“King Kong”

“King Kong” is a film that has been made and re-made and sequelled (!) times. I think the most recent was the snooze fest (more than three hours!) by Peter Jackson. It was slow, the effects were poor in places and the acting dreadful, especially, of course, Jack Black. Not to mention the Jeff Bridges version…

Here we are talking about the original 1933 sound film with Fay Wray as the heroine.

The original idea was part-conceived by mystery writer Edgar Wallace. It was a black and white sound film, about 100 minutes, directed by Merian Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack.

In case you don’t know the plot: film maker Carl Denham hires a ship to go to the mysterious Skull Island. He takes with him the blonde star-to-be Ann Darrow. Arriving at the island, they find hostile natives, mysterious animals and a giant ape. This is Kong, who is intrigued by Ann as he has never seen anyone so white and blonde before. They capture him, take him back to New York and put him on display. But Kong escapes and causes havoc.

In the film, Kong is mostly stop motion animation, though sometimes his arms or face are large models. For example, a giant hand is needed for Kong to remove Ann’s clothes and sniff her, well…

The animation may seem a bit rough, and you can see the finger marks of the animators on his fur, and there are plot holes and other oddities that could be a problem, but ignore those and it is a great story, with, of course, a sad end.

Kong is a victim. He had a happy life on the island with the odd sacrificial female for fun. He was the boss. The Bonzo Dog Band’s first album, ‘Gorilla’, was dedicated to Kong: “Dedicated to Kong who must have been a great bloke.”

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