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King Kong (Classic Movie Series #9)

king kong 1

I don’t say this very often, but “King Kong” was a good 50 years ahead of its time. Nowadays, with the impressive feats achieved by Computer Generated Images (CGI,) it looks old, dated, and fake. Peter Jackson’s King Kong, I’ll admit, is superior in just about every way. But stop and think for a second about monster movies. Now take out all the monster movies in which the monsters are just men in costumes (from Wolfman to Leatherface to Alien.) What are you left with? Kong. And Godzilla, and the Blob, and Them. And then, with the advent of CGI, Jurassic Park, and a hundred and one movies like it. But from 1933 to 1993, the visuals in King Kong were unbeatable. Nothing even came close. Yes, Godzilla stumbled through towns breathing fire, and those ants were freaky, but Kong wrestled with a T-Rex and climbed the Empire State Building. Godzilla’s emotional range was pretty much rage and anger; Kong expresses these, plus tenderness, frustration, wonder, sadness, and bravado. In a medium that was constantly changing, especially in technical ways, Kong stayed King for sixty years. That’s a long time.

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