King Kong Turns 75 (And He Doesn’t Look A Day Over 71)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Comic-Con is throwing Kong a birthday bash worthy of a King (Friday, July 25 4:00-5:00 Going Ape: Celebrating 75 Years of The Beast and The Beauty of King Kong & mdash;CCSD Room 3).
No, I'm not talking about the recent mega-remake by the brilliant Peter Jackson . Nor the kitschy Dino De Laurentiis 70's version of the Kong tale - the only one to feature a Wookie, otherwise known as Jeff Bridges . &
I mean the original 1933 RKO classic King Kong . The one with Fay Wray as cinema's first Brassy Dame Fatale. The one where you literally see Willis O'Brien's fingerprints on Kong's shoulders. & That's craft! & Today you're lucky to see Lindsay Lohan's fingerprints on a shotglass.
I vaguely recall having a King Kong lunchbox as a kid. & And as much as I wished the Eighth Wonder of the World would scare away the bullies, I was still a dork with my lunch in a box. & That's when I'd play with my toy dinosaurs attacking each other with herky-jerky stop-motion ferocity - just like in King Kong - until my mom took me to the doctor fearing I had some nervous disorder.
A few years ago I saw the actual model for one of Kong's cinematic kin - Son of Kong ? Mighty Joe Young? - in a one of those Hollywood theme restaurants, and it looked every bit the septuagenarian. & Rotten fur amidst rotten fries.
But the brilliant magic of a classic film never dims.
Before there was Spider-this and Bat-that, there was Kong. & And King he remains.
Happy 75th, your Highness.
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