The Bigger They Come Part 5 (King Kong, 1933)
In 1933, Merian C. Cooper began making giant ape movies. King Kong still stands as the most memorable. Carl Denham is committed to make an epic film on the newly discovered Skull Island. Bring his cast and crew, they discover horror as Ann Darrow is kidnapped by the native people and sacrificed to Kong.
King Kong is a pretty impressive feat for it’s day. While the stop motion does not compare to, say, Ray Harryhausen’s later works. The sets are also pretty impressive.
The story moves at a fast pace, rarely taking time to slow down. The performances are all pretty good, though most people really only remember Fay Wray (in part for screaming a whole lot). Darrow is, typically for the times, strictly in the “Helpless Damsel” mode.
The Savage Natives trope is embarrassingly outdated. Peter Jackson made no attempt to change this in his 2005 remake, while Kong: Skull Island overcompensates by going the Noble Savage route. It is one of those rather frustrating stamps of the past that lacks justification beyond “It was the times”.
King Kong is a memorable piece of genre film history and overall a fun watch in spite of it’s shortcomings.