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king kong


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  • 4 weeks later...

There are plenty of reasons to admire the 1933 version of King Kong - not the least of which is for its artistry of bringing a towering gorilla to convincing life using only hand puppets and metal skeletal models covered in fur.

 

What I think you're missing in viewing the film today (with at least 6 decades of pioneering special effects behind us to compare the movie...and judge its accomplishments as rather trivial, amateurish or, at the very least, quaint) is the overwhelming shock and suspension of disbelief that must have accompanied the preview. Remember, in 1933 no one had seen anything like this. Being the first is part of being cutting edge.

 

Yet even today, the great ape has a quality of embittered tragedy that is quite engaging. You can relate to Kong on an emotional level - not as an oversized muppet, but as a creature that is deserving of our sympathy and respect. That's quite a legacy considering the big guy never grew above a few feet in actuality.

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I must say, I couldn't have said it better! The 1933 version of King Kong is without a question an absolute true CLASSIC! We can't help but to respect this original version of this movie. After all there was very little to work with in the way of creating those great special effects in those days. No computerization, which is commonly used in about every film today. Making a movie back then was a real challenge. This alone is reason enough to appreciate and admire the hard efforts behind making this type of movie and the presentation it delivered to the silver screen. The story line at that time was indeed a first of its kind and well expressed with its drama, perfect characters and star himself King Kong. As we watch this same movie today, we still can feel those mixed emotions about the beast and his love for this never known before beauty. The facts are simple, the 1933 version of King Kong will always win the first prize! This version can never be beat, because it was so unique in its time. Everyone enjoys this entertaining extraordinary movie.

 

~Angel~

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While "King Kong" will never be one of my favorite movies, I have to say that it is a very good movie. The story is extremely well constructed, and I like all the little "Beauty and the Beast" resonances that run through the film. Seeing the wind blow Kong's fur is simply awesome. (I wouldn't have the patience to do something like that.) I don't see why anyone would feel the need to remake it. I saw the 1977 film, which was lame, and I missed the 2005 remake. That was by chance, but nothing I have heard makes me regret that I didn't see it.

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That's a great notable statement! Yes, I also think the added touch of the wind blowing King Kong's fur was really an awesome effect. In its time this was a creative effort to make this creature more alive and real to the mesmerized viewing audiences. I can't say this is my favorite movie of all time, but it is by far my favorite version of this storyline and movie all time. The credits are due where they rest. About the 1977 film, it was an all time waste of time and money for both the movie makers and the audience that paid to see it. (Like myself!) I think many of us were there out of pure curiosity. (Myself included!) The 2005 version was a little better and it was an entertaining version of the original movie. However, still never to compare closely to the wonderful 1933 film version, which still wins first prize as the best version of beauty and the beast.

 

~Angel~

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Seeing the wind blow Kong's fur is simply awesome.

 

What we view as one of the "coolest" things today bothered Willis O'Brien (sp?) no end. The model had to be handled and at least some part of it moved for each frame of film. All that handling made impressions on its fur, and when the film was projected there was a rippling/"wind blowing" effect. He was quite upset (today it would have been digitally removed; well, actually it would have been a CGI), but there was just nothing to be done about it back then.

 

Now, maybe I missed something (I have never really "studied" the film), but the fur is quite obvious. The info above was from at least one documentary about its making; plus, Ray Harryhausen may have mentioned it in one of his talks. If there's a particular "wind blowing" sequence, I just don't recall it right now.

 

Another case of something wonderful coming from something that just couldn't be helped!

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That was a wonderful response to the post I just placed Bill, thanks for that! If I recall correctly the best scene with this wind blown effect would be while King Kong was on top of the highest point of the Empire Stare Building. I would think that was a direct attempt to hypnotize us audiences. This movie is such a fun film to remember for us all, it seems! It's such a classic!

 

Angelx

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well now you do have me very curious about this movie you mentioned, which happens to be a silent movie entitled The Lost World from back in (1925) I have just placed a suggestion to TCM to perhaps consider showing this movie sometime in the not to far future. I do hope this is a possibility because I would like to see it. Thanks for this title I would have never known otherwise. Now we will all have to simply wait and see what happens?

 

~Angel~

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Replying to Scotty Winter--Willis O'Brien (mentioned in Bill McCrary's post) was the man in charge of the stop motion animation in King Kong. Ray (not Harry) Harryhausen learned from the master and became a master himself. Harryhausen is listed as "First Techician" in O'Brien's "Mighty Joe Young", another big-ape movie. Harryhausen was in his prime in the late '50s and early '60s with such great stop-motion classics as "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts".

 

Regarding the wind in Kong's fur, I agree with with Bill McCrary that it probably resulted from handling the model between frames. Remember you young'ns, there was no video playback in the '30s. The animators wouldn't know if they'd goofed till they developed the roll of film, and shooting a frame or two at a time it would take at least days to shoot a roll.

But, that said, I feel I should go back an take another look at Kong to see if I've missed intentional wind effects.

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