It was beauty that killed the beast.
Ryan Rogers | Memphis, TN | 09/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the greatest movies of all time. Even after Peter Jackson created his interpretation of Kong, King Kong (1933) still lives on. The movie was first remade in 1976 but the first still remains the best. Definitely one to see.
The DVD comtains a commentary, a few featurettes and a deleted sequence. Definitely one to pick up."
Fay Wray monkeys around
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 09/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The basic story is of Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), who makes those cute little animal pictures that are going out of style. If he wants to stay in business he must add a female interest and some excitement. Circumstances forcing him to leave port quickly, he meets a girl Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), that is down on her luck and convinces her that he will make her a star (on the up and up).
Things get complicated as you know it is bad luck to bring a woman onboard a freighter. And Ann really stirs them up including the first mate, Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). On top of this she has a large date awaiting her at Skull Island.
I will not tell the rest of the story just incase you are one of the few that has missed the movie. But as you have guessed it includes a big ape named KONG. Not that cheesy thing that is always tussling around in Japanese movies, but a much more convincing Kong that can show great emotion.
You are about to watch the eight wonder of the world."
Memories of Fay Wray
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 05/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Saturday afternoons were made for great adventure yarns, and serials dating all the way back to the silent era played upon our love of a rousing good jungle story, filled with danger and the thrill of discovery, with just enough romance thrown in to suggest love sprung from such exciting endeavors. RKO would make the most supreme adventure of all time and in 1933 change the expectations of moviegoers forevermore once the lights dimmed and their logo adorned screens across America. A new bar for adventure was set, and the film which raised it was King Kong. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Shoedsack helmed this fabulous RKO film from an idea by Cooper and Edgar Wallace.
King Kong was much more than a girl screaming as a huge ape held her in his palm, just as Fay Wray was much more than a "B" icon with one great sound film to her credit. She had graced many silent productions, including Coast Patrol, Street of Sin, The Wedding March, and Paramount's last silent, The Four Feathers, where she worked with Merian C. Cooper. She made an easy transition to sound, her lovely presence and vulnerability boosting many early talkies from average to worth watching. Her importance to the success of King Kong is often not given its full due due to the staggering technical achievements behind the camera, often overshadowing everything else. Wray is simply wonderful at the beginning of King Kong, making viewers fall in love with her Ann Darrow long before Kong appears. If this was only an extraordinarily polished jungle adventure, it would be a film classic simply on the basis of Wray's performance and a timeless 1930's sense of style and adventure. With the added element of King Kong, a fearsome beast protective of something too beautiful to allow harm to come to it, it became one of the greatest films ever made.
Robert Armstrong is Carl Denham, a filmmaker known for his exciting tales of adventure. A ship bound for a mysterious location only known to Denham to make a film needs only a bit of romance to satisfy the studio. Finding the lovely Ann Darrow about to pass out from hunger during the depression is a stroke of luck for the brash director. Ann is suspicious of Denham's proposal at first, but hunger and his enthusiasm, and his assurance that there are no strings attached, give Ann hope that her luck has changed. Fay Wray is wonderful in these early moments, which often get forgotten amidst the thrilling adventure encountered in the later half of the story. She endears herself to the audience early on and cements our affection for Ann once onboard. Bruce Cabot is excellent as John Driscoll, weary of having a woman onboard but soon falling in love with Anne just as viewers have. Their romance is sweet, filled with the innocent love of the era that has a timeless appeal.
It has been breezy fun for the viewer until the ship is west of Sumatra. Denham reveals a map he has obtained in Singapore pinpointing an uncharted island where legends of a high wall and a beast called Kong are said to exist. As they approach Skull Island adventurous fun gives way to fog shrouded waters and jungle drums. The high wall does indeed exist, and after a scrape with natives enamored of Ann they find themselves confronted by a world untouched by time. Great beasts from prehistoric times roam the jungles of the island, Kong the most fearsome of all, ruling his kingdom from a high cliff where he will take Ann. Harrowing action and thrills ensue as Jack tracks his love after Kong disposes of everyone else but Carl to protect his lovely prize. The special effects still offer excitement but it is the story which makes this film such a classic. We are rooting for Jack to rescue Ann just as in the best serials, only this is no serial, but rather a topflight production creating an astounding adventure heretofore unseen in theatres.
A gripping escape over a cliff edge will lead to Kong's demise when he follows Ann and is captured by Carl. Billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the flash of cameras perceived by Kong as an attack on his Ann creates chaos in the streets when he breaks free, leading to perhaps the most famous ending in film history. High above the New York skyline, atop the Empire State Building, Ann will find herself in the arms of the man who loves her when Kong faces down dangers he never had in the jungle. It is both romantic and bittersweet. Max Steiner's score, a screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose which perfectly balances romance and adventure, and sterling photography from Eddie Linden, Veronica Walker, and J.C. Taylor make this a memorable experience.
Though Fay Wray is terrific in this film, it is a shame that many viewers only know her from King Kong. Born in Canada but raised in the United States, she was a big supporter of events held at the Empire State Building over her lifetime, and after her passing, the lights of that landmark were dimmed for fifteen minutes in her memory. King Kong is perfect viewing for a lazy Saturday and if you haven't seen it in some time, or perhaps never seen it, it is much more than you might have imagined. A lovely way to remember Fay Wray."
The ORGINAL AND BEST!!!
Shuree D. Munden-Wagstaff | Southern California | 03/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is where Ray Harryhausen got his inspiration as a child. You can see why. LOVE this movie!!"