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King Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1933 (USA)
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1:32 | Trailer
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors:

Merian C. Cooper (uncredited), Ernest B. Schoedsack (uncredited)

Writers:

James Ashmore Creelman (screen play) (as James Creelman), Ruth Rose (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,841 ( 1,012)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fay Wray ... Ann Darrow
Robert Armstrong ... Carl Denham
Bruce Cabot ... John Driscoll
Frank Reicher ... Capt. Englehorn
Sam Hardy ... Charles Weston
Noble Johnson ... Native Chief
Steve Clemente Steve Clemente ... Witch King (as Steve Clemento)
James Flavin ... Second Mate Briggs
King Kong ... The Eighth Wonder of the World
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Storyline

Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann in it's grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thundering box office giant! His footsteps thundering a reborn showmanship. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ape See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$670,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$651
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene with Fay Wray and the T-Rex became the first ever to use of rear projection at R.K.O. Pictures. The short sequence required three days to shoot. See more »

Goofs

"The natives built the wall on Skull Island to protect themselves from King Kong, yet put a pair of doors on it big enough for him to come through." This is a common misconception. Since Kong can climb the Empire State Building, he probably gets into the compound occasionally; the size of the gate allows the villagers to send him back out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Weston: Say, is this the moving picture ship?
Watchman: The Venture? Yeah. Are you going on this crazy voyage?
Charles Weston: What's crazy about it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Card: And the prophet said: "And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty. And it stayed its hand from killing. And from that day, it was as one dead." Old Arabian Proverb See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version was released four times between 1933 and 1952, and each release saw the cutting of additional scenes. Though many of the outtakes - including the censored sequence in which Kong peels off Fay Wray's clothes - were restored in 1971, one cut scene has never been found. It is the clip in which Kong shakes four sailors off a log bridge, causing them to fall into a ravine where they are eaten alive by giant spiders. When the movie - with spider sequence intact - was previewed in San Bernardino, Calif., in late January, 1933, members of the audience screamed and either left the theatre or talked about the grisly sequence throughout the remainder of the film. Said the film's producer, Merian C. Cooper, "It stopped the picture cold, so the next day back at the studio, I took it out myself". Recently, there have been rumors that the reason why the scene was cut was because it slowed down the film too much and didn't tie into the main story of Kong pursuing Ann. Peter Jackson and the crew at WETA "reconstructed" and re-shot the scene for the Warner R1 DVD using duplicates of the original stop motion models, the shooting script, and various storyboards. The sequence also includes the sailors running from an enraged triceratops. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Last Man Standing: Pilot (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(1914) (uncredited)
Music by W.C. Handy
Whistled by Robert Armstrong
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The original and best
3 March 2019 | by grantssSee all my reviews

Famed movie producer Carl Denham is about to embark on his latest project. He has his ship chartered, his crew assembled and his leading lady hired. The location: an uncharted island off Sumatra. The main star of his film: a huge gorilla, King Kong.

The original King Kong, and best. Good plot, with a solid set up, a fair degree of intrigue and exciting developments. Good adventure and action along the way.

Some good sub-plots and character development too.

Probably the most outstanding area of this movie is the quality of the special effects. Yes, by today's CGI standards the special effects are pretty basic but by 1933's standards they must have been revolutionary. Even today, when we're used to seamless CGI, many of the effects in this movie, especially the huge gorilla and dinosaurs, look pretty life-like.

And these special effects contribute some of the most iconic images in film history, not least of which is the famous scene with King Kong on the Empire State Building, swatting at fighter planes.

A seminal movie in the history of cinema.


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