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"King Kong" (1933) Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack


In 1933, RKO Radio Pictures released one of the top American films of all time, “King Kong”. It was one of the best films because there were unique characters as well as one of the most memorable scenes in American film history. Several of the special effects were very innovative for the time and others were previous innovations of special effects. Despite this movie having a simple plot, the most significant parts were the scenes of the enlarged creatures such as the main creature, “King Kong”, which was the main obstacle towards the two main characters.


The main characters, Ann Darrow and Carl Denham when he was looking for a girl for his film, he was going to shoot on an African Island with a tribe. The girl he met, Ann Darrow was poor, and Denham began helping her out to start a career in the movies. He then took Ann onto a ship to the filming location, and she was the only woman on the boat. She was made fun of by the other shipmen because back in these days, mostly men rode on ships. Once the ship arrived at the island, there were birds flying around Skull Island. Those two features were shown to foreshadow viewers that something crazy is about to happen. Once everyone was on the island, a native tribe surrounded everyone because the crew seemed like a big threat to them. Following that encounter, the crew went back on the ship. As the ship was departing, the tribe got onto their boats and kidnapped Ann by ambushing her off the ship.


Following the kidnapping of Ann, the movie turned into a huge thrill where Ann was captured by a large ape named “King Kong”. Prior to her capture by King Kong, she was tied up by the tribe and was asked to stay there. While she was tied up, the ship crew, specifically her romantic partner, John Driscoll who tried to look for her and save her. Once King Kong captured Ann, the entire ship crew faced many obstacles prior to saving Ann. Following the capture, Ann encountered several different creatures that were trying to kill her, but King Kong killed them all. In addition, King Kong was brought back to New York City, where Ann and Denham live and King Kong continued to attack people and again, Ann was captured a second time and was taken to the top of the Empire State Building.


The camerawork and postproduction work in “King Kong” were extremely significant because no other movie have portrayed a large creature or an unrealistic obstacle. On the island, it was clear that King Kong and the other creatures were shot separately in two different locations. It was likely that the actors were walking next to a screen of the creatures and that’s likely how the actors seemed much smaller than the large creatures. The Empire State Building scene was extremely significant because at the time of this movie, the building was the tallest in the world. That scene provided such a thrill to viewers because the building was completed two years earlier and that no viewer have ever seen a close up of the top of the tallest building at the time. As a result of all of the unique aspects of the enlarged creatures and the Empire State Building scene, “King Kong” was one of the greatest films of all time in American film history.

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