Monday, 10 October 2016

King Kong (1933) Review

King Kong (1933) (See fig.1) was produced by RKO Pictures, it was directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the film depicts a film crew that heads to a tropical island to film a movie and comes into contact with a giant ape who falls in love with the crews female star, they capture the ape and bring him to new york as a prise.

The film has won the 
National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry award (1991), Online Film & Television Association's OFTA Film Hall of Fame (2009) and 
TV Land Awards's TV Land Award (2008).

(Figure 1) King Kong [Poster]
The film was in production from 1931 -  1933 and cost an estimate of $670,000.
upon release the movie grossed 
$6,206,460 in the first year making it a box office hit.
Merian C. Cooper (Producer/Director) (See fig.2) would later write the remake of King Kong (1976) but would not see the film finished as he passed away in 1973 from cancer at the age of 79, he was also given thanks in the credits of the second King Kong (2005) remake.

(Figure 2) Merian C. Cooper [Photograph]
Both Cooper and Schoedsack were uncredited as the directors of King Kong (1933)

The film used painted backdrops (see fig.3) as well as real plants to create the illusion of a vast rain forest. Whilst not uncommon for the time to use these methods of illusion it was still considered to be one of the finest examples of the medium.

The backdrops were designed to not only trick the audience into thinking they are really in a jungle but also to help impose a sense of isolation, you are trapped in a world that doesn't care about you, that only wants to kill and eat you, what better way to help emphasize this then to make the world huge and vast, the jungles go on forever, the trees are as tall as buildings and nothing quite looks stable enough to walk on.

The film is credited as being '
the father of "Jurassic Park," the "Alien" movies and countless other stories in which heroes are terrified by skillful special effects.' (Rodger Ebert 2002)

(Figure 3) King Kong special effects [Movie Still]


Figure 1. King kong poster (1933) Poster [Advertisement] in America 1933
Figure 2. King kong special effects (1933) Movie still [Movie still] in America 1931-1933
Figure 3. Merian C. Cooper (1933) Photograph [Photograph] in America, Date unknown

King Kong - IMDB [Online] available at [Accessed 10/10/2016]
Jackson P. (2005) King Kong [Film]

Turner G. (1975) The Making of King Kong: The Story Behind a Film Classic. 
Brooklyn: A. S. Barnes

Roger Ebert (2002) King Kong [review]


  1. Hi David,

    Couple of things... you have some interesting font combinations going on in and around the Ebert quote - always make sure that your font size and style is consistent throughout (you sometimes get this sort of glitch when copying and pasting from elsewhere.)
    Also, I'm not quite sure what is going on with your bibliography - you have several names there that don't seem to be mentioned in your actual review? And poor old Roger Ebert who is in the review, doesn't get a mention at all! If those other sources have been paraphrased, then they still need to be referenced within the text - see the FAQs here, under 'How do I cite a direct or indirect quotation?'

    When you are looking at the referencing guide, make sure that you scroll on past the big grey 'Need more help?' banner... there is lots more info beyond that point, ending with how to reference websites!

    1. Ah thanks jackie, i was having trouble finding the Harvard referencing section.
      You're right i completely forgot to give credit to the names i used, i was so focused on finding the information on the book that i forgot to reference the rest and this dang text keeps glitching on me, i thought i had fixed it... When i can i will delete and type it out to see if that fixes it, the spacing between paragraphs is also a little glitched.