AFI Top 100: No. 41 King Kong

The effects may seem cheesy now but King Kong remains as enjoyable of a film in 2012 as it must have been when released nearly 80 years ago. The story was full of never-ending adventure and one could easily find themselves lost on the remote island and running for your life from Kong in the streets of New York. The dinosaurs were fun and I enjoyed the humanistic qualities given to Kong, such as his desire to protect Ann. I even felt bad for the giant when he was chained up and found myself almost cheering inside when he broke free.

With the action being virtually nonstop, there was not much need for superb acting and the film made-do with so-so dialoge. Robert Armstrong, who played Denham, was the most engaged. While some of his lines were slightly corny, he did a nice job as the overly ambitious and slightly crazy director. Fay Wray was lovely in her iconic role in which she altered between being a sweet innocent girl to a screaming, scared out of her mind woman. I liked how Bruce Cabot, who played Jack Discroll, described his experience in the film as “standing in the right place, doing what he was told, and collecting a pay check.”

Overall, I quite enjoyed King Kong. I love a good adventure story and this timeless film quenched that. The effects are now looked as poor (mine and Tim’s reaction upon seeing Kong, “hey! It’s the abdominal snowman from Rudolph!), but as I said before this is a film that will never get old. The final scene of Kong on top the of Empire State Building, knocking down planes is so iconic as is the final line, “Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty that killed the beast.”

Next Up: One of my all-time favorites, The Sound of Music


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