In terms of movie stars, there’s no one bigger than King Kong! When the cinematic simian first burst onto theater screens in 1933, audiences were shocked by Willis H. O’Brien’s groundbreaking special effects that the film pioneered. (The movie inspired everyone from Ray Harryhausen to Peter Jackson, who would eventually make a bloated, unnecessary remake in 2005 — but that’s a post for another day). To be clear though, King Kong is much more than just a visual spectacle, the human characters — portrayed by Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot — are ones that viewers come to care about as much as the giant ape running amuck through Manhattan.
Here’s a look at the 1938 re-release trailer for the film:
Even with all the subsequent advances in filmmaking and special effects technology that have occurred since King Kong first climbed the Empire State Building 86 years ago, the thrills offered up by the film remain as sharp as ever. That is a true testament to King Kong and the craftspeople who tirelessly worked to make a motion picture that truly has stood the test of time.