Off Topic Messages

King Kong (1933) DVD News!!! **ARTWORK**

Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Several of you have asked me when the original King Kong will be released on DVD. Here's your answer, via Wire reports:

Jackson working on DVD for original 'King Kong'
Fri Aug 5, 2005 4:54 AM ET

By Thomas K. Arnold

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Director Peter Jackson, at work on his own remake of "King Kong," is helping produce bonus materials for the DVD debut of the 1933 original.

Jackson is working on a new documentary, "RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World," a two-hour, seven-part feature included in the two-disc "King Kong" set, which Warner Home Video will release on Nov. 22.

"Fans of this film are going to go crazy; we've got everything but the kitchen sink on here," said George Feltenstein, the studio's senior vp of classic catalog.

One part of the documentary focuses on the mysterious "spider pit" sequence deleted from the film before its theatrical premiere in New York and Los Angeles.

"For years, there has always been speculation, does this footage exist, so we have a piece that actually explains what it was and we do a recreation of it," Feltenstein said. "For fans of the film, that's a big, important thing."

In true Warner fashion, "King Kong" -- which has never before been available on DVD -- will arrive in stores in two configurations: a two-disc special edition and a two-disc collector's edition packaged in a collectable tin and including a 20-page reproduction of the original souvenir program, postcard reproductions of the original one sheets, and a mail-in offer for a reproduction of a vintage 27-by-41-inch movie poster.

"The real one is worth about $25,000," Feltenstein said. "These are all reproductions, but they're still nice to have."

Warner also will release a four-disc collector's set featuring the two-disc "King Kong" special edition along with "The Son of Kong" and "Mighty Joe Young."

Feltenstein said the DVD of "King Kong" was two years in the making and the fact that the DVD is arriving right before Jackson's remake opens in theaters on Dec. 14 via Universal Pictures is "actually a coincidence."

In addition to the seven-part documentary, the "King Kong" DVD set includes such extras as a documentary on "Kong" director (and creator) Merian C. Cooper, a trailer gallery of Cooper's other films, and a commentary from stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen, actress Terry Moore ("Mighty Joe Young") and special effects master Ken Ralston ("Star Wars").

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


Tom
Last edited by Tom in North Carolina on Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Aug 05, 2005 6:17 pm

Now that's what you do with a film classic when you bring it on onto DVD.

WOW! Genius stuff, brilliant marketing - actually what people really will want for once.

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:04 pm

I wonder if any of this is in there:

The following scenes for the 1938 re-release, that were excised by censors after the Production Code took effect in 1934, were restored in recent editions of the film:

the Brontosaurus' killing of three victims (instead of five in the original)

Kong's stripping/peeling of Fay Wray's clothing while holding her
unconscious in his palm

Kong's chewing of a New York victim and his drop of a woman from the Empire State Building

the giant spider scene


Seems this could be as annoying as the Marx Brothers movie's being censored. I hate that crap.

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:26 pm

Genesim:

Interesting points you raise there, although Tom's post does mention the spider pit scene as a part of the restoration. I shall definitely be there in November!

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:42 pm

It is a recreation...so no doubt a story board like sequence. I myself thought that I have seen the stripping...but perhaps that is in the remake..I just can't remember.

Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:20 am

I'm just glad to have it on DVD in the states. I have held off buying a bootleg version for two years because I have heard that the restoration on this version is amazing. I can't wait for it.

Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:59 pm

Here is the artwork:

Image

Tom

Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:03 pm

Oh man this is exciting...any news on the footage that I spoke about above?

Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:52 pm

---------------------------------
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE ATTACHED


One of the Greatest Adventures of All Time and Warner Home Video's Most Requested Title
Makes Long-Awaited DVD Debut

KING KONG

Two-Disc Special Edition &

Two-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD


Special Features Include New Documentary on Legendary Kong Creator

Merian C. Cooper and

New Seven-Part Documentary on the Making of Kong, including

The Mystery of the Lost Spider Pit Sequence

Also Available: Four-Disc Collector’s Set Featuring King Kong and New-to-DVD Titles The Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young Also Available: DVD of Cooper/Schoedsack’s The Last Days of Pompeii

Burbank, Calif. August 8, 2005 – On November 22, Warner Home Video’s most requested title, the original 1933 RKO classic King Kong, will debut in a Two-Disc Special Edition and a Two-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD. Now newly restored from rare nitrate film elements and digitally mastered in glorious black and white, King Kong features extensive bonus content, including an insightful seven-part documentary with Oscar®-winning director Peter Jackson (King Kong (2005), The Lord of the Rings trilogy); commentary by Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston with Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Ruth Rose, Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong; and a feature length documentary on Kong creator Merian C. Cooper, directed by renowned filmmaker Kevin Brownlow. The Collector’s Edition DVD will be released in a collectible keepsake tin with a 20-page reproduction of the original 1933 souvenir program, King Kong original one-sheet reproduction postcards and a mail-in offer for a reproduction of a vintage theatrical poster.

The King Kong Two-Disc Special Edition DVD will be available for $26.99 SRP/$19.95 MAP and the Collector’s Edition will sell for $39.98 SRP.

The King Kong Collection, featuring two more new-to-DVD titles – The Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young – along with the King Kong Two-Disc Special Edition DVD – will also be available for $39.92 SRP. RKO collaboration from Kong directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, The Last Days of Pompeii, will be released simultaneously. These three additional titles will each be sold individually for $19.97 SRP/$14.95 MAP.


About King Kong

With equal parts adventure, horror and old-fashioned romance, King Kong is a milestone of movie-making that has endured for more than seven decades. Recently named as one of the 100 Best Films of All Time by Time Magazine, King Kong premiered in New York City in 1933. The film was an instant success, breaking box-office records to become one of the top moneymakers of the 1930s. King Kong’s state-of-the-art visual effects, entertaining story and touching conclusion captivated audiences and started a worldwide love affair with the giant ape.

A film ahead of its time, King Kong defied the technological limitations of the ‘30s. Special effects pioneer Willis O’Brien’s revolutionary stop-motion animation was not only technically brilliant but also highly imaginative and continues to impress even in today’s era of computer-generated wizardry. Directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, with a rousing score by Max Steiner, King Kong stars Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot and Fay Wray, whose memorable performance as damsel in distress Ann Darrow cemented her place in pop culture and earned her the nickname "The Queen of Scream."


DVD Details

King Kong (1933)

Robert Armstrong stars as movie producer Carl Denham who travels to a mysterious, uncharted island in search of material for his next film. Also aboard are unemployed actress Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and adventurer Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). Once the crew reaches Skull Island they discover it is home to prehistoric beasts including Kong, a giant ape who becomes obsessed with the crew’s blonde starlet. King Kong teems with memorable moments, from the audience’s first glance at the giant ape to his last stand atop the Empire State Building.


DVD Special Features Include:

Disc 1: The Movie

Original 1933 Film classic in Glorious Black and White, Newly Restored and Digitally Mastered
Commentary by Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston, with Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Ruth Rose, Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong
I’m Kong: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper -- 2005 documentary
Merian C. Cooper Movies Trailer Gallery
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish (Feature Film Only)
Disc 2: King-Sized Special Features

RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World
The Origins of "King Kong"
Willis O’Brien and "Creation"
Cameras Roll on Kong, The Eighth Wonder
A Milestone in Visual Effects
Passion, Sound and Fury
The Mystery of the Lost Spider Pit Sequence
King Kong’s Legacy
Creation Test Footage with Commentary by Ray Harryhausen


The Son of Kong (1933)

The filmmakers who created King Kong kept the excitement going with this sequel released the same year as the original. Robert Armstrong reprises his role as Denham, paired with a new damsel in distress, played by Helen Mack. After the two rescue Kong Jr. from a quicksand pit, they are rewarded with his devotion and protection when he defends them from a variety of prehistoric monsters. Composer Max Steiner and special effects expert Willis O’Brien return to provide the film’s score and stunning stop-motion animation.

DVD Special Features Include:

Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish (Feature Film Only)


The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)

The grandeur of an era and the terror of nature at its deadliest come to the screen in this classic starring Preston Foster, Basil Rathbone, Alan Hale and Louis Calhern. Foster plays a simple blacksmith, Marcus, who rises to glory and riches and crosses paths with Jesus and Pontius Pilate. However, Marcus’s wealth means nothing when Mt. Vesuvius awakes and releases its fury on the doomed Roman city.


Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper re-team with King Kong veteran Robert Armstrong for this touching film about a young girl and her pet gorilla. Featuring state-of-the art special effects, Mighty Joe Young seamlessly combined stop-motion animation with live action sequences to capture the 1949 Academy Award® for Special Effects. Supervised by the legendary Willis O’Brien, the film’s technical staff also included a young Ray Harryhausen working on his first full-length feature film.

DVD Special Features Include:

Commentary by Ray Harryhausen, Ken Ralston and Terry Moore
New Featurette Ray Harryhausen and The Chioda Brothers
New Featurette Ray Harryhausen and Mighty Joe Young
Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish (Feature Film Only)


King Kong Collection
Street Date: November 22, 2005
Four-Disc Collector’s Set
Pricing $39.92 SRP

King Kong Two-Disc Special Edition $26.99 SRP/ $19.95 MAP

King Kong Two-Disc Collector’s Edition $39.98 SRP

Additional Individual titles $19.97 SRP/ $14.95 MAP


King Kong Two-Disc Special Edition
Rating: Not Rated
B & W
English: Mono
Dolby Digital
Run Time: 104 minutes

King Kong Two-Disc Collector’s Edition
Rating: Not Rated
B & W
English: Mono
Dolby Digital
Run Time: 104 minutes

The Son of Kong
Rating: Not Rated
B & W
English: Mono
Dolby Digital
Run Time: 70 minutes

Mighty Joe Young
Rating: Not Rated
B & W
English: Mono
Dolby Digital
Run Time: 94 minutes

The Last Days of Pompeii
Rating: Not Rated
B & W
English: Mono
Dolby Digital
Run Time: 96 minutes

Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:18 pm

Thank you Melanie for that wide bit of information. It was quite informative.

But....it says nothing about the deleted scenes. Though I guess if they exist, then they will be there.

As far as the 4 disc set..sounds very interesting, but will it have the 2 DVD King Kong or a cut down version? I would think it would be the same one, but who knows.

Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:37 pm

genesim wrote:But....it says nothing about the deleted scenes. Though I guess if they exist, then they will be there.


The deleted scenes below were restored in the mid seventies, so they were intact as late as then. However, there has been no official word on whether or not they have survived to be included in this release. My guess is probably not, simply because I'm certain that Warner's would be marketing that aspect of the set considerably. The spider pit scene has been gone since the 1960's from what I've heard. While it would be considered tame by todays standards, it was, apparently, very, very intense for 1933 movie audiences.

* Censored sequence in which Kong peels off Fay Wray's clothes
* All scenes of the Brontasaurus biting saliors, including the sequence where a sailor climbs to the top of a tree, and soon, a dinosaur comes and takes him away in his mouth.
* Kong biting and chewing natives when he breaks through the gate on Skull Island.
* Kong squashing a native under his giant foot when he breaks through the gate at skull island.
* Kong biting a New Yorker when he escapes from the theatre.
* Kong picking a sleeping woman from her hotel room, inspecting her and upon deciding that she's not Ann throwing her to the sidewalk several stories below.


Tom

Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:35 pm

This is awesome! Now I just have to decide if I want the tin set or the whole box set! I love these old moster movies! lol I'm not sure if I have ever seen Son Of Kong, I probably have... and just forgot! lol I have the King Kong VHS from the RKO Collection. They call it on the cover a New Archival Version produced from the master print, its seems pretty good to me for VHS.

JEFF d
Elvis fan

Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:05 pm

Tom and Melanie thanks for the info..and here is to crossing my fingers big time!

Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:55 am

I am SSOOOOOOOOOO getting the deluxe belle and whistles version with Son Of Kong, etc!!! HAPPY DAY!!!!!

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:40 am

The "Son of Kong" sank into a swamp at the end of the movie....we were all crying our eyes out...in circa 1954.

http://www.free-press-release.com/news/ ... 44251.html

TINC, Can you find us "Son of Dr Jeykle" now? Fetch boy! :-)

Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:52 pm

This is fantastic news. Just today I got in the post the CD soundtrack released by Turner Entertainment of Max Steiner's original, groundbreaking 1933 score. An absolute classic.

The word "genius" is often overused, but in the case of this movie it is more than appropriate. That genius was David O. Selznick, who believed in this pioneering movie from the start, and who persuaded Steiner to write music to underscore the dramatic scenes, even though this was not done at the time. Oh yes, and the special effects were quite good too.

Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:03 pm

Stephen,
I could not agree more. I have always thought that Max was very underappreciated for his work outside of GWTW. Say what you will (and people do say plenty), but I think David O. Selznick was a genius on many different levels. His contributions to the film industry are still being felt today in the way movies are produced and marketed.

Tom

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:06 pm

Funny I just watched the Gone With The Wind documentary and man that film had to kill him. The burning of the King Kong gates overlay was fantastic. I will always think of that scene when I see GTWTW now!

It has been years since I saw King Kong and it along with The Wizard of Oz are the best thing to happen to dvd for quite a while.

King Kong to me couldn't have worked in color, but then again maybe it because I am prejudice by how I have always seen it. Along with Casablanca and a select few others, there is a reason why these movies are truly timeless.

Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:11 pm

genesim wrote:King Kong to me couldn't have worked in color, but then again maybe it because I am prejudice by how I have always seen it. Along with Casablanca and a select few others, there is a reason why these movies are truly timeless.


Well said, my friend.

Tom