8.0/10
66,913
429 user 173 critic

King Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1933 (USA)
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors:

(uncredited), (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play) (as James Creelman), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
320 ( 148)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

King Kong (1976)
Adventure | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The men who captured the giant ape King Kong return to Skull Island and find his likewise gigantic but far more friendly son.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher
King Kong (2005)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A movie crew, travelling to a mysterious island to shoot their picture, encounter a furious gorilla, taking their leading actress and forming a special relationship with her, protecting her at all costs.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody
Frankenstein (1931)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki
Dracula (1931)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
Gojira (1954)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong
The Wolf Man (1941)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Steve Clemente ...
Witch King (as Steve Clemento)
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann in it's grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

King Kong Comes. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Ape  »

Box Office

Budget:

$670,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Merian C. Cooper filmed the actors, then Willis H. O'Brien projected the image one frame at a time on a screen behind the models. That's how they filmed Kong's removal of Ann's clothing. Originally, Cooper had wires attached to her clothes to pull them off her body. The model's movements were then matched to hers. Unfortunately, O'Brien and Cooper forgot to patent their approach, thereby losing a fortune. See more »

Goofs

(at around 59 mins) In the middle of Kong's battle with the T-Rex, the tree on which Ann Darrow sits falls to the ground. While this occurs, the stop-motion animation of the two fighting monsters ceases completely and visibly before the end of the wide shot of the falling tree. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

They weren't just making a film when they made this one.... they were inventing rules and ideas that would be followed for decades to come.
28 October 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

How many films can truly be said to be definitive? The answer is probably "not many", but the original 1933 version of King Kong is certainly one of them. For its time, every aspect is innovative. First-of-their-kind special effects, first-of-its-kind plot, famous performances and a final sequence that remains unequalled as an eye-popping cinematic experience. The quality of cinematography and visual trickery has progressed a long way since 1933 - so the special effects obviously look rather primitive to 21st Century eyes - but anyone with a shred of common sense will still be astounded by what they see. This is movie history in the making. Had this never been made, the whole history of films may have taken a different course.

Ace film director Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) hires an unemployed, attractive New York woman Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) to star in his new picture. He takes her by boat to remote Skull Island where, according to legend, there lives an awesome god-like beast named Kong. Denham's plan is to shoot a variation of the Beauty and the Beast story, using Ann as his beauty and Kong as his beast. Everyone involved gets more than they bargained for when Ann is kidnapped by the island natives and offered as a sacrifice to Kong. She is kidnapped by a gigantic prehistoric ape and saved only by the courage of ship's mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). But Denham has one more trick up his sleeve when he captures Kong and takes the beast back to New York. You don't really think those chains will hold him, do you?

Virtually every monster movie ever made owes something to King Kong - even colossal modern hits like Jurassic Park, The Lost World and Godzilla (not to mention thousands of small scale homages such as The Land Unknown and Gorgo). It is arguably the most influential film of all-time. I genuinely envy people who were lucky enough to experience this film during its 1933 opening week - what must they have thought? Did they realize they were witnessing something utterly extraordinary? I could go on all day giving reasons why you should see it, but it would be pointless. It can all be summed up in one sentence: if you have even the slightest interest in movies SEE THIS FILM!


129 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page