Favorite things about… King Kong (1933)

The favorite film:
King Kong, an adventure/fantasy classic from 1933

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

The synopsis:
A filmmaker and his crew head to a remote island to make a new film starring the beautiful Ann Darrow. The island has native inhabitants, but they live in a small village, keeping themselves protected from whatever danger lurks around the rest of the island. The truth of the island is revealed after Ann is snatched from the film crew’s ship.

The cast:
Fay Wray as Ann Darrow
Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham
Bruce Cabot as Jack Driscoll

Fun facts:

  • TCM notes that producers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack acted out the T. Rex/Kong combat scene for animators, since both were experienced wrestlers. Cooper and Schoedsack also cast themselves in the film, as flyers trying to take down Kong when he climbs the Empire State Building.
  • Upon the film’s release, many were convinced that Kong must have been played by a man in a gorilla suit.
  • Cooper was inspired to make this film after becoming fascinated with gorillas while filming another movie in Africa.
  • Edgar Wallace contributed a draft of the story, but died soon after. He was still credited on the film, though much was changed from his draft to the final product.
  • The Beast and The Eighth Wonder were alternate titles considered for the film.
  • Several cast and crew members of The Most Dangerous Game, including starring actress Fay Wray, worked on King Kong. The films were shot in the same jungle setting at the same time.

(Image via drafthouse.com)

(Image via drafthouse.com)

Favorite things/quotes:

  • AND KING KONG (THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD)
  • “Well isn’t there any romance or adventure in the world without having a flapper in it?”
  • “It’s money and adventure and fame. It’s the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow morning.”
  • “Yes… yes! You make moving pictures in jungles and places.”
  • The crew has no clue where they’re sailing!
  • “Suppose it doesn’t like having its picture taken…”
    “Well, now you know why I brought along those cases of gas bombs.”
  • “I’m sort of nervous. Suppose I don’t photograph well!,” says Fay Wray, looking ultra-glamorous.
  • That shot of the boat in extremely heavy fog (and every shot with the fog, really)
  • Kong’s first appearance!
  • Kong moves like Rudolph‘s abominable snow monster.
  • Kong isn’t the only massive creature on the island. That dinosaur! That almost-indestructible dinosaur! “A prehistoric beast!” And a water-dwelling monster that bears a striking resemblance to Nessie… Amazing.
  • Though the monsters are clearly not real I love practical effects and these are so, so good. I can’t help but be amazed by them every time I watch the film.
  • I love that even though the jungle is quite nondescript, it’s still recognizable to me from The Most Dangerous Game (another favorite film, shot in the same place).
  • Where else can you see a boxing match between an enormous ape and a dinosaur?
  • $20 tickets! IN 1933! Yowza!
  • Kong’s great escape, and the frenzied running of the crowd around him
  • Kong’s iconic building-climbing. He’s like a Christmas tree topper for the New York City skyline.
  • “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast!”
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