King Kong

Release Date: March 2, 1933
Cast: Fay Wray as Ann Darrow
Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham
Bruce Cabot
Length: BW 105 minutes
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Writers: Ruth Rose, James Ashmore Creelman
Music: Max Steiner
Cinematographer: Eddie Linden, J.O. Taylor, Vernon Walker Editing: Ted Cheesman Producers: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, David O. Selznick Special Effects: Willis O'Brien
Disrributors: RKO Pictures Budget: $675,000
Gross: $1.7 million
Distributor: Warner Bros.

Interesting Tidbits

Talk about shoestring budgets - this movie is it. Teenagers From Outer Space is essentially the work of one person - Tom Graeff. He wore the hats of writer, actor, producer, cinematographer, editer, and special effects person.

Graeff was able to negotiate the use of Betty Morgan's house for no cost. The house's owner even allowed the crew to power their equipment without paying for electricity.

The movie was photographed in and around Hollywood, California. Bronson Canyon in Griffith Park and Hollywood High School provided some of the familiar locales. Filming was also around the vicinity of Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

The Plot

Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) agrees to star in a film directed by Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong). The two set sail on the S.S. Venture for filming on a mysterious island in the Indian Ocean. During the course of the voyage, Ann falls in love with First Mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). The island is reached but the natives kidnap Ann and prepare her as a sacrifice to Kong, a huge gorilla-like creature who dwells on the island. Kong discovers Ann tied to a native altar and carries her to his jungle lair.

Driscoll, Denham, and the crew set out to rescue Ann. They are menaced by dinosaurs, first by a Stegosaurus, and then a Brontosaurus, along the jungle trail and many crew members are killed. Driscoll finds and snatches Ann from Kong's lair but the two are pursued by Kong as they race through the jungle to safety. Kong destroys the native village in his search for Ann. He is finally subdued by hand-tossed gas bombs. Denham returns to civilization with Kong in tow.

When Kong is exhibited on the New York stage, he breaks his chains, retakes Ann, and climbs to the top of the Empire State Building. He dies in a hail of machine gun fire from a squadron of military airplanes. Ann is reunited with Driscoll. Below on the street, Denham makes his way through the gathered crowd to look upon the fallen Kong. A police lieutenant says to him, "Well Denham, the airplanes got him." The movie ends with Carl Denham's reply, "No, it wasn't the airplanes ... It was Beauty that killed the Beast."