Son of Kong 1933 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

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Movie Information

Directed by

Ernest B. Schoedsack

Produced by

Ernest B. Schoedsack

Written by

Ruth Rose


Robert Armstrong
Helen Mack
Frank Reicher
John Marston
Victor Wong
Edward Brady

Music by

Max Steiner


Edward Linden

Edited by

Ted Cheesman

Distributed by

RKO Radio Pictures
(Turner Entertainment)

Release dates

December 22, 1933

Running time

69 minutes


United States





Box office



Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper’s King Kong (33) was not only one of the most successful films of it era, it became something of a phenomenon whose influence can be felt throughout popular culture, not just in films as diverse as Inoshiro Honda’s Gojira (54) and Jim Sharman’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show (75). Kong himself, much to the filmmakers’ surprise, took on a life of his own as a cultural icon, with different societies conferring their own status and meaning onto the figure of the giant ape.

As the production was one of the few outright smash hits that RKO had during its turbulent existence, the studio were obviously very keen to exploit this success as quickly as possible and to this end reunited many of the cast and crew from the original production to quickly and cheaply (at $290,000, less than half the budget allocated to the earlier work) make a sequel. Astonishingly, despite the technical complexity of the project, The Son of Kong debuted a mere eight months after the premier of its parent.

The name for “Little Kong” was Kiko, though it was never used. After the widespread destruction caused by the giant ape, King Kong, on New York City, adventurer and showman Carl Denham finds himself under siege from process servers and journalists in his guest house room. A female reporter who manages to gain access to the man is told that he is being sued by almost everyone in the city and is wishes that he left Kong alone on his island. Just then the Chinese cook who sailed with Denham on the SS Venture arrives to tell him that the captain of the ship, Englehorn would like to see him. Denham manages to make an exit unseen from his lodgings and makes his way to the ship.

There the skipper begins to make the showman a proposition, but is interrupted by a process server who has become very successful thanks to Denham who informs him that the Grand Jury are about to indict him and that he should quit town as soon as possible. Englehorm then reveals that his proposition involves Denham sailing to the Dutch East Indies with him to make a living as cargo shipping agents. Denham readily agrees. After some time at sea, the ship ends up at a remote port called Darkang, with very little to show for their efforts and an increasingly hostile crew. While discussing their plight, the skipper and Denham calculate that they are some 1700 miles from Kong’s island. Searching the port for some trade, the partners decide to take in a musical show performed by an elderly expat, Petersen and his daughter Hilda.

After the show, which is treated with indifference by the native audience, the father goes drinking with another Westerner, Helstrom, despite the protestations of his daughter. Petersen and Helstrom soon get into a drunken argument over the mysterious sinking of the latter’s last vessel, with Helstrom hitting his companion with a bottle. As he falls Petersen knock over a lamp and the tent where his act took place is soon ablaze. Helstrom flees and it is left to Hilda to pull her father from the inferno. Unfortunately the strain proves too much and he expires despite her efforts. The next morning the daughter meets Helstrom and tells him that she intends to give her version of the events surrounding her father’s death to the visiting Dutch magistrate who is due to visit the port in the next few days. Helstrom then goes to a local bar where he is refused service due to lack of funds.

He spies Denham across the bar and goes over to him. It turns out it was he who provided the showman with the map of Kong island. To obtain passage on the Venture, he concocts a story about hidden treasure on the island that Denham falls for and agrees to let Helstrom accompany him and his partner. That night Denham visits Hilda and gives her money to buy a place on the next ship out of port. She begs to be allowed to accompany him but he refuses as he is going well out of her way. The following day the ship is well into its voyage and the captain expresses concern that that Helstrom is having a bad influence on the crew. Then a stowaway is discovered. It is Hilda…

Synopsis by Barney Buckley

What I like about This Movie

This particular movie is one of those movies that is very cute and funny as Robert Armstrong returns back to the island only to find that there is a baby Kong stumbles on the crew but in a very funny and cute way he is not like his father his father is very mean and animalistic life this guy is just the opposite. This movie Kiko does fight a bear where his father fights a gigantic T Rex so does have some similarities. The movie ended so just like King Kong is a true masterpiece as well. Kiko does in fact save Robert Armstrong from drowning when the island starts to sink this was a sad moment and at same time a heroic moment.

What I did not like about the Movie

Like you are well thought while I mentioned in the last film King Kong 1933 this film is the same I don’t have any complaints with it because they were made in the same year so they had the same kind and nature to so I don’t have any real complaints about this movie at all I think both of these movies are truly classic in their own nature.

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. Anyway this one is no exception to the rule is like most King Kong movies however does have a funny side to it so if you like King Kong in its nature check this one out this was a classic too.


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