"King Kong" (1933) | Sam Gall Movie Review Issue #136 Gem Mint 10.0


“King Kong“ (1933)

Director: Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack

Writer: Merian C. Cooper, James Ashmore Creelman, Ruth Rose, Edgar Wallace, Leon Gordon

Starring: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Victor Wong

Rated: Passed (G or PG I guess)

Runtime: 1h 40m

Genre: Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

Country: United States

Language: English

Available on: Various VOD platforms


"A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition."


You might like this if you like: 'King Kong', Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Horror, miniatures, stop motion, animation, special effects, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Victor Wong


Fay Wray in "King Kong" (1933)


This wasn’t the first film that introduced ‘Kong’ to me sadly, but that doesn’t change how much I love and respect this film.

I became a fan of ‘Kong’ through Peter Jackson’s 2005 “King Kong” (the extended edition is EPIC), and just worked backwards from there after my discovery.


It was kind of cool to me how similar the two films are and how Peter Jackson really just made a wonderful remake that took those ideas further especially with 2005's technology.


"King Kong" (1933)

Classic music by Max Steiner of which I just didn’t realize I fell in love with it when James Newton Howard redid some of the iconic pieces 70 years later in the remake.

To 1933‘s credit, it’s an absolutely outstanding technological achievement with stop motion effects, miniatures and more! I’m still able to get lost in its imagination and feel just as much wonder and imagination as those characters are going through. Everything I loved about Peter Jackson’s version had all started right here. My favorite lines, to my favorite ideas.


Robert Armstrong in "King Kong" (1933)


Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray were by far my favorites! Even into ‘Son of Kong’, Robert Armstrong remained an attraction. I think it was that character too. Wanting to go out and film something. I can’t help but relate.


"King Kong" (1933)


I think the biggest contrast I found in the 2005 remake with the 1933 original was sadly the racism and sexism of the 1930s. I do think the 2005 version did a great job of making up and changing what it needed, at least to 2005’s standard. We can always do better.

Written by Sam Gall on Sept 27, 2021


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


"It's effects are transporting and dazzling, but they are merely means to end, which is to tell a tale of humanity's (and Hollywood's) hubris." - Matt Neal, ABC Radio (Australia)


"Kong's imaginativeness is inarguably one of the reasons it was such a hit and why it has endured." - Adam Kempenaar, Filmspotting


""King Kong," as spectacular a bolt of celluloid as has thrilled audiences in a couple of sophisticated seasons, is the product of a number of vivid imaginations." - Irene Thirer, New York Daily News


"This film is one of the great achievements of the action-adventure genre." - Allen Almachar, The MacGuffin


Official Trailer:


Behind the Scenes:


#KingKong #KingKong1933 #FayWray #RobertArmstrong #PeterJackson #SpecialEffects #StopMotion #Animation #MerianCCooper

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