Wednesday, 5 October 2016

"King Kong" (1933)

Fig. 1 King Kong poster

"King Kong" is the greatest and most famous classic adventure-fantasy film of all time. In 1933, no one had ever seen anything spectacular as King Kong, but the special effects that were groundbreaking in their now they seem not that appealing. Even so, "King Kong" is still a great movie, which was mind-blowing at that time of film making. As Almar Haflidason said in his review, "King Kong was created to grip and thrill like no movie before, and these basic principles hold surprisingly true today." (Haflidason, 2001)

Fig. 2
The story begins when Carl wants to make his movie and has the perfect location, Skull Island. But he still needs to find a movie star in the movie. After a while he finds a girl called Ann and offers her to go on an adventure. The film moves quickly to Skull Island. No one knew what they will find on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they soon found out about Kong. Local people sacrifice young, blond, girl Ann to a giant gorilla. Carl and Ann's love, Jack have travelled through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, trying to avoid all sorts of creatures and beasts. (Fig. 2). After finding Ann and bringing her back to the boat, Kong follows her up and gets caught in tranquilizer gas. Nevertheless, Kong is brought to New York. Flashing lights and human sounds enrages gorilla, making him break iron chains, take Ann to the highest building city. Yet, this story doesn't have a happy ending, Kong gets shot, falls down from the skyscraper and dies.

Fig. 3 Kong models
Willis O'Brien created impressive effects that were not only technically brilliant, but also highly imaginative in terms of cinematic action. "So purely an exhibition of studio and camera technology– and it isn’t much more than that–“Kong” surpasses anything of its type which has gone before it in commercial film-making. The work has many flaws, but they’re overcome by the general results." (Bigelow, 1933). Scenes had rear projection and matte painting in them giving more volume into the distance and making an illusion of non existent landscape. Kong was made in stop-motion, making him seem realistic. Every hair detail and facial expressions ware manipulated in stop-motion as the movie was going on. Also, the limited facial expressions allowed by the gorilla puppet still convey a surprising depth of emotion.(Fig. 4) Moreover, there ware four Kong models built for different scenes.(Fig. 3) Thus, all of these techniques gave a new view into the filmmaking and beyond that.

Fig. 4
"But "King Kong" is more than a technical achievement. It is also a curiously touching fable in which the beast is seen, not as a monster of destruction, but as a creature that in its own way wants to do the right thing." (, 2002)  The "King Kong" retells the ancient tale of beauty and the beast on a literally gigantic scale. As the Kong was a beast which fell in love with blond beauty, Ann.

 Nearly 85 years since its original theatrical run, "King Kong" remains one of the true classics legacy of Hollywood's Golden Age. It is recognized for its massive influence in film history and on future filmmakers. Overall, "King Kong" is highly recommended must-see movie.


Bigelow, J (1933)

Ebert, R. (2002)

Haflidason, A. (2001)

Illustration List:

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

1 comment:

  1. Good discussion around production techniques :)
    Couple more pointers regarding the referencing... you only need the surname and the date in the brackets, so (Ebert, 2002) for example. Also, put the text of the quote into just makes it stand out from the rest of your writing. Keep up the good work!