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.
In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
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
In his review in The New York Times (March 3, 1933), film critic Mordaunt Hall incorrectly refers to Fay Wray's character as "Ann Redman". See more »
When Kong escapes from his bonds in the theater in New York, he leaves the right cuff of his shackles on his wrist. During the subsequent rampage through the city, the cuff is missing in several scattered shots, and in the entirety of the sequence in which Kong destroys the elevated train. That sequence was reportedly conceived, designed, and filmed when the picture came from the editing room at thirteen reels in length, to which producer-director Merian C. Cooper objected superstitiously. It is easy to see how the cuff would be forgotten in such a situation, but the other disappearances remain a mystery. See more »
Classic Extravaganza Still Greatest Movie Adventure of all time.
As a guy whose pushing 52, I'm proud to say that this movie has been a
profound influence on my life and is largely instrumental into launching
into a career as an art director. I've seen this movie perhaps over 1,000
times. Before the advent of VHS, I would catch it anywhere in L.A. where
there was a revival house. Saw it countless times before the "lost" footage
was restored (which puts a competely different spin on the complex
character of Kong). I have a rare tape recording of the original Steiner
"prologue Music" lasting over ten minutes (dubbed for me by a collector
friend) which I don't think has made it onto the excellent Turner/Rhino CD
soundtrack. And still I see something new upon each screening. I first saw
Kong in 1956 on the local "Million Dollar Movie" show, a weekly feature of
KHJ TV-9 - an RKO-General station. I remember the scenes of Kong throwing
the "wrong" woman to her death as still intact...as well as a few feet of
film where a New York
fire engine flips-over after going around the corner (I've never seen that
bit since). I was in a film class being taught by Rudy Behlmer at Art
in 1971 when he matter-of-factly screened the "lost" footage in class (he
had gotten access to it). I've seen nitrate prints screened at the L.A.
County Museum of Art, UCLA and MOMA. I have seen this film with Fay Wray in
attendance. I don't think I've ever missed a screening
anywhere locally to the best of my knowledge. What bothers me is that
today's audiences may not be able to project themselves back into
and try to relive the thrilling film-going experience circa 1933. They
cannot grasp or accept the dialogue or style of acting at face-value; many
consider it corny...or over-the-top. Yet a comparison between Kong and say
Jurassic Park III finds the latter's dialogue so stiltedly puerile and
instantly forgettable that it cannot stand the test of time even in the
present, let alone seventy years. In Kong, Bruce Cabot portrays a "natural"
mug who plays his part beautifully as an uncouth mate aboard ship suddenly
sharing his space with one of the prettiest women of all time (Fay Wray's
looks are timeless, and she is still a "hottie" even by today's standards)
Is there any wonder that similarities between Cabot
and Harrison Ford as "Indiana Jones" are not coincidental? If Cabot were
alive today, he'd be the one earning millions. Robert Armstrong is perfect
playing an impresario so full of energy he bursts at the seams. This is the
way show people talked during the third decade of the Twentieth
Century...full of what they used to call ballyhoo (check out Jimmy Cagney
"Footlight Parade made in the same year for the same
kind of high-voltage enthusiasm). Frank Reicher is totally believable as
captain, lending an even greater amount of quasi-realism to the
Never discussed is fact that this movie is shot almost
documentary-style...it has a mythical "preserved-in-amber" feel about it.
It's as if what you are seeing is truly real...folklore-become-fact...and
that the scenes unfolding actually happened once upon a time in 1933. Who
cannot visit New York City today and NOT think of King Kong on the rampage
close to 70 years ago? I urge anyone who has not seen "King Kong" on the
screen to do so. When you hear the any of the remarkable sound effects as
you view the film, you will become a convert; for example, just listen to
the all-too-real crunching of the Allosaurus' jawbone just before Kong ends
its life (a death made all-the-more poignant by the way the carnivore is
introduced to the audience-by innocently and realistically SCRATCHING ITS
HEAD WITH ITS CLAW as it enters frame before the fight). Absolute
Perfection in a movie made up of absolute perfections. I could yammer on
on. But I won't. All I can tell you is that for these and countless other
reasons this film will always rate a 10-out-of-10. It is still the Greatest
Adventure Movie Of All Time.
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