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4.7 out of 5 stars104
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2011
I can't add much to that what's already known: King Kong is still one of the best adventure/fantasy/monster movies in the history of filmmaking. It is simply amazing that a movie of almost eighty years old is still a true joy to watch and to watch again. Now the gem is finally on bluray and it is something for the real filmlover and collector to own. Its packed in a great hardcover book with the story behind the film, the film itself is restored to its maximum and the disk is also packed with fantastic documentaries...Like I said, this is what a bluray version of a classic should look like. Highly recommended. Oh by the way. It's an American import, but it's region free so it can be played without any trouble on region 2 players.
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on 1 December 2005
I've just read the previous reviewers comments that this film is outdated. That may be because its SEVENTY TWO YEARS OLD! This film would have been terrifying at the time, the stop action animation was state of the art and the audience would have bought it. The story is an absolute classic and still stands up today although film structures have changed and it may seem rushed. I would recommend anyone to see it before the Peter Jackson film just to get an idea of how some elements of films have changed but the important ones have stayed the same.
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on 25 April 2012
KING KONG is one of those rare films that just gets better and better with age. We watch it now as a 1930's fable that's transcended its own time, attaining mythical status. The undiminished, primordial energy it generates derives from all aspects of production; from Willis O'Brien's masterly stop-motion effects and Murray Spivack's innovative early sound mix, to Max Steiner's brilliantly evocative music score.

The performances too are in perfect sync with the larger than life premise of this adventure/fairy tale classic. Fay Wray's iconic portrayal of the beauty who kills the beast set the standard for every damsel in distress that followed. Most amazing of all is Kong himself, who projects such a distinctive personality, we dismiss the fact that he's just a visual effect. Who can forget those blinking eyes of his at the hotel window when he recognizes Fay Wray?

But even beyond all the indelible imagery, the film also boasts a deceptively simple story which has a subtext based on the real life exploits shared by co-directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack in making expeditionary films. This essential, autobiographical approach is what drives the first third of KONG, and serves as build-up to the wild fantasy that takes over. The film is as much a personal work as is anything by Charlie Chaplin or Erich von Stroheim. Consider: The "Old Arabian Proverb" following the opening credits was written by Cooper, the intrepid filmmaker Carl Denham, played with 30's style, two fisted gusto by Robert Armstrong, was fashioned after Cooper, and the pilots machine-gunning Kong in the famous finale are actually Cooper and Schoedsack.

KONG interweaves fact/fiction with such clever subtlety, that audiences are still largely unappreciative of this unique aspect of the film. It's a great, shrewdly conceived piece of escapism that endures, inviting repeated viewings so that in the end we realize there's only one KING KONG.
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on 24 July 2012
At last a superb classic film has been given the Hi-Def treatment it deserves. This blu-ray of the original Great Ape movie delivers terrific picture quality alongside much improved sound plus 5 hours of incredibly worthwhile extras. This all comes in a book format package which includes some history, stills and poster repros. etc. If you already own the Warner U.S. DVD then this blu-ray's content is identical and you should carefully consider if the upgrade is essential - for me it certainly is even though the quality of the DVD version is very good. I waited until this blu-ray (which is region free. so plays on all machines) hit a low-ish price on Amazon Marketplace and then snapped it up. The Warner versions of King Kong are far superior to the U.K. releases (so far) and it's shameful that (again, so far) there is no hint of an English blu-ray release. I should mention that among the extras is a Peter Jackson re-creation of the lost 'Spider Pit' sequence, created using the animation techniques used in the original. If you are a Kongophile then don't hesitate, add to basket, there ain't gonna be a better version of this movie for a long, long time.
P.S. The other King is that lad from Memphis of course.
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on 14 June 2001
As a budding movie historian and lover of all films, King Kong was unmissable. I collect all kinds of classic films but this is one that I think all movie fans should enjoy. The picture is in itself an historical landmark in the history of celluloid, featuring groundbreaking special effects, a star performance that would become a household name and one of the iconic images of American popular culture and the definitive 'damsel in distress'. This film gave a deafening roar that echoes today. But as a work of art, it is not to be missed. Being that we have all been reared in the post-Kong days of cinema, the idea of a giant ape stalking his prey is hardly shocking, we say 'oh that's just King Kong', but the first shot of the beast is still utterly gripping. Political correctness and liberalism tell us to look at Fay Wraye's performance as a symbol of the dark days when women were treated as dolls and weak creatures, but she portrays a classic role to perfection, and political incorrectness was never this good. Kong and his prehistoric pals are brought to life by stop-motion animation, some of the movements are rather jerky and the effects themselves are primitive by today's standards, but the effect that they generate has never been lost. Kong was in reality a metal skeleton with sponge-rubber muscles covered in rabbit fur, but 30s audiences and the 30s cast found it realistic, and that movement provides one with a feeling it would take more than a computer to beat this. The famous wall and door, behind which Kong resides was first used in Cecil B. De Mille's King of Kings, and was later used as a burning backdrop in the doomed city of Atlanta in Gone With The Wind. This film is packed to bursting point with breathtaking action and wonderful work all round, as a landmark and as a film, this one is truly special.
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on 2 March 2014
This is a Blu-Ray I have been waiting for. In Fact I've been waiting for this for years. In my opinion "King Kong" (1933) is one of the greatest movies ever made. I've owned the movie on VHS, DVD & now Blu-Ray. This is the best version yet. The picture is outstanding given the age of the film. The level of detail is amazing & if you are a fan of this film it's like seeing it for the first time. I won't go into details of plot, cast, crew etc as I'm sure anyone considering this disc will already be familiar with all of this. I have only one small negative comment: I find that my Sony Blu-Ray player will not allow me to access the special features menu. However when using other players this is not a problem. Indeed the extras are worth a look especially the "lost spider sequence" & the "Creation" test footage with comments by Ray Harryhausen. I recommend this disc for all film fantasy fans & fans of classic films.
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on 10 October 2005
Undoubtedly a classic film that is enjoyable in all it's unboundless cliches!
This film is deservedly remembered for it's amazing (at the time) special effects. Today, they look kind of quaint, and reminiscent of a different era in Hollywood, but it's to the film's credit that even now, when they look so poor, the effects don't take away from the film.
Kong is quite a sympathetic character, especially when he gets taken to New York, and with his fight against the Trex on Skull Island you are behind him all the way.
Fay Wray is also superb as the lady in peril. Screaming her head off, she doesn't get on your nerves. She's meant to be an airhead blonde bimbo, but she's quite loveable. The perfect antidote to Kong's violent scenes.
I know that this films is old, but the DVD transfer wasn't to the highest of standards. Very patchy, crackly and spotty. But the half hour documentary looking back on the film from some of its makers is quite interesting.
For anyone interested in old black and white films, classic films, or need to prepare for Peter Jackson's remake coming out later this year - then this is a perfect choice.
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2006
The basic story is of Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), who makes those cute little animal pictures that are going out of style. If he wants to stay in business he must add a female interest and some excitement.
Circumstances forcing him to leave port quickly, he meets a girl Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), that is down on her luck and convinces her that he will make her a star (on the up and up).
Things get complicated, as you know it is bad luck to bring a woman onboard a freighter. And Ann really stirs them up including the first mate, Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). On top of this she has a large date awaiting her at Skull Island.
I will not tell the rest of the story just incase you are one of the few that has missed the movie. But as you have guessed it includes a big ape named KONG. Not that cheesy thing that is always tussling around in Japanese movies, but a much more convincing Kong that can show great emotion.
You are about to watch the eight wonder of the world.
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on 13 November 2013
The movie King Kong is one of the greatest movies ever made, a classic which very few film makers are able to match. The special edition is quite a poor DVD. The movie has been remastered and is looking great but it's missing some scenes and the only extra is a trailer for Peter Jacksons King Kong. For UK buyers who are unable to watch American DVD's the best copy to go for would be the 60th anniversary DVD which has the restored scenes and a fascinating making of documentary called 'It was beauty that killed the beast'. One problem I have with both DVD's is that the ending is spoiled in the information written at the back of the DVD, but most people know what happens by now. If you don't, avoid reading the back of the box. King Kong is a classic and I urge everyone to at least see it once, it's a brilliant movie.
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on 11 December 2014
I was a little reticent at buying this, due to insufficient or ambiguous info as regards regional coding - but I shouldn'd have worried - this disc is REGION FREE. Picture is better than the digitally remastered dvd but there is noticable grain, ( more so on a large screen tv ) which seems to get better further into the feature ( reel changes and film-stock quality? ). Sound and dialogue is clear and if you have a cinema zoom menu on your tv, ( LG ) you can take out the black side bars. Overall improvement. This is the digi-book version. An inclusion of a colourised version would've been a nice extra. Documentary extras are good - I found Peter jackson's film crew's recreation of the original film's giant spider segments most fascinating. Hope this helps with any future contemplative purchase.
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