King Kong (1933)

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An impulsive director whisks an unknown actress to an unexplored island to capture a mythic beast on film.

The Jurassic Park of its day, King Kong is the original monster movie. Unfortunately the very element that no doubt wowed audiences of the time are now its greatest handicap; the visual effects. Special effects have obviously moved on a great deal over the last 80 years, consequently the creaky stop-motion animation is rather shocking by today’s standards and the close ups of the beast’s face look like a glove puppet manufactured by someone whose sole information about a gorilla’s visage was supplied by an attention deficit toddler. That’s not to say that the original Kong is not without its charms; it has a real sense of nostalgic adventure, the other effects have fared rather better than that of the creatures and despite one of the most clunky and embarrassing love scenes I’ve seen this side of Attack Of The Clones, Fay Wray manages to be extremely sexy even whilst being disrobed by a plasticine primate.

Dated perhaps, but King Kong can be seen as a real benchmark in the evolution of cinema and as such will always be worth a viewing.

6/10

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