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.
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
Close-up footage of The Empire State Building was added to the film, when it was re-issued in 1952, for the scene where Kong grabs the first plane and tosses it off the side of the building. We see a pristine picture of the Empire State Building as it existed in the 1950s, with its television antenna. In the other scenes, the landmark building was part of "Hollywood Set", with archival aerial footage of the New York City skyline added. Consequently, the only actual on-location filming was done 19 years after the film's first release. Film processing improved by that time, and the difference in clarity between the 1933 footage and the added 1952 shot is quite evident. See more »
Despite being a huge gorilla Kong is seen walking or running on two legs. Gorllias like all great apes apart from humans actually knuckle walk most of the time. See more »
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 »
On November 22, 2005, Turner Classic Movies premiered a version with a four minute overture added. This increased the run time to slightly over 104 minutes. This is also the U.S. two-disc DVD collector's edition version. Note, however, that the overture was not part of the film's original exhibition. According to John Morgan's notes on the score's re-construction, the overture was not written by Max Steiner. Morgan writes, "Another rumour has recently surfaced that Steiner composed an Overture for the film's world premiere opening in 1933 - there was even a recent recording claiming to be this long-lost Overture. Hearing the recorded "proof" of this Overture confirmed our suspicions: it was merely those same few acetates that have been floating around for years, professionally edited into a short Suite and called an Overture. In conversations I had with people who attended and remembered this opening, there was no music from the film used in any of these shows." Source: John Morgan, "Reconstruction Notes by John Morgan," Steiner: King Kong. Marco Polo (8.223763), 1997, pg. 21 (near bottom). See more »
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.
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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