All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review
King Kong

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: King Kong

Starring: Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot
Director: Merian Cooper
Rated: NR
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: April 1933
Genres: Classic, Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Noble Johnson, James Flavin

Review by Brian Koller
2½ stars out of 4

From the first few minutes, it is obvious that "King Kong" is not a great movie. The script isn't good enough, full of cliches and one-dimensional characters. Fortunately, the film is partly redeemed by the special effects and action scenes. "King Kong" is a historically important and entertaining film, but not particularly good.

Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is a gregarious huckster and film producer/director/cameraman who specializes in jungle spectaculars. He needs a blonde for a love interest angle, for dramatic purposes finding her (Fay Wray) at the last possible moment. Wray is so hungry that she has resorted to stealing apples, yet she looks terrific. Armstrong hires her without any knowledge of her character, experience, or acting ability. Clumsy phrases such as "square", "straight" and "on the level" are used as code words to indicate that Armstrong will not try to seduce Wray.

On a ship headed for an uncharted island (chosen by Armstrong based upon second-hand information, quite the gamble) Wray meets Bruce Cabot, a crew member who believes that women don't belong on ships. When pressed, he can only state that "they cause trouble".

Upon arrival, the crew stumbles onto a fantastic native ritual. Somehow, ship captain Frank Reicher is able to speak their language, despite the tribe's isolation.

Since I've made my point about the clumsiness of the story, I'll fast forward through the synopsis. The natives worship King Kong, a giant ape that abducts Wray and gives her a tour of the island, stopping to fight various giant reptiles. Kong is later captured by Armstrong and shipped to New York. Kong escapes, re-kidnaps Wray, and goes on a rampage in the Big Apple.

More complaints about the plot: how has Kong survived for millenia on this island when he has to fight giant reptiles for his life several times daily? The large search party has two survivors: predictably, the two male leads. How did the crew drag Kong onto the ship? And keep him fed through the return voyage? After his escape, it defies probability that Kong is able to find Wray in the big city, and that of all the skyscrapers, he would choose the most famous, the Empire State building, to climb. And anyway, why would he climb it? To put a flag on the top of the building?

Of course, the plot is secondary to the special effects and action scenes. They age well: Kong and his reptile enemies are obviously stop-motion models, but they do not lack charm. Kong is the deepest character in the film, and despite his nasty temper, you can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy.

"King Kong" has surprisingly graphic violence and would be an "R" movie if re-released today. Kong bites and squishes numerous screaming people, as does a belligerent brontosaurus. A scene which had crew members devoured by giant spiders had to be deleted from the film, as it horrified a preview audience.

Copyright 1995 Brian Koller

Lord of the Rings
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us