Probably still the most famous monster movie of all time, a genuine classic of effects and technical skill, and one which can still entertain newcomers today.
King Kong tells the story of a group of explorers, journalists, and scientists who embark on a voyage to a mysterious island. There they find amongst dinosaurs and other giant beasts, but ruling over all, including the natives is a giant ape. Carl Denham decides to capture the ape and bring it back to New York as his new spectacle, reviving his fortunes. When the beautiful actress Ann is kidnapped by the natives who plan to sacrifice her to Kong, the group of explorers must rescue her, and steal Kong. Jack Driscoll leads the way, and most of his group are killed before he saves Ann. Kong is taken back to America, but it seems his strength has been underestimated and he has fallen in love with the actress. Soon he is free and wreaking havoc throughout the city.
The effects for the time were stunning, and are still impressive today, with a flawless attention to detail being shown. The fights between Kong, dinosaurs, men, and airplanes are all awesome and provide some of the most iconic images in movie history. The Empire State Building finale is one of the most famous moments ever, and the log scene is still shocking today. Some of the acting is poor and the story, though simple has become a classic which many have copied since. Of course when you realise this was made over 70 years ago, naturally some things will have dated, such as the acting and some cheesy dialogue, but for audiences at the time it must have been a very tense and exciting time. Kids should be allowed to watch this at an early age as they will appreciate the story and remember the visuals before they see all the effects extravagances of the modern age, which could spoil their opinions of past greats such as this. For an early special effects film the story is rich, the characters have depth, and there is a wealth of underlying themes. Something today’s film-makers would do well to remember when deciding to unleash the next blockbuster on us. Undoubtedly a classic.
For a film approaching its 80th birthday, it is not surprising that the features are a little slim. Still there is a dcoumentary and contributions from famous fans and movie historians which is pretty useful. This edition thankfully restores many censored scenes deemed too violent or unsuitable at the time of making, such as Kong chomping on natives. Cheap, and a piece of movie history which everyone should see.