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King Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1933 (USA)
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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.

Directors:

Merian C. Cooper (uncredited), Ernest B. Schoedsack (uncredited)

Writers:

James Ashmore Creelman (screen play) (as James Creelman), Ruth Rose (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,778 ( 98)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fay Wray ... Ann Darrow
Robert Armstrong ... Carl Denham
Bruce Cabot ... John Driscoll
Frank Reicher ... Capt. Englehorn
Sam Hardy ... Charles Weston
Noble Johnson ... Native Chief
Steve Clemente Steve Clemente ... Witch King (as Steve Clemento)
James Flavin ... Second Mate Briggs
King Kong ... The Eighth Wonder of the World
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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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ape See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$670,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$10,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 2005 DVD restoration further details the risqué liberties of a 1933 pre-code film release in two scenes. The first is when Ann is on the ship's deck while Charlie is peeling potatoes, and the second is where Denham is shooting some test footage of Ann ("Scream for your life, Ann, Scream!"). The thin material used for Ann's dress and gown in both scenes, makes it obvious that Fay Wray is not wearing a bra; a wardrobe decision that may not have made it past the Breen Code the following year. See more »

Goofs

(at around 54 mins) When Kong puts Ann on the tree throne (just before the T-Rex encounter), she moves a meter or so to the left as stop-motion gives way to live-action. Also, because of the full-size tree and actress matted over a portion of the miniature jungle set, part of Kong's paw disappears, seemingly behind the tree but, in fact, behind the matted-in live-action at this moment. 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 »

Crazy Credits

Opening Card: And the prophet said: "And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty. And it stayed its hand from killing. And from that day, it was as one dead." Old Arabian Proverb See more »

Alternate Versions

Other than the sequence where Kong pulls Fay Wray's clothes off, here are the other scenes that were cut in the late '30s, and not restored until the '70s:
  • All scenes of the Brontasourus biting sailors, including the sequence where a sailor climbs to the top of a tree, and soon, a dinosaur comes and takes him away in his mouth.
  • Kong biting and chewing natives when he breaks through the gate on Skull Island, and squashing one under his giant foot.
  • Kong biting a New Yorker when he escapes from the theater.
  • Kong picking a sleeping woman from her hotel room, inspecting her and upon deciding that she's not Ann throwing her to the sidewalk several stories below. Though these scenes were fully restored in 35mm to the 1972 re-release, some prints in the 1960s used 35mm blow-ups of an old uncensored 16mm print to restore the shots, creating a noticeable drop in quality. The 1972 restoration gets the censored shots that were discovered in an uncut British 35mm print from 1933.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Martian Space Party (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
the Eighth WOnder of the World!
3 April 2003 | by gameraxSee all my reviews

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KING KONG! This month marks the 70th anniversary of the release of the classic 1933 movie King Kong. Produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, King Kong is a tragic tale of a giant ape that is taken from his jungle home and put on display in the big city of New York. He escapes while pursuing a girl he has become enamored with and dies a tragic death at the hands of a squadron of Biplanes. Who among us can forget the classic ending line `It was Beauty that killed the beast'. King Kong played to record numbers during its East Coast release in the first week in March 1933(It was released in April on the West Coast). In two theaters in New York the film grossed $89,931 smashing all records. Keep in mind this was during the depression! Many film makers have drawn inspiration from King Kong's tragic tale. Craftsman such as Godzilla director, Ishiro Honda , Ray Harryhausen,( who worked with King Kong effects artist Willis O'Brien on his film MIGHTY JOE YOUNG for which O'Brien won the very first special effects Oscar) and

Peter Jackson have claimed to be inspired by Kong's dynamic presence.

Willis O'Brien who created the incredible stop motion effects in King Kong tried to create interest in an idea he had been working on that had King Kong battling a creature like Frankenstein only larger. He hoped to make the film by using his stop-motion process to animate both Kong and the Frankenstein monster. He was unable to interest any of the U.S. Studios in his idea so he approached a Japanese studio, Toho, with his concept. The project fell through and Willis O'Brien passed away in 1962 his dream unfulfilled. Shortly after his death, Toho released King Kong vs. Godzilla which featured a story line almost identical to his King Kong vs. Frankenstein script except that the Frankenstein monster was replaced by Godzilla.

Little did Cooper and Shoedsack realize what an impact their film would have on the American culture. After the events of 9/11, the internet was bombarded by images of King Kong perched atop the twin towers defending them from the terrorists airplanes. Kong can be found in just about every New York souvenir shop on everything from pens to T -shirts. Todd McFarlane released his own more sinister version of King Kong in his Movie Maniacs line of action figures. Even now Peter Jackson is planning to remake this classic film. King Kong was voted as one of the top 100 Classic American films of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI) and TV Guide named King Kong atop the Empire State Building the Fourth Greatest Movie Moment.

Even 70 years later, King Kong continues to enthrall millions of new fans due to the extensive showings on television and video. King Kong has been shown on television more than almost any other film. Surprisingly, King Kong has never been released on DVD in the United States although a brand new DVD is planned for release in 2004 including never before seen footage and enhanced video and audio.

Merian C. Cooper said it best-"'Kong' was never intended to be anything but the best damned adventure film ever made, which it is; and that's all it is." Happy Birthday King Kong and thank you keeping the child in all of alive.


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