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KING KONG - 1933 - The DVD Review
Review by Chris Mason


If you haven’t picked up your copy of the newly re-mastered classic 1933 KING KONG on DVD, then shame on you!

Kong has seen life in many forms over the years, but with all of today’s modern special effects magic this one still stands out as imagination at its peak! Directed by Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack, with the amazing special effects of Willis OBrien, these three men created by many accounts the single greatest monster movie of all time.

I remember countless Saturday mornings watching KING KONG on the “Million Dollar Movie” with my younger brothers. We never grew tired of it, although I must admit I haven’t seen it in years but after watching this new DVD release I can truly say I’ve NEVER seen King Kong at all.  This all new master of the film took over eight years to produce. The producers of the DVD have searched the world looking for the best pieces of surviving film footage to assemble this version of the Cooper & Schoedsack film, even re-inserting the 29 cuts made by the Hayes Office in 1938 for the films re-release. The edits have been meticulously restored. Now we can see Kong strip and sniff Anne on the cliff, stomp and squish island natives into the mud, and many others, including the very funny scene of Kong mistaking another woman in a white dress for Anne then tossing her over his shoulder when he realizes he’s got the wrong dame!  In many respects Kong has never looked better, some would argue the film looks better than it did in its original 1933 release, the original KING KONG remains to this day a powerful and affecting experience on screen.

The image here is very clean, sure there are film scratches and grain, but that’s also part of the charm and memory of this film for most of us. The technicians have spared no expense and it shows. The Max Steiner score is one of the best and one of the first full-blown motion picture scores ever and the cues for Kong are awesome and will give you chills hearing them again!

Also included in this new release is a bonus disc with:

·  Disc 2: King-Sized Special Features
·  RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World - 7 Part
   Documentary including...
·  The Origins of "King Kong"
·  Willis OBrien and "Creation"
·  Cameras Roll on Kong, The Eighth Wonder
·  A Milestone in Visual Effects
·  Passion, Sound and Fury
·  The Mystery of the Lost Spider Pit Sequence
·  King Kong’s Legacy
·  Creation Test Footage with Commentary by Ray Harryhausen

The highlight of this disc is the re-creation of the legendary lost “Spider Pit” sequence.

Working with the original 1932 shooting script, archival photos and original artwork, Lord of the Rings & KING KONG director Peter Jackson and his crew at WETA have taken the task or re-creating this sequence. They tackle the job not so much to re-create footage to reinsert back into the film, but from the perspective of fans.  These guys are like kids in a candy store, each are fans of the original film that inspired most of them to get into the film business in the first place. This re-creation is documented in great detail, and shows how OBrien did it back in 1932. Jackson and his team at Weta used many of the original techniques that OBrien used back in his day. Going as far as re-creating the armatures for the puppets using original photos and the old cotton & latex method. It’s true testament and a fascinating look into the past to what might have been, you almost feel as if you are watching what it was like for OBrien to painstakingly animate KONG one frame at a time back in 1932.

Overall this disc is a must have for any movie fan!
To order your copy click: KING KONG there are three versions to choose from!

Chris Mason
The Crimson Collector
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