King Kong

100 minutes 1933

The ape on the Empire State Building is only the most famous image from the careers of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, the Brothers Grimm of the movie business (The Most Dangerous Game, She, Dr. Cyclops). With the restoration of some long-censored footage, Kong can be seen in all of his Freudian fairy-tale glory—his rambunctious sexuality (stripping Fay Wray and giving her a curious sniff) and his destructive infantilism (if it looks good, eat it). Willis O'Brien did the stop-action animation for this 1933 feature, which is richer in character than most of the human cast. With Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot.

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