King Kong, 1933

A film director who was famous for using exotic locations finds a girl, Ann Darrow, to put in his movie about the legendary Kong, a giant animal that no white man has ever seen. When the filmmaker and his crew reach the remote island, they interrupt the natives’ ceremonial sacrifice to the monster on the other side of the enormous wall. The filmmaker does whatever is necessary to get all of his people back to the ship intact. But once on the ship and feeling safe again, Ann is kidnapped by the natives who use her in their second try of their ceremony to the great Kong.

Some of the filmmaker’s crew go beyond the wall to find her and bring her back. Just before they leave the island, they see that Kong has come after Ann. They use weapons to subdue Kong so they can bring him back to New York.

Having chained the giant ape on a stage, they allow the reporters to take pictures. The flashes from the cameras enrage Kong and his chains easily break. Kong’s attachment to Ann causes him to search until he finds her, and then he takes her to what he sees as a safe place above the chaos below, the top of the Empire State Building.

The big ape with the tender heart for his little blonde woman shows that he will protect the woman he loves to the point of dying for her.

This classic was labeled a horror film, but there are many fans who have seen it multiple times because of the great writing. I loved that there was a little monkey on the ship at the beginning of the movie. I laughed at the woman in the theater who remarked about there being enough big apes in New York already.

According to IMDB.COM, producer Merian C. Cooper asked her in 1933 to perform in a movie with “the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood” and then showed her a sketch of King Kong on the side of the Empire State Building. Another source notes that Fay Wray’s screams were recorded separately from the filming. They used her recorded screams in films she wasn’t in.

Two days after Fay Wray’s death, the lights on the Empire State Building were dimmed for 15 minutes in memory of the actress whose role as Ann Darrow made her the Queen of Scream.

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