7.9/10
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King Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1933 (USA)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,583 ( 1,494)
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:

King Kong Comes. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite having a major impact on the story and receiving fourth billing, Frank Reicher as Capt. Englehorn disappears after Kong's capture on the island and doesn't appear at all in the New York scenes. See more »

Goofs

When Denham and the others discuss putting a woman in their movie, Jack comments that women in New York know what their danger is, and grins broadly. It then cuts to a longer shot and he is not smiling. 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?
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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

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, however (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 its 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." While the scene was scrapped, a still of this exists and can be found in a book about the making of Kong.
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Connections

Referenced in Smallville: Turbulence (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by W.C. Handy
Whistled by Robert Armstrong
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User Reviews

 
The original and best
3 March 2019 | by grantssSee all my reviews

Famed movie producer Carl Denham is about to embark on his latest project. He has his ship chartered, his crew assembled and his leading lady hired. The location: an uncharted island off Sumatra. The main star of his film: a huge gorilla, King Kong.

The original King Kong, and best. Good plot, with a solid set up, a fair degree of intrigue and exciting developments. Good adventure and action along the way.

Some good sub-plots and character development too.

Probably the most outstanding area of this movie is the quality of the special effects. Yes, by today's CGI standards the special effects are pretty basic but by 1933's standards they must have been revolutionary. Even today, when we're used to seamless CGI, many of the effects in this movie, especially the huge gorilla and dinosaurs, look pretty life-like.

And these special effects contribute some of the most iconic images in film history, not least of which is the famous scene with King Kong on the Empire State Building, swatting at fighter planes.

A seminal movie in the history of cinema.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$651
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
See full technical specs »

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