Though it’s a genuine icon of American cinema, and one of the most instantly recognizable creations ever put on screen, 1933’s KING KONG has not had a nationwide theatrical re-release in 64 years. That changes on Sunday, March 15, when Fathom Events unleashes “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World,” on more than 600 movie screens nationwide as part of the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series.
Last given a big-screen re-release in 1956 – when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the average movie ticket cost 59 cents, and not a single manmade item was orbiting the earth – the original theatrical version of KING KONG is back to dazzle the digital era with it’s all-analog marvels. Adding to this rare cinematic event, TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz will offer all-new insight and commentary on one of the most well-known, influential (and still thrilling) films of all time.
The dazzling adventure features groundbreaking stop-motion animation by Willis O’Brien – visual effects that remain astonishing even in spite of the computer-generated advances made since the original release of KING KONG nearly 90 years ago.
Actress Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and director Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) travel to the Indian Ocean to do location shoots for Denham’s new jungle picture. Along the way, the actress meets and falls for rugged First Mate John Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). Upon arriving at a mysterious island, Ann is taken hostage by natives who prepare her as a sacrifice to the enormous ape Kong who rules over their jungle. But when Ann is rescued and Kong is captured, the real trouble begins.
The film stars Fay Wray (The Most Dangerous Game, The Wedding March), Robert Armstrong (Son of Kong, Mighty Joe Young), Bruce Cabot (Angel and the Badman, The War Wagon), and features a lush score by legendary composer Max Steiner. Though it’s been remade twice and has inspired countless movies,TV shows and characters, 1933 original still holds a power that film critic Roger Ebert called “ageless and primeval.”
Tickets for KING KONG can be purchased at www.FathomEvents.com or participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 600 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
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