Written by / 11/10/2019 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , ,

STOMPING THROUGH THE LEGENDARY ORIGINAL 'KING KONG'

Fay Wray as Ann Darrow in KING KONG Year: 1933
If you discovered prehistoric/extremely instinct dinosaurs roaming on an uncharted island, would a giant gorilla really matter? Well in this case it’s personal as the legendary simian is ticked off with brutal fists flying, razor-sharp teeth, and he’s captured Ann Darrow, the street girl turned makeshift actress hired by maverick cinema auteur Carl Denham to star in his next picture shot entirely at Skull Island, a location that doesn’t even appear on the map and, shrouded by a wall of thick, ominous, forboding fog, it's place you don’t want to spend your vacation…

King Kong Rates: *****
Natives dot the shoreline and reside mostly behind a giant fortress protected from the unseen god they live to fear… And King Kong Kong might not be impressively aesthetic to today’s standards. His hair moves with each movement, but we can suspend cinema disbelief by blaming wind. In reality, Willis O’Brien moved Kong by hand, and those are their very own imprints.

Timeless beauty Fay Wray as Ann
As later on, the famously fake looking shark in JAWS didn’t matter or distract from the well-told story, either does a model-clay gorilla... There's enough build-up to get to know the characters, beginning with a middleman telling Robert Armstrong’s headstrong director no studio will allow an actress to risk such a venture: So Denhman hits the New York Depression-era streets and finds his dame in the form of Faye Wray’s Darrow…

With pale skin, longing eyes, a windswept countenance and an almost primal, haunting beauty, Wray, who even at the time was no stranger to horror film roles, was given her big break – she's the perfectly suited scream queen and boy can she holler… After the forty-five minute mark, when she’s kidnapped by the natives and sacrificed to a giddy Kong, her wailing never really ceases and, unlike the two remakes, the human ingĂ©nue doesn’t fall in subliminal love with her giant captor… It’s an unrequited, one-sided obsession, and that makes the titular ape even more formidable and sinister.

Terrific Pulpy Artwork
As Kong battles a giant snake, a menacing pterodactyl and a  romping and raging, tail-wagging T-Rex to protect his new discovery, he becomes a savior/bodyguard, but most likely for territorial reasons...

Although, Bruce Cabot’s John Driscoll is perpetually shadowing Kong to get his lady back... One great camera-gliding visual has Driscoll and a weary Darrow running for safety as an unseen Kong approaches... And although Cabot is the heroic lead, Armstrong’s Denham is the main male character...

Original King Kong Poster Art
In the modern era, never would a man responsible for capturing and exploiting an extremely rare species be considered a hero of any kind… In fact, Charles Grodin and Jack Black, basically playing the same guy in both sequels, were villains and/or jerks. Either way, “It was beauty that killed the beast" lends more cruel irony than anything else. But perhaps this line can be explained when, on the Island, Kong breaks down the native's wall that, most likely, couldn't be penetrated under normal circumstances...

It took Darrow to give him the extra strength to fulfill his tragic destiny. And despite ravaging the native village and following the Americans to shore with loathsome vengeance, Kong is no match against gas bombs being hurled at his feet, cutting quickly from Skull Island back to New York, where Kong’s on display for a theater of impatient sophisticates, resulting in a barrage of the city leading to the famous Empire State Building standoff where Kong battles airplanes with machine guns, the unfair slaying of an iconic creature beloved by audiences, still, even though, in the original movie and in his original form, KING KONG was a lethal monster to both respect and fear.
The living room of KING KONG holding effects model "Clay Wray"
"Well, isn't there any romance or adventure in the world without having a flapper in it?"
Bruce Cabot with Fay Wray in KING KONG
Scream Queen legend Fay Wray in KING KONG
Robert Armstrong as director Carl Denham in KING KONG
Filming ingenue Fay Wray in KING KONG
Literal screaming scream queen Fay Wray in KING KONG
Robert Armstrong and Frank Reicher in KING KONG
Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, James Flavin in KING KONG
Dick Curtis, Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and James Flavin in KING KONG
Fay Wray anticipates the killer Tyrannosaurus Rex in KING KONG
King Kong verses the Tyrannosaurus Rex in KING KONG
King Kong verses the pterodactyl in KING KONG
Famous wide shot of KING KONG climbing the Empire State Building
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