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“King Kong”: National Film Registry #3

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In 1991, the third year of the National Film Registry, the Registry welcomed that big ape known as “King Kong” to its list.  Though the film has since been remade–three times and counting–to many fans, nothing has surpassed the original in terms of thrills, heart and humanity.

Film historian and “Kong” devotee Michael Price said of the first “Kong”:

“‘King Kong’ is the product of a remarkable group of daredevils, artists, and craftsmen. Imagination and skill gave a Depression-crushed world an entertainment that RKO–Radio Pictures called ‘the stuff for which movies were made!'”

Read the rest of Price’s “King Kong” (PDF) essay.



Title:  “King Kong”

Year of Release:  1933

Year Added to the National Film Registry:  1991  (See all films added to the Registry in 1991.)

Trivia:  On its opening weekend, “King Kong” grossed $90,000 a record up to that time.  Adjusted for inflation, that would be over $17 million in 2018 dollars.

This blog post is the first of third in our “30 Years of the National Film Registry” series which was launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Registry.  The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.  The 30th National Film Registry selections will be announced on December 12, 2018.


Comments (4)

  1. Still today we don’t know exactly how the Effects were created for KING KONG 1933. RKO was so secretive about anybody knowing how it was all done they sent Scientific Magazine a several page diagram of how the effects were arrived at. But the pages published were actually a pack of lies. O Brian and creator of King Kong Merian C Cooper never discussed it although later Ray Harryhausen whom was apprentice on Mighty Joe Young also produced by Cooper did give away many of the secrets but still today we don’t have all the answers to the magic of KONG. @JEV1A

  2. Thank you for doing this, wonderful!

  3. Very efficiently written story. It will be valuable to anybody who employess it, as well as myself. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

  4. One of the greatest films of all time! It still remains both impressive & unequalled!

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