King Kong (1933)

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King Kong - The Eighth Wonder of the World!

King Kong is probably cinematic history's most important film, economically, because it literally rescued the cinema industry during the Great Depression.

Times were very tight in those days, and many movie houses were closing down because they couldn't afford to stay in business. Film entertainment wasn't the highest priority in those days for the average citizen due to the tightening of people's budgets.

King Kong, however, was a blockbuster release that filled cinemas everywhere and many cinemas, with sell out crowds, showed the film several times daily and nightly to accommodate the crowds. This seemed to rekindle people's passions for watching movies, which kept other cinemas from closing down.

It's not hard to see why the film was such a big hit, it had all the right elements: A shrewd and conniving movie maker, a beautiful, would-be starlet, the man who loved her, a remote island filled with half dressed natives and the big, hairy god they worshipped.

We all know the story - the film maker discovers the big beast in the land that time forgot, then wants to exploit it so he can further his lifestyle of being rich and famous.

And we all know that something unexpected happens, endangering everyone in the city - who can forget the famous Empire State Building scene? That has to be one of Hollywood's most famous movie scenes of all time!

There have been several King Kong remakes - and while remakes aren't usually as good as the original, I enjoyed the remakes that I saw. Even so, here are a few reasons why I like the original best:

  1. You can't beat the original story for its creativity, style, and scripting -- that's just a given.
  2. King Kong in the original picture was actually kind of cute looking and had a kind of charm. Notice the picture of him smiling so sweetly for the camera?
  3. Fay Wray was awesome - there is no actress on the face of this earth in any era of time who can duplicate her magic in this film. I'm sorry, but although the other actresses in the remakes were also fabulous, Fay rocks.
  4. The acting quality - while not as realistic as the remakes -- you knew they were acting, but still get caught up in the storyline anyway -- it had that classical style that vintage film lovers everywhere enjoy and appreciate to this very day.

Warner Brothers recently re-released the original King Kong on Blu-Ray disc, and it is selling like hot cakes.

Why not pick up a copy today for your vintage movies collection? I'm enjoying my copy. I watched it countless times until I got my Humphrey Bogart Essentials Collection - and that's another review coming up.

On a scale of "Hearty Round of Applause", "Round of Applause", "polite applause", "Boo" and "Hiss" I give King Kong a Hearty Round of Applause. Definitely a classic that stands the test of time!