King Kong (1933)

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King Kong (1933)

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:58 pm




I have a DVD set of this 1933 film which came out in 2005, probably to coincide with the release of the 2nd remake by Peter Jackson (there are some ancillary benefits from those remakes sometimes).

There's not much I can add, but howabout
this pre-production drawing by Mario Larrinaga for the 1933 film:




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Spider Pit Sequence

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:05 pm


THERE IS A LEGEND... A TALE OF A DARK SEQUENCE POSSIBLY FILMED FOR THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF KING KONG... POSSIBLY NOT. THIS MYSTERIOUS SET OF DARK SCENES HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS 'THE SPIDER PIT SEQUENCE.'
OR, IT MAY SIMPLY BE A...


(MOST OF THE INFORMATION BELOW IS FROM AN ARTICLE IN FILMFAX #118, July 2008):
THIS NIGHTMARISH SET OF SCENES, ONLY EXISTING IN THE IMAGINATIONS OF FANS UNTIL 2005 (SEE BELOW), WOULD HAVE LENT AN EVEN MORE SINISTER VIBE TO KING KONG. THE SEQUENCE, IF IT WERE IN THE ACTUAL FILM, WOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE RIGHT AFTER KONG FORCES A GROUP OF MEN TO FALL FROM A LOG INTO A CHASM. IN A TEST REEL, SHOWN TO EXECS BEFORE THE FILM WAS MADE, THE MEN LAND IN DEEP MUD; THAT'S THE KEY - THEY DON'T FALL TO THEIR IMMEDIATE DEATHS IN THIS VERSION. IN AN EARLY DRAFT, THE CHARACTERS ARE ESCAPED CONVICTS, NOT SAILORS. THERE ALSO EXIST SKETCHES OF THE SCENES FOR THE PLANNED SEQUENCE (BELOW). THE DOOMED MEN ARE ATTACKED AND KILLED BY LARGE SPIDERS AND OTHER HUGE CREATURES LIVING IN THIS DARK CHASM.

IT'S NOT CERTAIN THAT THIS SEQUENCE WAS ACTUALLY FILMED AND THEN DISCARDED/DESTROYED OR IF IT NEVER WENT BEYOND THE PLANNING STAGES. ONE STORY GOES THAT IN AN INITIAL PREMIERE OF THE FILM, THE AUDIENCE REACTED WITH FAINTING SPELLS & EXITING THE THEATER AS THE SEQUENCE PLAYED. HOWEVER, THE PREVALENT THEORY IS THAT DIRECTOR MERIAN COOPER REMOVED IT BECAUSE IT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY. FURTHER, AS WAS COMMON THOSE DAYS, IT'S BELIEVED THAT HE THEN BURNED THE FOOTAGE. LEGENDS, RUMORS, POSSIBILITIES... AS MORE TIME GOES BY, THE EVENTS BECOME MORE VAGUE, THE MYSTERY DEEPENS...

ON THE 2005 DVD EDITION OF KING KONG (1933), THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SPIDER PIT SEQUENCE IS EXPLORED (SOME FEEL THAT THE 'SPIDER PIT' TERM IS INACCURATE SINCE THE SEQUENCE WAS TO FEATURE A VARIETY OF CREATURES, BUT THE NAME STUCK). PETER JACKSON, DIRECTOR OF THE NEW 2005 KING KONG FILM, BESIDES FILMING HIS OWN SPIDER PIT SEQUENCE FOR HIS NEW FILM, ALSO DECIDED TO RECREATE THE MISSING 1933 SEQUENCE; THE RESULTS ARE SHOWN IN THE DOCUMENTARY PORTION OF THE 2-DISC DVD SET. IT'S IN B&W, AS IF DONE BACK IN 1933 USING STOP MOTION ANIMATION, AND IS STARTLING TO WATCH. IF I DIDN'T KNOW, INTELLECTUALLY, THAT THIS WAS CREATED IN 2005, I WOULD SIMPLY FEEL THE EMOTIONAL SHOCK OF SEEING RE-DISCOVERED FOOTAGE FROM 1933.
KING KONG - THE LEGEND GROWS, THE MYTHOLOGY EXPANDS...

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