|Index||4 reviews in total|
The special edition DVD of King Kong is a must have for any fan of this
movie or of classic films in general.
The best part of that DVD (save for the movie itself) is the lengthy making of documentary that goes into considerable depth on every aspect of the making of the film from the conception and writing to the special effects and exhibition and everything in-between. A standout sequence is where Peter Jackson and an effects crew recreate for demonstration purposes some of the film's animation and special effects and even restore a lost sequence to the film. A must see for any stop-motion buff.
There are equally in depth segments on casting, music, writing and direction. This film is the best look the average person will ever get of the process of creating an epic film in the 1930's.
Wow, this is great. If you are a fan of the original 1933 King Kong,
this is a must-see. It contains lots of footage, pictures, and in depth
interviews with people like Peter Jackson, Rick Baker, Joe Dante, Ray
Harryhausen, and even Harry Knowles of "Ain't It Cool News".
This isn't just about the film, it gets into the history of the filmmakers (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack), their past films, and the history of RKO.
They talk about the story, the history, the special effects, the music, the sound effects, everything that made King Kong great. The highlight, personally for me, is the whole segment on the "Lost Spider Pit Sequence", which, if you don't know, is one of the greatest mysteries in the history of cinema. I just love seeing Peter Jackson and his crew rebuild it using vintage, original equipment, just like in the '30's.
Overall, this is an excellent documentary, and they did an excellent job given the limited information they had.
RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong (2005)
*** (out of 4)
Impressive documentary about the making of KING KONG, the 1933 monster movie that changed history and created one of the most legendary icons of the century. Rudy Behlmer, Ray Harryhausen, Peter Jackson, Rick Baker, John Landis, Fay Wray, Bob Burns and Frank Darabont are among the people interviewed here and it's clear that they all have a strong passion for the giant ape. The documentary starts off talking about Merian C. Cooper and how his various adventures help create the story of Kong. Mix his story in with the silent film THE LOST WORLD as well as the abandoned RKO picture CREATION and you've got what eventually became KING KONG. The documentary runs just under 90-minutes and it really gives you a great idea of all the trouble that the filmmakers had to put up with to get the final product on the screen. There's talk about the various issues with the special effects, the budget concerns and we even get to hear about the studio forcing some of the actors into doing THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME so that they could get another film out of it. There's stories about the huge hit that the film became and we also get to hear about the 1938 release that caused countless cuts the violence and sexuality in the film and we hear about all the scenes that are still missing. This here leads to a discussion on the lost spider pit sequence and this takes us to a rather large portion where Peter Jackson and his team recreate the sequence and we see this in full. I think the film would have been better had it just stayed focused on the KONG story. The stuff with the spider pit probably would have been best with its own film and we even get a very long sequence where the script to CREATION (1931) is read. I think both of these could have been done in their own documentary but still, there's no question that fans are going to enjoy this documentary because of the wealth of information there is in regards to that 1933 classic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is fascinating, because this is one of the few times I've seen a
documentary about a film that is actually longer than the film itself!
"RKO Production 601" is certainly what rabid fans are looking
for--nearly three hours worth of behind the scenes information, clips
and commentary! It is included along with "I'm King Kong!: The Exploits
of Merian C. Cooper"--a fair biography of the man behind "King Kong"
and many other great films. Together, they make up the extras disc
included with a recent DVD release of "King Kong".
"RKO Production 601" is a great film. It's amazingly detailed and a loving tribute to those who made the original film. It has TONS of great information, including:
How they filmed the tiger scene in "Chang". It was CRAZY, that's for sure.
That Merian Cooper wanted to bring real gorillas to Indonesia and have them fight it out with Komodo Dragons in his early ideas that led to King Kong!
What the original story was SUPPOSED to be--complete with lots of haughty rich folks and a submarine!
The infamous spider scene and other violent scenes that were cut from the film because they were seen as too gruesome for audiences of the time? Yep, you can see many of them in this documentary---in a way! Some scenes still existed and a few were recreated for the DVD re-release of "King Kong".
And, you get to see modern clips of Fay Wray in the film--looking amazingly good for her advanced age.
Other than perhaps the great documentary on the making of "Gone With the Wind", I think that "RKO Production 601" is the most complete documentary of the making of a classic film I've seen. There isn't much that isn't discussed in the film and should satisfy even the most rabid fans of the original movie.
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