King Kong (1933)—Capsule Review

By Casey Campbell

I’ve probably seen King Kong before. Or, maybe I haven’t.

So much of the imagery—the visual source of the exciting, frightening, and dramatic heft behind this simply provocative monster movie—is so memorable.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve seen Peter Jackson’s bloated yet accurately reminiscent remake from 2005, or countless other action and monster movies that have paid homage to Kong over the years, but I felt like I had seen King Kong twelve times over. In reality, I haven’t. It’s just one of those movies that lives on eternally by giving of itself so thoroughly throughout the years.

The effects are swell, with some immediately recognizable stop motion Kong action, and the performances are fairly aged. Woman-hating John Driscoll, played by Bruce Cabot, somehow captures the attention of the star of the film in the film Ann Darrow, played by Fay Wray, by being a curmudgeon as well as a blatant misogynist. But hey, it works.

King Kong is great for not only its own accomplishments but for the wealth of films that directly took cues from it’s epic scale and intimate drama. It lives on to this day and honestly still looks tremendous. If it’s your first time watching, and you’ve seen some movies before, you’ll probably feel as familiar with the film as I did.

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