Sunday, March 29, 2009

King Kong (1933)

Forth movie mentioned in the song Science Fiction/Double Feature. The classic gorilla finds girl, gorilla loses girl, girl's friends drug and kidnap gorilla to use in a New York side show story. It's the classic tale.

Robert Armstrong plays Carl Denham, a risk-taking movie director who learns of an uncharted island off Africa's coast (Google Earth was in pre-beta back then). He needs a lead actress so at the last minute he nabs the homeless waif Ann Darrow (Fay Wray). Every damsel needs a hero, and Fay's is Seaman John Driscol, played by Bruce Cabot, who apparently was a robot in real life. Oh, and by the way, Fay Wray was HOT!

Many of the models of the dinosaurs and the animation techniques came from the 1925 silent film The Lost World, taken from the Arthur Conan Doyle story. Guess which movie I do next. Silent films are weird.

But, let's touch on the silly, shall we? All this has been pointed out before, but what the hell. If you are going to build a giant wall to keep giant monsters out, WHY BUILD A GIANT DOOR FOR THEM TO GET THROUGH? If a giant ape can scale the Empire State Building, WHY CAN'T IT SCALE A WALL BARELY TALLER THAN ITSELF? And while we are bringing logic into the conversation, why live on a tiny part of a giant island populated by monsters? That was fun, wasn't it? Seriously, it wasn't? Not even a little? Oh, bother.

This movie is great. I watched it on an old VCR tape and I'm dying to see it fully restored in high-def. The action is intense, the story interesting, the pacing great, and Fay Wray's wardrobe pre-code.

King Kong held the record at the time for the biggest opening in history and is credited with saving RKO from bankruptcy. AFI lists it as the forth best film in the category of Fantasy and it's ranked 11th in IMDB's list in the category of Horror. In my ranking, it's higher. I love this movie. AMRU 5.0.

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