Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

KING KONG (1933)


KING KONG (1933). Directed by Cooper and Schoedsack.

77 years after its initial release, King Kong remains an outstanding film and one of the most exciting motion pictures ever made. While some may consider them "crude" today, the fact is that many of the stop-motion effects by Willis O'Brien and company are still eye-popping and extremely effective, with Kong himself being a wonderful creation -- both playful [flapping the cracked jaw of a defeated T Rex with amusing curiosity] and extremely dangerous, to say the least. The picture is fast-paced, intense, and at times quite disturbing. (You can feel sorry for Kong if you want to; the one who gets my sympathy is that poor terrified woman who's grabbed out of her bed in the hotel and dashed to the ground -- not to mention all of the big ape's other victims]. Max Steiner's excellent score imbues the film with atmosphere, as do the elaborate sets, beautiful matte paintings, and other FX work. All in all, King Kong is a kind of epic tragedy for all concerned. This is still the best version of the story bar none. NOTE: You can read more about this and other monster movies in Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies.

Verdict: Cinematic and magical. ****.

4 comments:

Anthony Crnkovich said...

KING KONG's greatness has been etched in stone; no matter how old it gets in years its magic will last forever.

William said...

I couldn't agree with you more -- it's a timeless masterpiece. Thanks, William

Brian said...

For some reason, as a kid, I use get very excited when Kong broke the jaws of the T-Rex. It was such total domination, that I actually got a boner!

William said...

Uh, this might fall under the heading of Too Much Information, but thanks for the comment, LOL! Anyway, it is a great sequence!