Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

King Kong (1933)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

King Kong (1933)

In Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's classic monster film, with tremendous special effects and stop-motion animation:

  • in one of the earliest scenes set in a NYC Bowery restaurant, foolish director/explorer and adventuring film-maker Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) had just rescued a starving young girl named Ann Darrow (Fay Wray); he offered the down-and-out, destitute woman a job with the enticing promise: "It's money and adventure and fame. It's the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o'clock tomorrow morning"
  • the sequence of Denham's six-week mission to the South Pacific, to the uncharted Skull Island, and enroute his shipboard training of blonde starlet Ann Darrow to scream realistically, as she wore a sexy off-the-shoulder "Beauty and Beast costume"; First Mate crew-member Jack/John Driscoll (Bruce Cabot) ominously commented: "What's he think she's really gonna see?"
Ann's Training Enroute - To Realistically Scream
  • the first view of Kong as the creature crashed through the jungle to arrive at the gates - accompanied by native chanting and music - and Ann's screams as she was made a tied-down bridal sacrifice as The Bride of Kong
Ann Substituted as "The Bride of Kong"
  • Ann's scenes with Kong bristling with fear, wonder, and sexual overtones - including when the curious Kong peeled off her dress (and sniffed at the garment) at his cave
  • the long-necked prehistoric Brontosaurus' killing (biting) of three sailor victims in the foggy swamp as they traversed it on a raft
Crew on Raft in Swamp Attacked by Brontosaurus
Kong's Rampage Against Crew Members on Log
Kong's Battle with T-Rex
  • the sequence of Kong's lifting of a huge log and shaking sailors free of it
  • and Kong's battles with the Tyrannosaurus-Rex and other prehistoric creatures, including a pterodactyl outside his cave
  • the monster's display on stage in New York's Broadway as the 8th Wonder of the World - chained to a giant steel platform
  • the sequence of Kong's destructive rampage through New York City's streets after breaking loose from the platform, stomping cars and pedestrians, and his climb up the tall Empire State Building
  • Kong's iconic memorable death scene on top of the Empire State Building while wearily swatting at WWI fighter bi-planes with his beauty Ann in his giant paw (after snatching her from an apartment)
Atop the Empire State Building
One Last Look at Ann in His Paw
Denham: "It was Beauty killed the Beast"
  • Kong's dramatic fall from the tall building after being shot down
  • Denham's famous last line at the street-level to a cop, to properly identify the cause of Kong's death: ("It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast")

Honorable Mention: the scene of a topless Ann (Jessica Lange) held in the giant paw of the Beast in the inferior remake King Kong (1976), as well as Peter Jackson's incarnation of the giant Beast in his own remake King Kong (2005)

Two Other Versions

King Kong (1976)

King Kong (2005)

Film-maker Carl Denham: "It's the thrill of a lifetime..."

First View of Kong

Native Chewed Up in Kong's Mouth

Ann in Kong's Grasp

Kong's Struggle with Pterodactyl

On Display as The 8th Wonder of the World

The Empire State Building Finale


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