson) and witch doctor (Steve Clemente) spot Denham and company and order them to leave. But upon seeing Ann, the chief offers to buy the "golden woman" to serve as the "bride of Kong." Denham refuses, and he and the others beat a hasty retreat to their ship. Late that night, a party of native warriors sneak on board the ship and kidnap Ann. They strap her to a huge sacrificial altar just outside the gate, then summon Kong, who winds up saving Ann instead of devouring her. Kong is eventually taken back to New York, where he breaks loose on the night of his Broadway premiere, thinking that his beloved Ann is being hurt by the reporters' flash bulbs. Now at large in New York, Kong searches high and low for Ann (in another long-censored scene, he plucks a woman from her high-rise apartment, then drops her to her death when he realizes she isn't the girl he's looking for). After proving his devotion by wrecking an elevated train, Kong winds up at the top of the Empire State Building, facing off against a fleet of World War I fighter planes. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

King Kong (1933)
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7.64 (88 votes)
King Kong (Bonus Disc) (1933)
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7.36 (22 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Much love for the old school; much hate for the Tony Scott by toddandsteph November 13, 2006 - 6:06 PM PST
King Kong (1933): Unlike the last film reviewed, this classic did not let me down in the slightest. The plot is completely straightforward and shows many signs of its studio-works writing, but the things in the story are really what deserve notice. Any one of us will appreciate when Kong shakes many a sailor off of a tree trunk over a cliff, leading many of them to fall to a horrible (and detailed) demise. We also have to love the fight between Kong and the T-Rex, which is much cooler anyday than the CGI Peter Jackson version (although Jackson's film is great in its own ways). I have to say though, out of the two iterations of this story I've seen (this and Jackson), this is easily the better. We don't waste time here trying to sympathize Kong or to create a decent romance. We came for the spectacle, and that's exactly what we get. However, near the end, when Kong's on top of the Empire State, you do end up feeling a bit sorry for him, and that prevailing emotion is much more powerful than the stuff wrung out of us in Jackson's version. By not letting in human emotion to connect us to Kong, we have to sympathize with the damn beast himself! And don't let anybody tell you different. The effects ARE THE REASON TO SEE THIS MOVIE. Why oh why can't they do this kind of effect anymore? I'd take a stop-motion Kong before a CG one anyday of the damn year. Why? Well, because in its falseness, it looks more real. I don't sit there and go, "wow, they simulated that hair really well." I just watch the Kong scenes and go, "wow, even though I know that's a puppet, I can't believe they did that with a real model!" It just speaks volumes about how lazy our filmmaking has become. Why stage a huge crane shot like at the beginning of Touch of Evil when you can fabricate the damn the thing on your Avid? Blech. Anyway, if you haven't seen this, you're doing a serious disservice to yourself. I never had much interest in seeing it either, but I'm for sure damn glad I did. **** out've *****


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