Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a certain television station used to show the triple feature of KING KONG (1933), SON OF KONG (1933) and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949) over Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve already forgotten which station it was, and what years this triple feature was shown, but for a while there it was a Thanksgiving tradition.
So, these days, at Thanksgiving, among other things, I find myself thinking of these three classic giant ape movies.
On today’s Picture of the Day we have a pretty cool poster for the 1933 KING KONG. As you know from previous posts, I enjoy international posters for classic horror and monster movies. Even though this poster is in English, this is an Italian poster for KING KONG. At least that’s the information I read when I found this image online. I enjoy the vibrant colors in this one, even though the woman in Kong’s hand is nowhere near the likeness of Fay Wray.
There are a lot of KING KONG posters out there, as there should be.
For my money, KING KONG remains one of the greatest genre films ever made. It has aged remarkably well and its special effects remain extraordinary. If you ever get a chance to read about all that went into making this movie, do it. It’s a fascinating story. The care and precision that went into making the special effects for KING KONG is nothing short of remarkable.
The special effects were ahead of its time. Just the effort used to create the background images on Skull Island is incredible. Willis O’Brien and his effects team used multiple-leveled glass plates to create the rich and authentic look of depth on Skull Island. The stop- motion effects team employed all sorts of innovative touches. In the scene where Kong fights the sea serpent, for example, Kong and the serpent are animated, the real Fay Wray is inserted in the background, and Bruce Cabot appears in the foreground in front of the action.
Of course, they also had their share of luck. When they saw the rushes of Kong’s movements, they were aghast that they could see the impressions of their fingers on Kong’s body, which made sense since they were touching Kong in order to move him. They thought their efforts were ruined, until someone pointed out that it looked like Kong’s fur moving in the wind, and so they left it in, and it looks so authentic that if you don’t know the story you’d believe they got so detailed that they made Kong’s fur move in the breeze.
KING KONG was a phenomenal movie in 1933, and it remains just as amazing today, as it has stood the test of time.
Thanks for reading!