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King Kong

King Kong (1933) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •  100m  •    •  Directed by: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack.  •  Starring: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Noble Johnson, Steve Clemente, James Flavin, King Kong, Walter Ackerman, James Adamson, Van Alder, Ed Allen.  •  Music by: Max Steiner.
        Master showman Carl Denham has fallen on hard times due to the depression, and mounts an expedition to the mysterious Skull Island to find another showpiece. He takes along adventurer Jack Driscoll and the down-on-her-luck gorgeous blonde Ann Darrow with him to spice up the show. Arriving on the island, they discover it is home to gigantic beasts like dinosaurs, and ruling over all is Kong, a 30 foot tall gorilla. The natives kidnap Ann as a sacrifice for Kong, and the other crew members head into the dangerous island interior to rescue her

Trailers:

   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
 1:28
 
 
 0:34
 
 
 2:42
 
 
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Review:

Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Image from: King Kong (1933)
Ask any movie fan to name one of the most influential movies of all time, an original cinematic creation, not based on any literary work, made of two four-lettered monosyllabic words and released in a year where the last two digits are the same, well, chances are that you'll get George Lucas' "Star Wars" as the answer.

And it's a shame, because if one movie deserves the credit for having set Cinema's foot on its way to modernity, it certainly is "King Kong". Most of the box-office champs of the last thirty years, owe to the 1933 milestone. Still, who remembers Merian C. Cooper's, the father of King Kong? Who remembers Robert Armstrong, Carl Denham, who played the greedy and self-centered director? Who remember Bruce Cabot, the brave and handsome sailor? And last but not least, who remembers the names of the special effects technicians.

There are only two names that didn't quite sink into oblivion: Fay Wray as the Golden girl, the godmother of all screaming queens, and in the film's romantic angle, the Beauty, and even more unforgettable, the Beast: King Kong. It is very revealing when the one true icon of the film is that giant gorilla who made the viewers grab their seat as if in they were aboard these Curtis hell-divers. There were monsters but there were actors behind the big screen: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff. Here, for the first time, the icon is a handmade creation but one that seems, looks and sounds real, and that was before animated features and long before CGI technology would make it so easy it would become boring.

And the wizardry that made King Kong alive is extraordinary, with what was at hands: stop-motion animations, uses of miniatures, projected screens, superposed layouts and matte paintings, and sometimes many effects in the same scene, "King Kong" is the ultimate milestone that foresaw the evolution of Cinema. And it's even more impressive when you know that the film was made in a short delay with a small budget. And this urge to come to a great final result, the many drafts in the scripts, all these chaotic contexts that made some masterpieces like "The Godfather", "Jaws" or "Apocalypse Now" possible, well, "King Kong" was no exception to it and it sure knew how to tell a riveting story.

One of the best aspects of the scripts is that Cooper perfectly understood the merit of a long suspenseful build-up before showing the main character. Denham starts the teasing, talking of a mysterious creature in a remote Island, Ann (Fay Wray) rehearses some frightened emotions, we see the Natives in the Island during a ceremony in honor to a sort of God named Kong, and a bride put in an altar. That's the mark of true icons, their entrance is the result of a meticulous direction, and once King Kong raises his pretty head, the ride can start and it's one spectacular scene after another, a spellbinding experience that makes you forget all the little flaws such as the hammy acting and the rapid-fire lines delivery.

Kong fights a T-Rex, s snake, a pterodactyl, he climbs on a ravine, holding his conquest on his hand, he shakes men off a tree bridge, there's no moment that doesn't make your heart pound. Even when he's not here, the sailors who go saving Ann get attacked by other prehistorical animals in scenes that must have studied by Spielberg when he made "Jurassic Park". But I make the film sound like some technical feat, there is more to it. There's the smile of Kong when he sees for the first time Ann's face, the way he delicately handles her as if she was a flower. And this is where the film is elevated to its status, there is a story, a heart, lying underneath the special effects. It has all the ingredients of a great adventure and action-packed fantasy film, and it also affords the luxury to be a beautiful romance.

This is also the mark of great movies, even the most unsophisticated ones manage to inspire us some unexpected feelings. While we're inevitably scared by the sight of King Kong, the story is told in the 'Beauty and the Beast' angle, and it even gets to the beauty within the beast sometimes. This is a consummate character, larger-than-life and oddly three dimensional within his limitations. And of course, such a character called for a no less spectacular and iconic demise and while the Skull Island sequence alone was enough to make a great film, the cherry on the cake was the exhibition of King Kong in New York and the unforgettable Empire State Building climax, the culmination, literally, of the film's spectacular ambitions and the completion of its iconic status.

Iconic, because tragic, King Kong had to set Ann down so he could fight the airplanes with one hand (he did get one) while hanging on the top of the Building with the other. Unfortunately, that was the condition for the airplanes to shoot him. protect himself while so the airplanes could shoot him, but then, when he finally got shot, he holds Ann again, as if he could take her with him. But he just holds her, with a sad resigned face, set her back and falls to his death. This is the kind of climaxes masterpieces are made on, both thrilling and emotional.

And if the film isn't renowned for its one-liners, it still afforded one of the most memorable closing lines ever: "it was Beauty killed the Beast", And I love how that angle played in a self-reflexive way, there is a bit of Cooper in Denham, of Fay Wray in that obsession with romance, to please viewers in each side of the big screen. And to a certain extent, at the time of its release, "King Kong" became the eighth wonder of the world.


Review by ElMaruecan82 from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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