King Kong: Cinema’s Eternal Beauty And The Beast

King Kong is a powerful primate who has kept cinema goers on their toes for more than seventy years! Find out what he’s up to this week in your local theaters!

The original was based on a tale written by Merian C. Cooper (the director of the film) and Edgar Wallace. It came out in 1933 and starred Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, the original blonde damsel in distress, and Robert Armstrong as megalomaniac filmmaker, Carl Denham.

In 1976 Dino de Laurentiis remade this classic beauty and the beast tale, featuring the lovely, satin-clad Jessica Lange as a lady called Dwan, who more than whispered of the Ann Darrow/Fay Wray of forty years before.

And here we are again almost thirty years later, awaiting the opening of this same simple and poignant tale, dubbed by New York Post critic, Lou Lumenick, as “the year’s best movie.” One reviewer claimed that computers are utilized in the film to create style and beauty far beyond mere special effects, and the characters are much more developed than their original cardboard counterparts.

This new version, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, was released on December 16th. Filmed in New Zealand, critics have said that the film has an almost whimsical quality about it. This has no doubt been fostered at least in part, by the fact that Jackson has lived with the celluloid legend of King Kong and the idea of remaking it since he was first enthralled by the film as a child. He had also approached Fay Wray before her death in 2004 at the age of 96, and offered her a cameo in his, at that time, up and coming production.

Critics claim that at three hours and seven minutes the film is too long, but viewers must judge that for themselves. Actress Naomi Watts said that she accepted the part without even reading the script because she had such faith in Jackson as a director.
One can only wonder whatever happened to poor, not so little “Mighty Joe Young,” who only lived but once across the silver screen, and the musical sequel that never quite got off the ground, “Konga, Queen of The Jungle”.

What is YOUR take on the movie?

Read Naomi Watts’ comments on the film here:

This entry was posted in Movies by Marjorie Dorfman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.