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King Kong

King Kong was filmed in 1933 and was co-directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. With the cast including: Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham, Bruce Cabot as Jack Driscoll, Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, Frank Reicher as Captain Englehorn, James Flavin as Briggs and Victor Wong as Charlie.

It was the first of its kind in the cinemas, introducing a giant creature that destroys New York City and is then killed. Though King Kong, even now is regarded for its special effects and layered backgrounds including a foreground, mid ground and background, which produced, at the time, very realistic scenes where the actors could interact with the creatures and vice-versa as Kong did through-out the film with Ann. King Kong is in manyways almost like the classic beauty and the beast where a beastly character swoons over a pretty girl, this is shown and said a lot during the film as said during the last sentence: It wasnt Planes.. It was beauty who killed the beast!-Carl Denham, King Kong, 1933.

(Above) The layered system here is very basic, but very effected. You have the foreground, the trees and vines, then where Kong and the tyrannosaur stand and then a painted background of a jungle scene.

King Kong is a period film, where- though audiences now may not have been alive when King Kong was first shown; they could still grasp a picture of what life was like in the nineteen-thirties, especially the now extreme racism and sexism. As the Ships First mate continues to say about women on boats: Women are a nuisance!- Jack Driscoll, King Kong, 1933. Where he declares openly on deck when Ann had just left the scene, clearly expressing his dislike towards women on what would be a mans place. During the era King Kong was filmed, racism was a big part of life and so, it was a big part in the film too, having countless racist remarks and suggestions running through the entire film, one shocking remark for audiences now is near the end of the film, where Carl Denham is about to show his first audience King Kong, where one woman asks a man, what is shown here, he replies, I heard it was a gorilla to which the woman replies gee, as if we dont have enough of them running around New York!, which implies that she thinks that are as brutish as gorillas.

The creatures in the films werent the artists own impression of the beasts, but paintings come to life. The Tyrannosaur was based on Charles R Knights Tyrannosaurus that was featured in the American Museum of Natural History, as seen below;

Charles R. Knights 1907 painting of tyrannosauruses or tyrant lizard this now, inaccurate painting has Tyrannosaurus, walking much like a kangaroo accompanied by three triceratops.

In conclusion, King Kong is a classic period film that reflects views on the exploration of Africa, and despite the sexism and racism in the film, it is still enjoyable and is considered the most classic monster film in cinema history.

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