King Kong Turns 80

The movie King Kong premiered 80 years ago today at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Though ticket prices ranged from 35 to 75 cents, King Kong went on to gross a then-whopping $89,931 over the next four days in New York City alone. Not bad for a movie released at the rock-bottom of the Great Depression! Since then, the simian celebrity has (among other things) starred in two remakes, battled Godzilla, and even worked as a “spokes-primate” for Volkswagen.

But it’s the original picture that’s left the biggest influence on the motion picture industry, a movie that opened the door for every special-effects film from The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings.

Mental_floss has a list of ten fascinating facts about the 1933 film King Kong. Link


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My favorite trivia from Mark Mancini's fantastic article:

5. KING KONG WAS AMONG THE FIRST MOVIES TO HAVE A COMPLETELY ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE.

Hailed as “the father of film composing,” Austrian-born Max Steiner, who had previously worked on Broadway musicals, was permitted by Cooper to compose a full-length musical score (at the director’s personal expense). Prior to Kong, cinematic musicians generally borrowed tracks from earlier recordings. Steiner’s soundtrack includes character motifs and accompaniment designed to precisely mirror on-screen movement.
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