Cinefantastique Web Surfing: Kong turns 75
New York – A gigantic gorilla perched atop the Empire State Buildingin New York City tenderly says farewell to the small, blonde woman he holds in his hand. It’s a scene that made motion picture history, and it comes at the conclusion of the action-fantasy film King Kong, considered the grandfather of all monster movies. Sunday is the 75th anniversary of the touchingly romantic film’s debut on March 2, 1933, when it was first screened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The movie’s special effects remain a fascinating aspect of the original film. But the allure of Kong lies not only in its technical brilliance but also in the poetry of the story, which rejected ordinary black- and-white templates.
The gorilla is almost human-like in his love for the woman. The audience sympathizes with him right up to the legendary closing scene, in which the beast plucks an attacking biplane from the sky like a toy, but in the end is struck by a hail of gunfire and falls into the depths.
Coincidentally, SignOnSanDiego.com has an interview with Ray Harryhausen, who was inspired by a screening of KONG to enter the field of cinematic special effects, eventually crafting such wonders as the prehistoric dinosaur in THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS and the skeleton battle in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. Cinefantastique Online recently posted an excerpt of an interview with Harryhausen’s associated, Arnold Kunert, discussing the recently released colorized DVD of Harryhausen’s 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH.
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