King Kong [1933] (1/15/12 & 12/18/12)

King KongMovie Eight and Two Hundred Eighty Seven

The original King Kong is one of my favorite movies ever. It literally has everything you could possibly want out of a movie. For a movie that is nearly 80 years old it has held up incredibly well and the Blu-Ray treatment is superb.

When Peter Jackson remade King Kong a few years back I was very excited. When the movie released I was kind of let down. While Jackson’s take modernizes the effects and fleshes out some of the characters and story, for me most of the magic was lost. Watching the 1933 iteration is guaranteed to put a smile on my face and keep me on the edge of my seat, even after a dozen or so viewings.

I won’t bother with the details of the movie because if you haven’t seen some sort of version of King Kong you have likely been under a rock for 80 years. However, if you’ve only seen the 2005 version or, god help us, the 1976 version, then please consider watching the original.

I realize some people have a hard time watching old movies, or even black and white movies. I can understand that sometimes, but I firmly believe King Kong is an exception. It still delivers thrills and wonder, even by today’s CGI-laden standards.

[Update 12/27/12] I got around to watching King Kong again on and thought I would repost one of my very first reviews from the first week I started the site. Enjoy!

I give it 5 screaming Fay Wrays out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


15 responses to “King Kong [1933] (1/15/12 & 12/18/12)

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  4. “god help us the 1976 version.” Was it really that bad? I guess the one silver lining it introduced Jessica Lange to the world.

    As for the 1933 version, I am always still impressed with the effects they were able to accomplish with the technology of the time. Also, it illustrates the importance of pacing, especially when compared to PJ’s version.

    • The 76 one might not be THAT bad, but I saw it as a kid and freaking hated it. I should give it another shot, thought.

      I’m still blown away by the special effects. They are a few scenes where you expect Fay Wray to be a stop-motion doll but it’s actually her writhing around. Great stuff.

  5. Good call. King Kong is a masterpiece, and I also thought they did a great job with the bluray.

    But while you may understand that some people don’t like black and white movies, I do not. Its a bad stigma that people need to get over, since so many great movies are black and white. I keep telling people we’ve had movies for over a 100 years. Not all the good ones were only released in the last 10 or so.

  6. Love this film. Had the privilege of seeing ‘KK’ on the big screen many years ago, courtesy of a film club who must’ve rented the screen for the evening. A double bill – this and ‘The Thing From Another World’.

    Haven’t seen the blu-ray; got the R1 DVD tin box version, it’s got an old style programme in it & art cards – great set.

    I get why folk don’t warm to PJ’s version but I think it’s been made with a lot of love… maybe too much love, if that’s possible.

      • I actually liked the extra story expansion in the begining of the film, you really felt the effects of the depression and the deperation in the young actress to get some kind of work. What I didn’t like was the Skull Island portion of the film. The Dinos moved too fast and looked too digital. I have a hard time picturing the T.Rex today – but I have no problem picturing O’bie’s Rex from 1933.

        • I liked the intro scene but still felt it went on a bit too long. I agree about the dinos, I LOVE dinosaurs and was nonplussed by them in the remake. I did like that he brought back the insect pit, though.

  7. Right on Andy. I love this film (intending on reviewing it over the next month) and was massively disappointed by the Peter Jackson version. Not lucky to have a blu-ray copy, but hopefully the op-shop second hand copy I scored holds up.

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