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King Kong (1933)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy  |  7 April 1933 (USA)
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Reviews: 396 user | 158 critic

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.


(uncredited) , (uncredited)


(screen play) (as James Creelman) , (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Sam Hardy ...
Noble Johnson ...
Steve Clemente ...
Witch King (as Steve Clemento)
James Flavin ...


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


A Monster of Creation's Dawn Breaks Loose in Our World Today! See more »


Adventure | Fantasy


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 April 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King Ape  »

Box Office


$670,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The laserdisc edition of the film includes the first ever audio commentary. See more »


When Kong is fighting the miniature biplanes the length of the lower wings are the same as the upper. When actual footage of biplanes are used the lower wingspans are shorter than the upper. See more »


[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 »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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!

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