March 2, 1933

75 years ago today, King Kong premiered in New York City.

Just think about how different the movies could have been had Ann Darrow never encountered the giant on Skull Island, just west of Sumatra.
And 75 years later, nothing comes close to seeing the 1933 version on the big screen. For any classic movie fan, that is a definite must.

Entertainment Weekly has a tribute to great monster flicks, which you can check out here.

Advertisements

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.

Fall Movie Preview: King Kong


King Kong
Opening December 18
Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis and Jamie Bell

How does Peter Jackson plan on following up the Lord of the Rings trilogy? With a remake of the 1933 classic King Kong, of course. And with a director like Jackson behind this project, you should expect a quality picture.

For those of you who are fans of the original King Kong, don’t be alarmed. The remake is more of an updating so today’s generation of movie viewers who always anticipate CGI effects and huge budget productions can experience the legend of King Kong.

The premise of the film remains the same. It is still set during the Depression-era as a film producer (played by Jack Black) and his crew set out to make a hit movie and to find the essential blonde beauty (Naomi Watts in the role originated by the late Fay Wray). Their journey leads them to Skull Island and it prehistoric inhabitants. The eager producer, then, captures the giant ape called Kong and brings him to Manhattan, which only causes mayhem and destruction.

My one piece of advice is to see the original King Kong first, so you can appreciate how far film and technology have come since 1933 and therefore you can truly appreciate what Peter Jackson is adding to this update of King Kong.