King Kong (3/2/1933) In March 1933, Mr. Kong’s home was invaded by pirates from the SS Venture. After a traditional island ceremony performed by the local Chieftan, the pirates succeed in carrying off Mr. Kong’s new mail order bride. Despite defensive actions taken by Mr Kong and his neighbors, wherein 15 of the invading pirates were successfully killed, Mr. Kong was subsequently kidnapped and taken to New York City without his consent. After escaping captivity and scouring Manhattan island, Mr Kong was briefly reunited with his wife. Mr. Kong was then subsequently murdered by US Army Air Corps biplanes. Carl Dedham, the criminal mastermind resposible for the home invasion and kidnappings is still at large, but is expected to be charged with the deaths of one stegosaurus, 15 pirates, 12 Skull Island citizens, 30 New Yorkers and two US army pilots, along with the damages to one Skull Island Village and one historically significant large wooden Wall.
King Kong is the pinnacle of pre-1939 filmmaking, in my opinion it is technically superior to all but a few dozen films ever. Everytime I see it I find something new to tickle me. It is significant that the FIRST frame of the picture is a miniature effects shot. Not only does this film use EVERY type of effect that had been invented, and invented a lot that didn’t exist [insert list of all possible visual effects here,] it compounds them to tell a great but tragic adventure tale. Unfortunately it makes all the films that came after it very unsatisfying to watch. I would have expected it to have cause a tidal surge in the industry across all aspects, but it didn’t, not as much as it should have. Max Steiner’s genius score as story telling element seems to have affected the most change. O’brien’s groundbreaking miniature work was still relegated to genre pictures. Other optical in camera or post producition effects turn up in hundreds of films over the years but very few have ever relied on them to augment the story, as much as this film did. After being seduced by this picture at a young age, I spent the next 40 years of my life trying to get the same satisfaction from other films – you would have to consume at least a DOZEN OTHER adventure films to get what Cooper and Schoedsack managed to squeeze into their 100 minutes. You have to get all the way to James Cameron’s Titanic to see a film that pulls out all the stops and combines every TYPE of visual and special effect in one serving to tell its story. But he has twice as long and got to kill a lot more people.
I would rather watching King Kong 10 times than 10 other non Kong films. I think it was one of the 1st movies on VHS I every bought.