KING KONG
The build-up, news, ads and reviews of the original legendary 1933 classic!

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HI THERE

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Hello, THE PHANTOM here with another great series of original classic material! It's hard to imagine the impact that "King Kong" had on audiences almost a century ago. Nothing was seen quite like it, not even close, despite other movies prior with prehistoric beasts. The FX of "King Kong" still look very impressive even today. Here we'll look at many rare news bits leading to the premiere, the film's reviews and more. Lots of great old-timey reading! - THE PHANTOM
 

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Towards the end of 1932, everyone was really starting to get excited about Kong. On the right is a lovely pic of the gorgeous Fay Wray, noting she once again is the only female in a movie's cast.

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Some more news bits from late 1932. Anticipation is really beginning to build, with one article even discussing how to make the sounds of the prehistoric beasts. Also, the unfortunate wording in the bottom two are definitely a sign of the times, as the production looks to replace a baby actor who had grown too much for reshoots. 

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1933 arrives and after a few more article anticipating the great film to come, "King Kong" finally arrives and the reviews begin. In the two-part LA Times review on the right, we see an artist's depiction of Kong in the New York Stock Exchange. A scene that was maybe intended to be filmed but was not? 

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Some more reviews and stories. The middle one is particularly interesting, it makes it sound as if the film was made by using a 50-foot Kong, operated with 85 motors. Even if unintentional, it's a bit like the publicity for the 1976 remake.

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Now here's something very rare and unique! From the Daily Enterprise in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (but various papers ran the series), a six-strip comic adaptation of some of the most adventurous parts of the movie. Spread out over three days, this was a good way to also get people to wonder if such spectacle could really be on the big screen. We here at THE SWANAGE are very happy to present this long-lost forgotten series of King Kong comic strips from 1933!

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Some good ones here. In Kong's town of New York City, the New York Daily News gives Kong three stars (Three? What does it take to get four?) and there's multiple stories covering Kong in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Then we have some pieces from the UK, including an ad from Liverpool, where they love the title of the film so much it repeats it many times in between lively descriptions of what you will see on screen. 

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Reviews from Texas, Illinois, Birmingham in the UK, Minneapolis and some kind of giant jigsaw puzzle contest and promotion from South Carolina, complete with "King Kong Headquarters." Sounds like a Carl Denham idea!

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Various reviews and ads from around the United States.

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In one review from Oklahoma, it even gives Kong's vital stats.

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In this unique promotion, the reader is asked to color in three pictures depicting scenes from "King Kong" to win cash prizes ($5 top prize, no joke in 1933) or a Kong movie ticket. The three pictures of course would be cut from three different issues of the Shreveport Journal in Louisiana. Then you would bring all three to the theater for judging.

 

The odd thing here is that the third picture isn't a drawing to color in, but a Kong publicity photo. That probably made for some messy artwork!

We at THE SWANAGE couldn't dig up who won, but we certainly hope he (or she) spent that fortune wisely, namely on toys, ice cream, ice cream sodas and more Kong viewings. 

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This first reviewer from Missouri felt inclined to inform the readers that the "knowledge film" which is King Kong is "fake." Thanks for the heads-up! 

 Hope you enjoyed this look at classic Kong reviews, stories and ads! We'll always be showing rare newspaper stories, movie ads and news, because the best reading is reading as it happened. - THE PHANTOM

And of course the pitch was coming! If you are interested in various movie collections of all kinds (with more on the way), please check out all important and incredible info here.

If you'd like to be informed of any new stories and features, request so at the same email below:
theswanage@yahoo.com


(no worries, you will not be swamped with sales pitches and offers, just maybe once in a blue moon)

Or, just keep coming back to visit! Glad you're here!

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You know what this is of course. There's always hope! If an 80-year old version of "Metropolis" could be found, perhaps a copy of the spider pit sequence from "King Kong" can too. It would be absolutely crazy not to have saved it since it was generally regarded as Willis O'Brien's greatest scene! 

And as a bonus, enjoy this New York Daily News article covering the inflated King Kong that was placed on the Empire State Building to celebrate the film's 50th anniversary.

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And how about one more bonus. This very odd Kong movie ad from a major Kansas City newspaper in 1970 for a Kong re-release features horrible (but charming) artwork, some gags and even the wrong year for the film's original release!