Talk:King Kong (1933 film)

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Former good article King Kong (1933 film) was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
June 24, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
May 27, 2007 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

Where's Willis?[edit]

So little is Willis O'Brien mentioned in this article, even though he was the main force responsible for the success of the film. This should be rectified. O'Brien pioneered dozens of techniques in this film that would not be bested for thirty years or more. Here he is treated almost as an incidental contributor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Recent script rewrites[edit]

SoniaSyle has recently vastly rewritten the section about the writing of this film, replacing the version found in the 1975 book, The Making of King Kong by Orville Goldner (who actually worked on the picture) and George Turner (a highly regarded film historian), Ballantine Books, with a fundamentally different one sourced to a much more recent tome (2005) by one Ray Morton, King Kong: the history of a movie icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson (lack of caps sic). Goldner, as I said, was a member of the 1933 original's crew while Turner had access to several other then-surviving participants; indeed, the original film is the entire subject of their book (admittedly, other more-or-less directly related films are discussed). Morton, on the other hand, seems to have written about the property as a whole. See also this description of Edgar Wallace's contributions, or more accurately, the lack thereof. As indicated there, no less than Merian C. Cooper has stated flatly that Wallace actually wrote nothing of Kong. Note that the article still retains the dates of when he arrived in Hollywood and "began" to work on Kong and his death, little more than one month apart. Given little dispute of the cause (pneumonia, some say complicated by diabetes, which Goldner/Turner described as rendering him an invalid, and certainly took some significant amount of time to kill him), Cooper's denial that Wallace wrote so much as "one bloody word" seems plausible, to say the least, and I submit for discussion that the previous version should be restored. --Tbrittreid (talk) 22:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


The section ":Re-releases" includes this: "In 1956, censorship rules were relaxed (movies were then competing with television) and all the film's cut scenes were restored except that of Kong removing Ann's dress. The scene could not be found. After the 1956 re-release, the film was sold to television and played successfully to huge audiences. In 1969, a print of the "Ann's dress" scene was found in Philadelphia, restored to the film, and released to art houses by Janus Films in 1971." It has long been consistently reported that the exised scenes were all considered lost, then found and restored at the same time, and certainly none of them were seen on US television until the 1980s. Only the last sentence bears a cite, and it is to a work on "Pre-code Hollywood" not specifically about this film; I strongly suspect it does not support anything but that last sentence itself. Can someone find one (or more) of those other sources that give the other version? I'll be looking myself, but I don't have access to much to check, hence this request. --Tbrittreid (talk) 22:35, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

The 16mm print that Films Incorporated in Hollywood was renting in spring 1969 already had the finger-sniffing and native-mangling scenes restored. I know because I was the projectionist for several screenings of it and remember those scenes vividly—I wondered at the time why I didn't seem to recall them from several viewings of the film on TV. This testimony is, of course, not WP-citable, but it seems potentially constructive to assure any interested editors that the chronology of the restoration which has now become entrenched is, to use a 1930s euphemism, baloney. (talk) 15:33, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
P.S. This 1958 Films Incorporated rental catalog lists a running time of 111 minutes, surely either a typo or an OCR error, but perhaps really 100 or 101 minutes and meaning that their print was complete even then. The libraries of 16mm prints syndicated to TV stations in the 1950s were thoroughly censored to satisfy the very strict moral guardians of contemporary broadcasting; were sometimes taken from source materials of mediocre quality; and typically had replaced opening logos. The lovely prints rented for serious money by Films Incorporated did not have to meet the same censorship requirements and were usually made with care from the best available elements in the studio vaults. In some cases the result was two very different creatures, something which may be news to film lovers who came of age after the advent of home video rentals and the consequent decline of the 16mm art house and institutional rental market. (talk) 09:11, 21 June 2015 (UTC)


Does anyone know definitively if the four-minute overture that is on the DCP currently circulated by Warners is original to the show? It sounds crudely cobbled together from a few cues from the movie to me. Recorded overtures, entr'actes and walkout music on prints really began with the widescreen roadshow movies of the 1950s, by which time stereo sound had arrived and most movie theaters no longer did any sort of live performance as part of the show. Therefore I'm very skeptical as to whether this overture was present in 1933 release prints, and suspect that it was added to this DCP to provide an element of showmanship for modern audiences. With the one exception of The Jazz Singer, I've never come across any other pre-1950s film with an overture, and that was also a Warners restoration. LDGE (talk) 23:28, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Plot too short?[edit]

I know that here on wiki we try and prevent plots being too long and complex but it strikes me that this one is currently too short by Good+ quality standards that we want to achieve. Stabby Joe (talk) 01:12, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

The plot section was eviscerated by a since-(re)banned editor, who also decided (unilaterally) that anything "old" as a source for the rest of the article, and their contents, is b-a-a-a-a-d. As to the plot section, it is not only too short, it reads like a second-grade primer. I lol every time I see the current travesty, since all those terrible details were deleted but "a police lieutenant" left standing!--Reedmalloy (talk) 12:11, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Copyright status[edit]

When does the copyright expire in the US? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:57, 1 October 2010 (UTC).

Well, there were remakes in 1977 and 2005, which were under the production and/or permission of RKO's successor companies. Both remakes probably constituted renewals of the copyright by default. So, it'll be a really long time. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 22:42, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

"Apeman Creature?"[edit]

I never thought of Kong as an "apeman creature." I've always thought of him as an impossibly-sized gorilla. Where's the source for this assertion? Jfulbright (talk) 14:23, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Compare the 1933 Kong to the meticuluous gorilloid recreation in the circa 2005 remake. You'll see that the earlier version is more like a "missing link" than a true gorilla. WHPratt (talk) 14:13, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
    • So you are saying because O'Brein's model of Kong was not a perfect recreation of a gorilla gives you the right to call it an "apeman creature" without any facts from production of the movie in 1933 to say that this was the makers intention, it is mearly your view? is that correct??? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:46, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

All mention of Ingagi deleted[edit]

The following section about Ingagi and other influences was deleted from the article. I'll be re-adding it in some form. Here is the original text. Green Cardamom (talk) 08:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

==Influences== ''King Kong'' was influenced by the "[[Lost World (genre)|Lost World]]" literary genre, in particular [[Arthur Conan Doyle]]'s ''[[The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle)|The Lost World]]'' (1912) and [[Edgar Rice Burroughs]]' ''[[The Land That Time Forgot (novel)|The Land That Time Forgot]]'' (1918), which depicted remote and isolated jungles teeming with dinosaur life. Furthermore, the Doyle novel was [[The Lost World (1925 film)|filmed]] in [[1925 in film|1925]], with special effects by ''Kong'' 's Willis O'Brien and most of the same crew. In the early 20th century, few zoos had monkey exhibits so there was popular demand to see them on film. [[William S. Campbell]] specialized in monkey-themed films with ''Monkey Stuff'' and ''Jazz Monkey'' in 1919, and ''Prohibition Monkey'' in 1920. Kong producer Schoedsack had earlier monkey experience directing ''Chang'' in [[1927 in film|1927]] (with Cooper) and ''Rango'' in [[1931 in film|1931]], both of which prominently featured monkeys in real jungle settings. Capitalizing on this trend, "Congo Pictures" released the hoax documentary ''[[Ingagi]]'' in [[1930 in film|1930]], advertising the film as "an authentic incontestable celluloid document showing the sacrifice of a living woman to mammoth gorillas!". ''Ingagi'' was an unabashed black [[exploitation film]], immediately running afoul of the Hollywood code of ethics, as it implicitly depicted black women having sex with gorillas, and baby offspring that looked more ape than human.<ref>Gerald Peary, [ 'Missing Links: The Jungle Origins of King Kong' (1976)], repr. ''Gerald Peary: Film Reviews, Interviews, Essays and Sundry Miscellany'', 2004</ref> The film was an immediate hit, and by some estimates it was one of the highest grossing movies of the 1930s at over $4 million. Although producer Merian C. Cooper never listed ''Ingagi'' among his influences for ''King Kong,'' it's long been held that RKO green-lighted ''Kong'' because of the bottom-line example of ''Ingagi'' and the formula that "gorillas plus sexy women in peril equals enormous profits". <ref>{{cite news | first=Andrew | last=Erish | title=Illegitimate Dad of King Kong | date=January 8, 2006| publisher=Los Angeles Times | url= }}</ref> Both directors, including [[Merian C. Cooper]], author of the original idea, fought in [[World War I]], and were probably influenced by WWI propaganda posters. One poster in particular showed Germany like a bloodthirsty giant ape seizing a helpless girl in its hand.<ref>Ruiz, Jesús. [ “El padre de King Kong”], Ciencia para Impacientes (Spanish blog), March 15, 2007</ref>. [[Paul du Chaillu]]'s travel narrative ''Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa'' (1861) was a favorite of [[Merian C. Cooper]] when he was a child. The gorilla chase scene in the book was likely an inspiration for King Kong. The biggest influence on ''Kong'' was, in a sense, the [[shelved|unfinished]] 1931 film ''[[Creation (1931 film)|Creation]]''. Until Cooper, in his capacity as an RKO executive, screened this footage, he had great doubts that he could make his "gorilla" picture. [[Willis O'Brien]]'s techniques were the answer.

OGG video is inappropriate[edit]

I'm here writing this, creating a new section in wikipedia instead of doing what i was doing because hte gorilla video won't play. Who the f_u_c_k uses ogg video? NO ONE. Please change to a proper format like MP4 or even MOV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:36, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

You should probrably go fuck yourself then. OGG (actually Theora but your an idiot so Ill just call it OGG) video works in any sensible browser including Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, Opera, and Safari. It also works on many mobile phones. If you are a technical idiot that is still on IE6. It's your fault not designers of the open web. Ogg is also used because it is royalty-free and wikipedia is a non-profit, thusly moving to MP4 or MOV (which are other containers, btw you idiot) coudl possibly cost such an organization (like Archives) money at this point in time (coincidentally Cisco is in the process of opening it's H264. I pray that you become less of an idiot though as VP9 and H265 are up-coming next gens. Anyway kill yourself, idiot. (talk) 18:46, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Somebody's Rambling[edit]

The article refers to Kong as a giant gorilla when in fact no mention of his being a gorilla can be found in the original film or its sequel (Son Of Kong). I think it would be more accurate to describe Kong as a giant ape rather than a gorilla. King Kong isn't in this respect much like the Big Bug cycle of science fiction films of the 50s which featured enlarged ants, tarantulas and preying mantises. Kong is an aberration of the ape family. As to how and why he got this tall, the subject never comes up in the first two films featuring Kong. He just is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Telegonus (talkcontribs) 08:50, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

Man who claimed to have played Kong?[edit]

In the 1970's a man named Carmen Nigro (1905-1990) came forward with a widely-publicised story that he had been a professional "ape-suit" actor in Hollywood in the 1930s-50s, and that he had actually played Kong in certain scenes where stop-motion models weren't used. He was denounced as an attention-seeking fraud by the surviving cast/crew of King Kong. Perhaps this is worth a mention in the article. Muzilon (talk) 06:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Possible prequel section messy[edit]

The "possible prequel" section features a few lines that are repeated multiple times with only minor changes each time. Shouldn't somebody clean this up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Removed earlier announcement. Philip Cross (talk) 16:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)