King Kong (1933)

June 14, 2017

Another of the classics I checked out was the original King Kong movie.

It was really enjoyable.

It has super old school graphics but somehow that added to the charm of the movie.

I especially liked the innocence and talking styles of the characters.

They say things like “let me be level with you” and “I’m square.”

For example, there’s a film maker looking to find a pretty woman to take with him to this legendary & dangerous island. He searches far and wide and eventually ends up at a type of woman’s homeless shelter. There he sees the pretty blonde he’s looking for.

He takes her to a diner and feeds her (she’s starving and famished). And he tells her his idea. You’re coming with me on a ship full of rough male sailors, you’ll be the only woman on board. We’re going to a mysterious island and I don’t know what’s waiting for us. You’ll be part of my movie.

She gives him a low key look.

The movie director cuts her thoughts immediately. This is 100% square, he says. No funny business gonna happen, meaning she will not be taken advantage of by the guys. She is relieved and looking forward to the adventure.

On the voyage, all the rough sailors treat her with super gentleness!!

Maybe I’m jaded but I thought surely these tough guys all alone with only one female on this boat, and a pretty blonde at that, would at least make a spicy move. Nope. And I kinda liked that about this movie. 1930s innocence.

Anyways, they head to a remote legendary island, inhabited by tribal folks who are in the process of sacrificing one of their own women (virgin?) in a ceremony. They don’t kill her, but rather she’s sitting there awaiting her fate while everyone beats drums and chants. We know that a giant ape will soon come and take her away.

When the natives see a rare blonde, they kidnap her and offer her to Kong. The giant ape is very smitten by this pretty thing and goes through a lot of trouble fighting other prehistoric monsters to keep her.

One awkward scene was Kong undressing the woman, like a kid does with a doll. Nothing overt, but it was odd seeing a giant ape do that to a tiny human.

I did not realize that King Kong was just another movie metaphor for beauty and the beast until the actors mentioned it a few times. Then it clicked.

Even the toughest baddest beast of them all has a soft spot for pretty women. No one is immune to beauty.

I particularly enjoyed the bootleg stop motion action figure type movement of Kong and the other prehistoric creatures. It was advanced for its time, I’m sure, back in 1933. I liked it more than today’s high tech cgi.

Once I understood the metaphor, I realized that there’s actually another beast in the movie as well.

The tough and gruff yet handsome male lead. He also falls for the beauty. And this case isn’t a kidnapping like with Kong, but rather a mutual love affair.

The ending was a bit unsatisfactory for me. Maybe monster movies are meant to have unhappy endings for the monster. I kinda liked Kong.

I noticed afterwards that the two most recent popular movies this year also happen to be based on the same subject.

Kong Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast are both big right now. I haven’t seen either one but I assume the subject matter is the same. Beauty subduing the beast in all of us.

King Kong (1933)