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