SLIFF bows down to the King — Kong, that is — with a double bill of “Long Live the King” and the 1933 classic that introduced the giant gorilla to the awestruck world. Directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack helped pioneer the documentary form with “Grass” before edging toward narrative with the hybrid “Chang” (1927) and moving fully into fiction with “King Kong.” In the film — assuming any benighted soul actually requires a refresher course in its plot — hubristic wildlife filmmaker Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) journeys to Skull Island in search of a legendary creature and finds even more than he hoped: a jungle teeming with prehistoric dinos and a monstrous ape. Capturing Kong and hauling him back to New York in chains, Denham intends to put the beast on display. To considerably understate the case, his plans go disastrously awry. Celebrated especially for the astonishing work of stop-motion innovator Willis O’Brien, “King Kong” quickly ascended to cinematic heights commensurate with those reached by its star on his climb to the top of the Empire State Building. Among the film’s many honors is the No. 43 spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
Film CategoryArchival Presentations
Plays on a double bill with Long Live The King.