I picked this informative read a couple months ago and enjoyed it immensely.
Once upon a time, in Depression-era New York, Carl Denham finds the thrill of a lifetime; the eighth wonder of the world. There is a magnificent monster chase through the city, a daring battle atop the Empire State building, then a grisly thud. The rest as they say is history. Or is it? This book takes readers behind the scenes, detailing the minds behind Kong’s first steps: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Edgar Wallace, Willis O. Brian (the mentor to famous monster-maker Ray Harryhausen), and more. This book also details the making of the less well known Kong spinoffs from the 30s (Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young) and the 70s (Queen Kong, King Kong Lives) as well as the high budget remake of 1976. We are given a fascinating look at merchandise, worldwide recognition, and a brief viewing of Peter Jackson’s own action-packed extravaganza.
This book was a great read, especially for a huge fan of the 1933 classic. I love that movie, from its slight cheesiness in Bruce Cabot’s performance, to the special effects that now look doubtful. The script, casting, lighting, everything about that movie was perfect. And I loved reading about how it was done. I was less pleased with the remakes. While I respect Peter Jackson’s vision and the time put into the project, I feel he failed to capture the spirit of the original film (but this is, of course, personal preference). Nevertheless, I enjoyed the read. It was fun to see the enthusiasm, time, and effort put into these films, even the “so-bad-they’re-good” spinoffs.
Chime Time: Which King Kong movies have you seen and which is your favorite?