King Kong 1933 Movie Review

It Was Beauty Killed the Beast”

Written by Barney Buckley


Movie Information

Directed by

Merian C. Cooper
Ernest B. Schoedsack

Produced by

Merian C. Cooper
Ernest B. Schoedsack
David O. Selznick (executive)

Screenplay by

James Ashmore Creelman
Ruth Rose

Story by

Merian C. Cooper
Edgar Wallace


Fay Wray
Bruce Cabot
Robert Armstrong

Music by

Max Steiner


Eddie Linden
J.O. Taylor
Vernon Walker

Edited by

Ted Cheesman


RKO Radio Pictures

Distributed by

RKO Radio Pictures (Original)
Turner Entertainment
(Current via Warner Bros.)

Release dates

March 2, 1933

Running time

100 minutes
104 minutes (with overture)


United States




($12 million adjusted for inflation)

Box office

$2.8 million
($51 million adjusted for inflation


King Kong is perhaps the pinnacle movie that gave way to all the sci fi movies today’s. A man named Carl Denham was a motion picture director, and a producer. Mr. Denham decides to take a mysterious trip to an uncharted island. He hires a crew and an actress for the boat trip to this island. The island that they have landed on was called Skull Island. The moment they have arrived on the island they all knew this island was special, but how special they had no clue. It is inhabited by natives who lived on this island with their rituals and their chants. The rituals that they chant were interrupted by the new visitors to the island. The chief of the tribe noticed this blonde beauty her name is Ann Darrow. The chief bargained with Denham for the blonde, but he refuses flatly.

That night the natives sneaked Ann off the ship back to the island where they precede to use her as a sacrifice for their god. One thing is very noticeable about the island where the islanders resided, and that is the great wall that stands about 50 feet high with a gate just as high. The native’s tie Ann to this alter then suddenly the trees start cracking and crashing as if something gigantic was coming her way. What clears the tree lines is a 50 foot ape of gigantic proportions. Ann screams at the site of King Kong. He looks at Ann for the first time as if what is this.

She was very too unique to Kong. Kong seems to like this girl very much. He grabs Ann and takes off into the jungle. Jack Driscoll is the ships first mate. Jack is particularly fond of Ann also. Jack with his crew go in to the jungle in search of Ann. All the while in the jungle Jack and the crew run constant danger. They eventually run into Kong himself. Leaving Kong to kill all but two of the crew. Kong runs into a serious fight with a T-Rex. This by far was the coolest fight scene Kong as gotten into so far. Jack manages to find Ann in Kong’s lair while Kong is tangling with a tyranadon. Getting back to the beach where Carl Denham was waiting. He came up with the grandest scheme that would make him rich. Carl would capture Kong, and bring him back to New York City. Making King Kong the eighth wonder of the world.

They had Kong chained on a stand above the audience on a stage. Kong noticed Ann and photographers taking alot of pictures. Not knowing that Kong was getting angry because Kong thought that the photographers were harming Ann. He breaks out of his chains running amok in New York. He enters the streets of New York where eventually ends up at the Empire State building carry Ann in his hand. He climbs the building where he is met with a bunch of airplanes, or biplanes. A constant aerial attack is displayed on the weaken King of Skull Island. King Kong falls to his death slamming against the building falling to his death. The positive thing about this film is that it is near perfection. King Kong was released in 1933, and it has yet to be surpassed by anything in its genre. If you are a true fan of King Kong this movie is the best of the best.

King Kong has a son in another movie, but he would die saving someone also. Then there is King Kong vs Godzilla which to alot of Godzilla fans like myself have eagerly waited for this to be released here in the United States. When it was released it was a bliss. Now this is not connected with King Kong 1933. It was release by the Toho Company with permission from RKO Pictures. Then in 1976 Dino Delaurentes released his version with alot of skeptism from true fans as being a cheap rendition of the real thing. I like Kong Kong I have to say that this version has its good points. A different twist to it. Dwan was her name and boy was she sweet looking. “yummy”. Then they release the second part of King Kong with a heart transplant, now this movie was below average with alot cheesy parts, but not the worst of movies. King Kong 2005 hopefully will be the grandest of them all. It should be pretty cool with Peter Jackson behind the helm of King Kong.

We will have to wait and see. There is strong following of King Kong with the fans, and movies. King Kong went through several name changes before getting the one it has now. The first it would be called The Beast, The Ape, King Ape, and Kong. Another piece of trivia is that the term Skull Island is usually referred by alot of people. It is not mentioned at all in the film King Kong 1933 and the Son of Kong. The confusion arose because of the main nature feature on the island is called Skull Mountain. The success of this film would keep RKO Pictures from going bankrupted. King Kong’s official height in the original movie was 50 feet. Well that pretty much sums up this story.

Synopsis by Barney Buckley

What I like about the Movie

This movie is truly classic in nature and the stop motion by Ray Harryhausen is something you see and a lot of the older classic car/sci-fi giant monster movies this one is no exception to the rule. This particular movie is what started the entire Godzilla franchise as Tomoyuki Tanaka was flying back to Tokyo because the movie in the Philippines went belly up so we needed to come up with a new idea to present to the Toho company and the first thing that came to his mind was the movie “The Beast on 20,000 Fathoms” and the movie King Kong that came out in 1933 this is what inspired him to create what we all know today as the most famous of all monster movies Godzilla 1954 which spawned many other movies after that. The fight scenes where he fights the T Rex and the stop motion is amazing to see as well as the background drops everything about this movie is refreshing to see it is not like what you see today.

What I did not like about the Movie

I don’t really have too many problems with this movie as I do like this movie a lot I think for the most part if you like modern technology the way this film was done as compared to today would be a flaw but in my opinion this is a classic way of doing things and I am old school I don’t mind CGI but CGI comes at a very expensive price I prefer to see people using their ingenuity in creating things without the use of a computer. Other than that I don’t have anything bad to say about the movie.

Closing Statements

I have to say that if you are into giant sci-fi monster movies this one is definitely one you need to see and if you do like King Kong in my humble opinion is one of the best of the series of all the King Kong movies out there. Peter Jackson’s King Kong in my opinion is the best rendition of all the King Kong’s next of the classic while the 1976 King Kong had a different interpretation it is without a doubt one of the best ones out there as well I like all the King Kong movies out there today with the exception of the 1986 movie that was cheaply done and the whole family thing just does not sit well with me when it comes to monsters but it is what it is. Anyway to make a long story short if you like King Kong or these type of movies you deafly got to watch this.


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