King Kong (1933) - Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

THE killer ape movie that actually succeeded and gave us a figure more recognizable than James Whale's Frankenstein's Monster. King Kong is one of the greatest movies about a giant ape ever made! I can say that with the utmost confidence. For the limits that the directors faced at the time, they did a really good job making the audience really believe in Kong. That is the main drawing point for this movie. The acting is just about as good as you would expect it. Fay Wray is our damsel in distress, starring in this picture masterfully alongside Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, and of course Kong himself. 

A crew decides to make a movie on a remote island. While out on the island they discover Kong the giant gorilla that sets his eyes on Ann Darrow. Never one to miss an opportunity Carl Denham decides to capture the beast and bring him back to New York as an attraction. However, things go wrong and Kong goes nuts. The flashbulbs and gawking humans offend the giant and he goes on a famous rampage through the big apple. Eventually scaling the Empire State Building before being shot to death and plummeting to the streets below. 

The film gave moviegoers a peek at something tremendous. Something completely out of the world. When you went to see a horror movie in the thirties you were expecting a small scale film, that relied mostly on character development rather than substance. This movie is both. Great character devo and an amazing story. From the beginning this is much more than just another movie. King Kong is an event. Unfortunately, the hype didn't hold up over the two remakes. 

The effects are spectacular. The image of King Kong up on top of the Empire State Building is embedded in everyone's brain. That image is just as recognizable as Darth Vader's helmet and the McDonalds Golden Arches. The model work during the early scenes on the island are really great. You get the sense that this giant Gorilla exists and is the King of Skull Island.

King Kong is a classic in every sense of the word. From the acting to the characters. The movie is a true testament to its day. A time when apes were scary and haunted the dreams of babes. Check it out. 

Don't be alarmed, ladies and gentlemen. Those chains are made of chrome steel.
  • King Kong's roar was a lion's and a tiger's roar combined and run backwards but more slowly.
  • The project went through numerous title changes during production, including "The Beast" (original title of draft by Edgar Wallace in RKO files), "The Eighth Wonder", "The Ape", "King Ape" and "Kong".
  • Grossed $90,000 its opening weekend, the biggest opening ever at the time.