Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Son Of Kong (1933)

Starring Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher, John Marston, Victor Wong
Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

Bankrupt and fleeing lawsuits after King Kong's disastrous attack on New York, Carl Denham is lured to return to Kong's island by the promise of treasure, and discovers a "son" of the great ape.

A quickie sequel to the 1933 classic, this followup is no match for the original in size and scope, instead focusing on a more juvenile adventure with many comic moments.  However I still found it very enjoyable, with more great stop-motion animated creatures from Willis O'Brien, including not just the son of Kong, but also a couple dinosaurs, some fearsome reptiles, and a giant bear.  The smaller, but still giant, ape is as lovable as the original Kong was fearsome, and several of the crew from the original film return, including composer Max Steiner who adapts his original Kong themes and adds new material.  The romance between Armstrong and Mack doesn't really come off well (there was a 23 year age difference between the two), and Ruth Rose's story could use some more hard edges, but overall the film is charming, and worthwhile for another chance to see the work of O'Brien and his crew in their prime.

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