King Kong/The Son of Kong [2 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • King Kong:
  • Commentary by visual effects veterans Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston, with Interpolated interview excerpts of Merian C. Cooper and Fay Wray
  • Merian C. Cooper movies trailer gallery
  • Son Of Kong:
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

King Kong
"How would you like to star opposite the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood?" Enticed by these words, brunette leading lady Fay Wray dyed her hair blonde and accepted the role of Ann Darrow in King Kong -- and stayed with the project even after learning that her "leading man" was a 50-foot ape. The film introduces us to flamboyant, foolhardy documentary filmmaker Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), who sails off to parts unknown to film his latest epic with leading lady Darrow in tow. Disembarking at Skull Island, they stumble on a ceremony in which the native dancers circle around a terrified-looking young girl, chanting, "Kong! Kong!" The chief (Noble Johnson) and witch doctor (Steve Clemente) spot Denham and company and order them to leave. But upon seeing Ann, the chief offers to buy the "golden woman" to serve as the "bride of Kong." Denham refuses, and he and the others beat a hasty retreat to their ship. Late that night, a party of native warriors sneak on board the ship and kidnap Ann. They strap her to a huge sacrificial altar just outside the gate, then summon Kong, who winds up saving Ann instead of devouring her. Kong is eventually taken back to New York, where he breaks loose on the night of his Broadway premiere, thinking that his beloved Ann is being hurt by the reporters' flash bulbs. Now at large in New York, Kong searches high and low for Ann (in another long-censored scene, he plucks a woman from her high-rise apartment, then drops her to her death when he realizes she isn't the girl he's looking for). After proving his devotion by wrecking an elevated train, Kong winds up at the top of the Empire State Building, facing off against a fleet of World War I fighter planes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Son of Kong
Hoping to immediately cash in on its blockbuster hit King Kong (1933). RKO Radio commissioned producers Willis O'Brien and Ernest B. Schoedsack to hastily slap together a sequel. Son of Kong begins where King Kong left off, with foolhardy entrepreneur Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) facing hundreds of thousands dollars in lawsuits from the damages inflicted by the mighty Kong on the city of New York (remember?) Denham's partner Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher) suggests that they escape to Malaya, where they make the acquaintance of Hilda (Helen Mack), the daughter of drink-besotted circus-owner Peterson (Clarence Wilson). When her father is killed in a fire caused by Norwegian sea captain Helstrom (John Marston), Hilda is comforted by Denham, who has taken a liking to the unfortunate girl. It turns out that Helstrom was the sailor who sold Denham the map to Skull Island, where King Kong once ruled unchecked. Hoping to escape prosecution for the fatal fire, Hellstrom claims that there's a fabulous treasure buried somewhere on Skull Island and offers to lead Denham and Englehorn back to the Pacific flyspeck. With no place else to go, Hilda stows away on Englehorn's boat and joins the expedition. After an unpleasant confrontation with the natives whom Kong trampled and chewed up in the earlier film, Denham and Hilda explore another part of the Island -- and there they find Little Kong, a 12-foot-high white gorilla who is as lovable as his "old man" was nasty. As the treacherous Hellstrom meets his doom elsewhere on the island, cute Little Kong protects his new friends Denham and Hilda from a variety of marauding dinosaurs, ultimately sacrificing his own life to save the human hero and heroine from a native war party. Largely played for laughs (at one point Little Kong makes an "Oy vey" gesture, as the soundtrack plays a snatch of a Jewish dance!), Son of Kong is nowhere near the classic stature of its illustrious predecessor. On the other hand, the stop-motion photography is quite impressive, at times even better than the animation seen in the original King Kong. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Fay Wray
    Fay Wray - Ann Darrow
  • Robert Armstrong
    Robert Armstrong - Carl Denham
  • Bruce Cabot
    Bruce Cabot - Jack Driscoll
  • Frank Reicher
    Frank Reicher - Capt. Englehorn
  • Sam Hardy
    Sam Hardy - Charles Weston
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