Up 364 this week

King Kong (1933)

Unrated  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy  |  7 April 1933 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 62,014 users  
Reviews: 396 user | 157 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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Frankenstein (1931)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
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
Documentary | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Feature film examining the existence of films in which people are murdered on camera and the culture surrounding them. Through interviews with former FBI Profilers, Cultural Academics, and ... See full summary »

Director: Paul von Stoetzel
Stars: Larry C. Brubaker, Todd Cobery, Linda Flanders
Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

In this action comedy, Jack Goldwater, an IRS agent on loan to the Federal Air Marshal Service, is relieved of field duty after insulting a powerful U.S. Senator, and finds himself exiled ... See full summary »

Director: J. Neil Schulman
Stars: Nichelle Nichols, Ethan Keogh, Susan Smythe
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A prank goes too far for the popular students at Hamilton High as they begin to pay for their actions 10 years later at their high school reunion.

Director: Steve Goltz
Stars: Kaleb Shorey, Marla Van Lanen, Kevin Sommerfield
Freaks (1932)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
Dracula (1931)
    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
Godzilla (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
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young filmmaker decides to make a movie of his life.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: L.M. Kit Carson, Eileen Dietz, Louise Levine
King Kong (2005)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody
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 his island and find his equally gigantic, but far more friendly, son.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher


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


The strangest story ever conceived by man. 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 56-cm-high (22 in) model of King Kong used in the film sold at auction in 2009 for about $203,000 (US). It was originally covered in cotton, rubber, liquid latex, and rabbit fur, but most of the covering has decomposed over the decades. A similarly constructed model of a triceratops is owned by Peter Jackson, which he used in his own recreation of the lost spider-pit sequence. See more »


Kong's fur seems to ripple as he moves, this is due to the indentations made in the fur of the Kong model by the fingers of the men who were constantly touching it to change its position slightly to produce the stop-motion animation effects. 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 »


Referenced in M*A*S*H: Dear Dad, Again (1973) See more »


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

Tongue in cheek movie about Hollywood.

"He was a king and a god in the world he knew, but now he comes to civilisation merely a captive, a show to gratify your curiosity," the director says to the vaudeville house, before a curtain goes up and we see Kong suspended with his arms nailed out, as if on a cross.

Self-reflection and satire of Hollywood is everywhere, which came as a great shock to me. There is a great subtext: the story is about a filmmaker who travels to overseas locations, such as jungles, to film his movies - he cares nothing for the cultures he may be violating, all he cares is capturing the spectacle on film. If he is unable to capture it on film, he tells us early on in the picture, he'll destroy it without a second thought. This is a film about the emptiness and recklessness of Hollywood, yet the satire is not bitter, but tongue-in-cheek in a way that follows James Whale's advice for putting subtexts in genre films, ie, not spoiling it for those viewers who don't "get the joke." So Kong can be enjoyed as a pure genre picture. The performances have false moments, but as an adventure picture it develops well, taking us gradually further towards the mystery of the legend of Kong, then follows Kong as the whole drama of his attempted capture plays out. The music also, is great, and along with mist and good cinematography helps create a mysterious atmosphere. The beginning is fairly talky, but it picks up. And the lovely Fay Wray offers reason enough to watch this on her own. If I was Kong, i know i'd beat the hell out of any dinosaur there was in order to protect her!

Luckily, King Kong came in the period between 1930 and 1934 when there was no production code in Hollywood, so content was not censored. A couple years later we wouldn't have had the pleasure of seeing Fay Wray clad in a torn to shreds jungle jane costume, and especially not then falling in the water wearing said outfit! And probably not the degree of violence we have here: in one particular fight Kong has with T-rex he breaks the dinosaur's head by pulling its jaws so far open!

The vintage special effects are great. They're so fun for quaintness value, but in places they're actually really good. The wrestling match with the T-rex, when Kong cracks a giant snake's back, and especially when he shakes the men off the log - all these sequences in particular were very well done. When I think about it, these effects aren't as quaint next to today's as you might initially think. How would we do a convincing giant ape onscreen (how will Peter Jackson do it in 2005)? By computer? Most of our completely computerised creatures at this writing are ridiculously fake looking. Try the ridiculous creature in Hulk? Everyone commented on how fake it looked. I'll go for the much more fun stop-motion Hickenlooper Kong over Hulk anyday.

And the famous climax in New York City, which ends on the Empire State Building with Kong swatting at planes, is marvellous.

57 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who is the hottest 'Kong girl'? godzillafreak97
Idiot in my class pridakfan253
King Kong is an analogy for Amercia's fear of Black men sporthub
What do you guys think of The Lost World (1925)? Just_Alex
1933 audience sanookdee
Pauline Wagner as537
Discuss King Kong (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page