7.9/10
74,279
475 user 157 critic

King Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1933 (USA)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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
4,118 ( 452)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Frankenstein (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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 | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 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
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
Dracula (1931)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The men who captured the giant ape King Kong return to Skull Island and find his likewise gigantic but far more friendly son.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher
Godzilla (1954)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
The Wolf Man (1941)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr.
King Kong (2005)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A greedy film producer assembles a team of moviemakers and sets out for the infamous Skull Island, where they find more than just cannibalistic natives.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody
Nosferatu (1922)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Most startling picture since the talkies! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ape See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$670,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$651
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1991, King Kong (1933) was added to the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. See more »

Goofs

The apparent size of Kong changes from 18 feet to 24 feet. This was a conscious decision of director Merian C. Cooper, who felt that Kong's size wasn't impressive enough in New York. The publicity materials would later state Kong's height was 60 feet, almost 3 times the average height as he is actually depicted in the film. 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

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 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" and thus the scene was scrapped. A still of this exists and can be found in a book about the making of Kong.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: The Skywalker Incursion (2015) 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

10 out of 10? This deserves 10,000 out of 10.
14 June 1999 | by G.SpiderSee all my reviews

Ignore the cranks who seem to look for subliminal messages and underlying hidden meanings in everything. This is a monster movie and a love story and never pretends to be everything else.

Hollywood film-makers of today could certainly learn a few things from watching it with its well-written characters, fast-paced and dynamic script which contains barely a dull moment, excellent dialogue and hauntingly memorable music. Willis O'Brien's animation is at its best and Kong himself comes across as a genuine character and not an unsympathetic one. Scenery is also imaginative, with marvellous attention paid to detail, and the monsters are well-designed.

Still the best monster film ever made, if not the best film.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 475 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed