Film & Water #84 – King Kong (1933)


Episode 84: KING KONG (1933)

With KONG: SKULL ISLAND just a few weeks away, Rob welcomes Nicholas Prom (COMIC REFLECTIONS PODCAST) to discuss the original monster movie blockbuster, 1933’s KING KONG!

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9 responses to “Film & Water #84 – King Kong (1933)

  1. Fun episode! I need to go back and watch the original Kong, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. It’s one of the few horror classics I haven’t exposed my kids to either. I guess where he exists outside of the Universal canon, it wasn’t a priority…which makes me a bad parent. Hey, I got it on the DVR off TCM, so maybe this weekend we can make a night of it.

    I don’t remember those Crestwood books from childhood, BUT Cindy brought home several of them from her library when they were being discarded. Andrew and I ate them up!

    I’m glad you did the tribute to Bill Paxton at the end. Cindy and I were watching part of Tombstone for the 800th time the night before he died. Luckily we turned it off before poor Morgan got killed. Paxton always added a spark to everything he was in. One of my favorites you didn’t mention was another collaboration with James Cameron, True Lies. Paxton is hilarious as the slime ball who Ah-nuld keeps scaring into peeing himself.

    I didn’t watch the Oscars this year, so I missed the debacle. It is a shame for both productions that their moments were besmirched by such a pedantic foul-up. I do agree the Oscars really needs to open the field to GREAT movies of all genres. Films like Cap: Winter Solider AND Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy should at least get a consideration. If both critics and audiences agree something is great…who cares what hole you can hammer it into?


  2. Such a great episode. My favorite part was when the guest praised that Videostore episode!

    I kid. I could feel the love of the Kong and it was welcome.

    Rob likes Emma Stone? Didn’t know that.

  3. Fun episode! Great having Nicholas on the show with Rob. Made for an enthusiastic conversation about King Kong.

    I’ve always loved the original movie and watched it every chance I had growing up and of course I own it on DVD now.

    The 1976 remake had its moments, but was too long and too slow.

    I’m a Peter Jackson fan so I thoroughly enjoyed his remake. It isn’t perfect, but it is very good.

    I’m looking forward to Kong Island.

    Nicholas mentioned King Kong Lives. I haven’t seen it in many many years, but it had Linda Hamilton in it, so of course I liked it.

    Thanks for a fun episode!


  4. I love King Kong, especially the original. There is so much to love. As you said, that scene where he plays with the dead dinosaur’s jaw fascinated me as a kid. Stuck in my brain since. And seeing the tribesman eaten and stomped was another delight for a young Anj. I like Son of Kong, the 78 version, and Escapes (Kong and MechaKong!). I just couldn’t get into the Jackson version.

    Paxton was brilliant in all his roles. Many of his lines are part of my lexicon,mainly Hudson. “Game over”, “put her in charge”, “7 days were not going to last 7 hours” are all said by me. But I also like “how about a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray” from Weird Science. I love A Simple Plan and he was brilliant.

    Thanks again for a great show!

  5. Grew up on this film and still love it to this day. Two big things continue to hold appeal for me: the effects and Carl Denham.

    In regards to the effects, this is a film I often point to when I’m trying to make a point about how effects don’t have to be realistic to be compelling. Even though they’re cutting edge at the time, this never looked “real.” But this kind of stop motion is still incredibly compelling to watch, completely separate from any questions about how realistic it may or may not be. And that was a big stumbling block for CGI for about 20 years or so I feel. When CGI isn’t convincingly real it tends to just fail, because it’s rarely compelling separate from how real it looks.

    In terms of Carl Denham, I NEVER thought he deserved a come-uppance, not as he’s depicted in this film. He’s the cause of the all the trouble sure, but for me it’s ok because it comes from a pretty pure place. He wants to capture these amazing things and share them with the world. As the Skipper himself says, the man’s not crazy, “just enthusiastic.” He seems to understand the weight of what’s going on when he’s telling the Skipper about the men he saw killed. He tries to stop the reporters from angering Kong, because he’s not THAT blind. Compare that to Jack Black’s Denham in the remake and it’s night and day. There he makes repeated blatant choices to endanger people to get what he wants, not out of negligence or getting carried away but as calculated choices. He even encourages the photographers. THAT was a version of Denham that deserved a come-uppance. And to be clear, I think Jackson’s version gets over-hated. But that mishandling of Denham was the major failing of the film for me, much more than the pacing or length.

  6. Great episode. I saw King Kong as a kiddie, about six, at a Saturday morning screening at the Miners’ Welfare Hall. That’d be about 1970. Mind blown. I remember being impressed by the ‘It was Beauty who killed the beast’ line because it was so poetic but really, that’s not exactly fair. Blame Denham for stealing him, maybe the islanders for encouraging him to approach ladies … whomever, but it wasn’t Ann.

  7. Just catching up but… THE CRESTWOOD BOOKS!!! I loved them in school & 2 years ago I found them at a library book sale & bought them “for my son, Jordan” and he found them to be too scary! #BadFather

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