Review: King Kong (1933)

I’ll say this now. No King Kong remake can ever top the original Merian C. Cooper version. This is more evident to me after watching the original twice this week.

Producer Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is in search of his next big picture and he decides that this picture needs a leading lady. Enter Anne Darrow (Fay Wray) and the greatest damsel in distress of all time is born. With the leading lady present, Denham and his crew set sail for an island somewhere in the Pacific.

When the crew reaches Skull Island they encounter the natives, who are preparing to sacrifice a young girl to Kong, the giant ape that lurks in the forest. But then the natives notice something new, something that King Kong will like even more… a blonde-haired beauty. At night they capture Anne from the ship and prepare her to be sacrificed.

Kong arrives and, instead of eating Anne, he falls in love with her. As he carries Anne back to his cave, he protects her from a T-Rex (a great action scene) and a giant snake. What Kong doesn’t know is that the ship’s crew, led by Anne’s real lover Jack (Bruce Cabot) has followed him.

Having seen King Kong in all his glory, Carl Denham decides to bring the giant gorilla to New York and put him on display. But Denham, being an idiotic and noncompassionate human, doesn’t understand the true strength of Kong. Kong escapes and causes mayhem in NYC, all to recapture Anne. He carries her to the top of the Empire State Building, where airplanes attack Kong to his death.


Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast

The best part about seeing this King Kong in the theaters was that there were two young boys in the audience. They were about 7 and 9. During the fight scene between King Kong and T-Rex, both boys were sitting on the edge of their seats. When the film ended, I heard one of the boys exclaim to his grandfather, “Cool!” See, there is no need for a remake. The magic of King Kong lives as long as someone is willing to share it.

Even though the dialogue, some of the acting, and most of the action scenes are outdated, there is something magical about King Kong. The best way I can describe it is that it shows a time when movies were great but the magic was greater. Today all of the high tech stuff is expected, but back in 1933 it was new and exciting. Just imagine watching King Kong in 1933. Big budget blockbusters with dazzling effects were a whole new concept, not to mention talkies were still young. King Kong was the start of something outstanding and mindblowing. We owe every current action movie to King Kong. That is something that should not be forgotten.

I’ll eventually see the Peter Jackson remake but I have this strange feeling I’ll just get angry while watching it.

4 thoughts on “Review: King Kong (1933)”

  1. The original was great. I think it’s interesting how no one is talking about the 1976 version by Dino De Larentis with Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lane and Charles Grodin.

    But my son saw Peter Jackson’s and was blown away by the special effects. I guess I’ll see soon enough.

  2. The original is the best of course, I didn’t like the 1976 one. I can’t remember why, exactly. Too cheesy, I think.
    I’ll see this one sometime(not at the theater, tho). I do enjoy modern special effects, & they get better all the time.

  3. I agree, I loved the original. Although I’m a big fan of special effects, I don’t want to see the new one. The STORY part was done well the 1st time. All the remakes do is add fluff to that.

    I would have liked to have a seen a new version with a completely different story line. Make him act like a misunderstood gorilla.

  4. I may go see this King Kong in the theaters (as much as I do not want to) because it is idiosyncrasy of mine to go see the movies that are meant to be seen on the big screen on the big screen. Otherwise I have to track down my one friend who has a big screen t.v. and that is too much hassle.

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