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
Not counting pre-production work, this film was 55 weeks in actual production. See more »
(at around 1h 30 mins) As Kong puts Ann down atop the Empire State Building, a matte shot of the live actress replaces the animated model of Ann in Kong's paw, but the matte plainly cuts off a large corner of the shadow thrown by the paw on the building. The same error happens again a few minutes later. 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 »
Also scrapped from the film at the same time as the spider sequence (it is unknown how much of it was filmed) was a scene involving the search party encountering a group of triceratops right after the brontosaurus attack. Kong stumbles upon the creatures and a battle ensues. He hurls a giant rock at one of them causing one of its horns to break off. Another triceratops chases the sailors further into the jungle and stabs one of them to death with its horn. This sequence was scripted but never filmed. Cooper felt a scene such as this would take too long (and too much money) to film, as well as slow the film down. The Triceratops chasing the sailor was filmed though (minus the impalement). Actually it was a test shot from the canceled CREATION (1932) film that O'Brien was working on before KING KONG. He shot test footage of a Triceratops chasing a sailor and goring him with it's horn after the sailor had shot and killed its baby. The sequence of the Triceratops chasing the sailor was to be grafted into the film of KING KONG. This is why the men are still running long after the Brontosaurus had stopped chasing them, because a Triceratops (only one) had sprung from the Jungle and chased after them. The sequence was never used because it didn't match up well the King Kong footage and thus left out of the finished picture. The CREATION test footage can be found on the Warner R1 King Kong DVD released in 2005.
Also cut was a long sequence of Ann and Jack fleeing from Kong after they jump off the cliff into the river. This sequence featured an enraged Kong climbing down from Skull Mountain after the pair. It was cut because Cooper felt it was too long and wanted to keep the pacing of the film quick, with the couple making it back to the village with an unseen Kong behind them keeping the pace of the film flowing fast.
Another scene cut from the New York sequence had Kong peering into a window and breaking up a poker game. This sequence was cut because a similar scene had appeared in the THE LOST WORLD (1925)
An alternate shot of Kong falling off the Empire State building was filmed but discarded due to less than perfect special effects, with Kong falling he looked "transparent" and thus the scene was scrapped. A still of this exists and can be found in a book about the making of Kong.
With the recent DVD release of this film, and the latest version on the big screen being released two days from this writing, I hope more people take the opportunity to check this movie out, the original King Kong, if they've never seen it.
This movie must have been astounding to the people watching it over 70 years ago. I doubt they'd ever seen anything like this, action-wise, and monster-wise. It is still fascinating today, even with the great advancements in special effects.
Most action films from the classic years, from 1920 to the late 1960s had corny mostly unrealistic special effects but this film still holds up, extraordinarily so considering its age. The film also had a tremendous amount of action. Young people today are usually bored watching old black-and-white movies but they wouldn't be bored with this one. Once the "girl," Fay Wray gets captured by King Kong, the rest of the movie is one long action scene.
Kong was not the only beast in the movie, either, which surprised me the first time I ever saw this. Protecting Wray, Kong battles a dinosaur, a giant snake, a giant bird and then human beings firing bullets and bombs at him.
Wray also was fun to watch, but I''m a male so a pretty woman like her - shockingly exposing her breasts in one scene, too - makes it easier to enjoy the film. Her screaming, however, can get on your nerves. She must have been hoarse for a month after filming this movie.
Robert Armstrong, as the film director, and Bruce Cabot, as the ship crewman and Wray''s rescuer, also are interesting to watch and hear. As I said, once the action kicks in, the his a very entertaining movie and impossible to put down.
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