King Kong (1933).

This was supposed to be a landmark in cinema and has influenced many actors and directors in the intervening 80 years.

A filmmaker, Denham, hires unemployed actress Anne Darrow, to be in his motion picture. The filmmaker, his leading lady and crew go in search of the legendary King Kong.

Before now, I had never seen this film but it was referenced enough by directors and actors. It was even openly referenced in children’s television shows. This movie is ripe with symbolism and feminist film theory. Some have even pointed out it is just one massive reference to slavery.
This movie set out rules for films which have remained in place to this day. While somewhat unremarkable in the way it was put across, I could feel that this movie was out of the ordinary. The stop motion was well done for the time it was made. That’s it.

What probably annoyed me the most was the overdoing of the ‘weak woman’ character on the part of Anne Darrow. She does little except scream and always has to be saved by a man. There were plenty of racial stereotypes in place throughout but that can be forgiven due to the time period the film was made and clearly they didn’t know any better as to slip in a handful of racist caricatures to make it a bit more interesting.

This film has themes of hypocrisy and destruction, and over all is very well put-together even though King Kong himself doesn’t appear until about 40 minutes into the film. The moment when he is injured was very sad, although done in an understated way because the ape showed confusion and bewilderment at his wounds. The greedy humans destroyed King Kong, not the other way around.

I wonder what people thought when they saw the film following its initial premiere?

MY RATING: 3.5 / 5.


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