Who remembers it? Sitting at home with the wonderful smells of turkey and all the fixings floating through the house. Waiting for dinner to be done. In the morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and that afternoon a yearly tradition…watching the original King Kong! Don’t deny it…you know you do. I remember it clearly just like it was yesterday. Sadly today we have to pop in the DVD in order to keep the tradition alive since the networks won’t, but it is still very much a Thanksgiving tradition.
King Kong is one of those wonderful movies that even though they try they will never every be able to top. Released in 1933 King Kong is a glorious masterpiece and is considered the best monster film of all time and one of the best films of all time. There is no doubt that it is a classic. The film tells what is that classic beauty and the beast story. A giant ape hidden in his sanctuary on a little known island is discovered and falls in love if you will with Fay Wray (who wouldn’t). As the classic closing lines say it best…it was his obsession that ultimately killed him in the end…well that and the fact he was drugged and ripped from his island paradise and brought to New York City.
As I got older my memory becomes more fuzzy, but this sticks in my mind…and since as long as I can remember Thanksgiving watching this movie…this was my initial introduction to anything horror/monster related. Maybe it explains my love for special FX too. The stop motion FX in this movie done by Willis O’Brien is amazing especially for it’s time! I mean we are talking 1933!!!
Willis H. O’Brien was a pioneer. He is arguably responsible for some of the most iconic images of cinematic history with his stop motion work on not only King Kong, but also The Lost World, and Mighty Joe Young. In fact it was Mighty Joe Young in which he won his Oscar for Best Visual Effects. It was O’Brien who was the mentor to the one person that became a household name with stop motion animation….Ray Harryhausen.
King Kong has to be one of the most famous horror/monster films of all time enjoyed by viewers of all ages and generations. Even today Kong still lives. The original film sparked two remakes and an upcoming sequel. The film is even…or was the last time I was there…celebrated with artwork inside New York’s Empire State Building. Kong has even battled Godzilla and inspired an amusement park theme ride. He is truly iconic.
This Thanksgiving keep the tradition alive and watch the original King Kong. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!