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King Kong (1933)
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:00 am    Post subject: King Kong (1933) Reply with quote

__________

Found this on the Classic Horror Film Board.

skull island escapee wrote:
Nobody seems to have yet spotted those damned pliers that were 'converted' into a passing creature in the miniature jungle undergrowth!

Skeletonpete discovered this rare shot. Gee, I'm surprised I never noticed this before! Laughing



Another member added this funny reply.


CapnDunsel wrote:
Where? I don't see them. Are they near the little hammer that's climbing up the screwdriver?

CHFB member Tim Smyth replied, further down the thread, with this:

Tim Smyth wrote:
Nope, I don't see them either, maybe you're seeing a trick with lighting or something, but it's just not really there, like some kind of tool mirage.

Great image by the way.

I really don't think that tool incident ever happened, kind of a King Kong urban legend.

On a serious note, has anybody here at All Sci-Fi ever heard about a pair of pliers being converted into a Skull Island stop-motion model?
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know what to make of this odd thing I noticed today while watching King Kong on TCM.

Denham seems to have TWO MAPS of Skull Island that he shows to Driscoll and Englehorn. He pulls the first one from his wallet, unfolds it, and lays it down in front of Englehorn.



We do not get a close up of what he puts on the desk until a few minutes later. The skipper looks down at it briefly, then says "Let's have a look at the big chart," and Denham says, "You won't find that island on any chart, Skipper."



He tells the two men about the captain who rescued the natives in the canoe and how the survivor described the island.

Seconds later, Denhams says, "Here's what the island looks like," and he picks up a folded piece of paper from the desk in front of him, to Englehorn's right.





He unfolds it just like he did with the map he took from his wallet, and he spreads it out on the desk. Then we get a close-up, but it's not the first map showing the island's position, it's the second on showing the island appearance.



I just thought it was interesting that he pulls a map out of his wallet, showing the position of the island, and then — in the same shot without any edits — he picks up a second map of the island itself, which we get to see in the close-up.

But the really amazing thing I found today was this "deleted scene" from King Kong, which takes place on the ship after they've put Kong aboard.

I never knew this even existed!



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noetic_hatter
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It's a different thing taking a woman into danger."

You'd have to jump forward 50 years to Raiders of the Lost Ark to find an equally perfect pure adventure film. King Kong does everything right: Stunning ingenue, suspicious sailors, gruff but romantic leading man, headstrong expedition leader. We get gorgeous costume work on the natives, who of course live in the jungle. And then there's Kong.

Ah yes, Willis O'Brien's genius model work that brings the creature to life. He seems so real at points, and Kong's action scenes against other giant creatures have never been better. (certainly, CGI looks less "life-like") Just watch the wrestling match with the T. Rex, ending with a bone-crushing scene whose superb sound effects caused me to look away in sympathetic pain. And don't get me started on his expressions towards Fay Wray at the end of the movie.

Credit goes to the score, too. In 1933, movies were just starting to use orchestral scores (the early Universal monster films didn't even make up their own music -- Swan Lake plays over the opening credits). This one sets the standard for all adventure movies to come.

I think you could develop an interesting discussion about the colonialist/racist attitudes in the film -- I 'love' how these guys come across an honest-to-god dinosaur, and the first thing they do is kill it -- and the whole Beauty and the Beast motif could probably do with some Freudian analysis. But that stuff comes later.

Today, I am just rejoicing in a timeless action classic.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The post on CHFB devoted to small details which King Kong fans have spotted over the years includes this post.

atlantis.nendowingsmira wrote:
. . . before they run on the log where Jack waves, you can see, after he runs further, a bird or something flying into a tree, at the other end of the pit.

First I thought it was a hair or damage on film . . . but looking closer it drops a shadow on one of the tree's.




The gif shows the bird's very brief appearance far better than the movie does, but it's definitely a bird.

And since the jungle around the men is comprised of a set with rear screen projections of paintings and tabletop miniatures, that tiny bird must have been animated!.

It's incredible to think that such attention to detail — at such a high cost in terms of time and money — was given to this amazing movie.

The same author also posted this image under a new post he started called Skull Island 81 years later.

I was wondering where he found it, but then I noticed his signature! Visit the thread and tell him what you think of it. It's a recent thread and has very few replies.




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Pow
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KK is one of the greatest movies ever made. Thank you Obie.

I read that when they were shooting the burning of Atlanta for Gone With The Wind that part of that sequence involved torching the massive wall that was built for KK.
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did Kong have any friends (girl-wise) besides Ann Darrow? YOU BET!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn3GWPqeJog

On a more serious vein [ Cool ] here is Peter Jackson and the lost models of the missing "spider" sequence:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-2Tu87Vx9w

and his recreation of what it might have looked like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOMKnhN7ABs
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I've watched King Kong (a few years, which is a long time to go without watching King Kong). I think I'll suggest that we enjoy this one together in the chat room some time.

Like every other fan of fantastic movies, I still keep hoping somebody will find that damn spider sequence . . .
Sad
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Rocky Jones
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually rewatch the original Kong with some regularity, which is something I do with very few films. I'd have to call it my life-long favorite movie of all time. It's got most all the fantastic adventure goodies that always pushed my button as a kid: dinosaurs, a mysterious island, a really big ape, urban disaster, the coolest jungle of any movie ever made (IMO) and a totally fine lady as well.

While I liked the Peter Jackson version it was in no way an improvement to me. The SPFX were great, but the film was self-indulgently over-long and making Kong more likable didn't seem to make it any more appealing.

BTW, I don't even talk about the bleeping De Laurentiis mess from the '70s by the same name.
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocky Jones wrote:
. . . BTW, I don't even talk about the bleeping De Laurentiis mess from the '70s by the same name.

The only good thing about the craptastic 1976 version is the score by John Barry. His music deserved a better movie.

Oh, and it also introduced gorgeous Jessica Lange, though her acting debut was less than impressive. More than one critic dismissed her as a "former and future model."

Fortunately, her acting got better.
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Rocky Jones
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
...Jessica Lange... Fortunately, her acting got better.

Yes, it certainly has, though after seeing American Horror Story: Freakshow, I'll have to say her singing hasn't improved much over time. And she seemed to sing in every darned episode.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

We'll ever get to see this? Probably not, but some pretty wonderful things have happened over the years when it comes to unearthing "lost scenes". And today's amazing technology could recreate such a scene virtually from scratch if badly damaged footage were used as a guide for the action and the composition.

One can only hope . . .






Meanwhile, here's a few videos to tease us with the possibilities. This first one offers clips from several Kong-era classic movies that used the animation models as props in various scenes, with overlaid arrows and labels to help us spot the props in the background.


King Kong Spider Pit Sequence - the lost models


___________



And here's Peter Jackson's attempt to recreate the spider pit scene, which looks pretty good except for the fact that the scenes that would have been filmed with a rear projection screen were done as if the people were optically matted into the shots.

The makers of the recreation tried to imitate the old process by deliberately putting matte lines around the people. But of course that never looked very good when it was actually done on film, and these imitation scenes don't either.

For that very reason, I don't think that's how the makers of Kong would have done those scenes.


King Kong (1933): The Lost Spider Pit Sequence - Peter Jackson Recreation


___________

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John Thiel
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:06 pm    Post subject: Civilization on Trial Too? Reply with quote

It seems to me that civilization is contemplated from various perspectives in this film and this includes the inability of a metropolis to deal very easily with the primeval menace. Anyone else find a lot of symbolical significance in the film?
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Skullislander
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only just got the Blu-ray version of the '33 KONG a few weeks back [it's never been available on Blu -ray here in the UK] so I had to get a Spanish import version.

It's noticeably clearer in the jungle scenes and Empire State finale especially.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

IMDB has 92 trivia items! Here's just a small sample. Very Happy
________________________________

The trees and plants in the background on the stop-motion animation sets were a combination of metal models and real plants. One day during filming, a flower on the miniature set bloomed without anyone noticing. The error in continuity was not noticed until the film was developed and shown. While Kong moved, a time-lapse effect showed the flower coming into full bloom, and an entire day of animation was lost.

Note from me: I wish the film had been preserved! Very Happy

The one flaw that remains in the animation is the way Kong's fur seems to be moving constantly, showing where the animators had to grab the figure to move it. Though the animators would brush the fur constantly to hide their work, it still shows up in the finished film. Many other filmmakers who have used the same technique actually admire this flaw, because it shows that the work was done by skilled artists using their hands.

Note from me: When I saw this movie for the first time on a local station in Atlanta around 1958, I thought the moving fur looked like the wind blowing it! I knew how stop motion was done, but I didn't know it was the animators' fingers causing the fur movement.

Although many film historians insist that a spider pit scene was never shot, much less previewed, at least three production stills do exist showing the miniature ravine complete, with at least one spider and a crab creature, both of which are menacing miniature sailors.

There was one person who claimed to have seen the first preview screening who said that the spider pit scene was in it, and the audience laughed at large bug-eyes on a spider model. He felt that this unintended laugh was the reason the scene stopped the film, and was cut.


Note from me: I'd rather believe the scene was so effective that shocked the audience! Shocked










Art drawn for the press book for the original release of the film was contributed by Keye Luke, who was a highly regarded illustrator before he became an actor and whose works have appeared in films themselves, such as The Shanghai Gesture (1941).

Note from me: So, Grasshopper, you did not know Master Po was once a great artists? Ah . . . and remember, that is not so easy when one is blind! Cool

Merian C. Cooper filmed the actors and actresses, then Willis H. O'Brien projected the image one frame at a time on a screen behind the models. That's how they filmed Kong's removal of Ann's clothing. Originally, Cooper had wires attached to her clothes to pull them off her body. The model's movements were then matched to hers. Unfortunately, O'Brien and Cooper forgot to patent their approach, thereby losing a fortune.

Note from me: How often has this happened, I wonder. A brilliant new process is invented, but the inventor doesn't get the reward they deserve. Sad






(At around twenty-five minutes) When talking about the wall, Driscoll mentions being at "Angkor once". He was referring to Angkor Wat, a huge Cambodian temple complex built in the twelfth century.

Note from me: By gum, Driscoll was right! This IS impressive. Very Happy






Merian C. Cooper had originally planned for Kong to be exhibited in Yankee Stadium, but later decided on a mid-town theater. Special Effects Chief Willis H. O'Brien drew a sketch of Kong breaking loose in the Stadium.

Note from me: Darned if I don't think this could have been just as good as the film's version in the theater.






And while we talking about O'Brien's artwork, here are a few others I found. Sweet, eh? Cool









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Skullislander
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Driscolls' reference to Angkor:

'NOBODY knows who built it!'

We need more mystery in our movies like this — everything is too over-explained in modern films.
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