1933 version King Kong DVD?

Eric Emma

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I haven't seen this movie in years since I was a little kid(I'm 15 now), and I Remember it scared me shitless when I was a kid like 5 or 6 I must of been... I barely rememeber it but I check to see if there was a DVD out, amazon.com says it coming out soon, I'm wondering whats up wiht this DVD...


The recent news of Peter Jackson directing the remake of King Kong has sparked my interest in the big ape...
 

Rain

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WB is working on it.

The film requires some restoration, which hopefully will not consist of wiping away all resemblance to actual film.

I'm not sure whether the "restoration" underway is a proper restoration or just digital clean up.
 

David Lambert

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Also note that the planned 2003 release (trying to coincide with the 70th anniversary) has had to be pushed back to 2004, so that the restoration Rain mentions can be completed properly. An HTF search will find that thread, whenever the search function is up.
It sounded like this is a good thing, so that when we DO get the DVD it will be the best we've ever seen it, and no complaints (unless it's OVER-processed, something that - like Rain - I hope doesn't happen).
 

Pehr

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if Warners pushed this to 2005, to coincide with PJ's new version.
 

Eric Emma

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Doesn't Universal Owns teh rights to King Kong, since they are producing the new King Kong Movie... so why does WB own the orignal King Kong?
 

DanHaya

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The rights to King Kong were purchased (along with most, of not all, of the RKO catalog) by Ted Turner back in the late 80s-early 90s, and were subsequently acquired by Warner Brothers when they merged with Turner.

I'm not sure why Universal now owns the production rights to Kong. My guess is that Dino DeLaurentiis owned the rights back when he produced the 1976 remake (which was distributed by Paramount) and then subsequently sold the rights to Universal somewhere along the way. Hopefully, someone else can shed some more light on this, as I would like to know the story too.
 

Jeff_HR

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I wouldn't be at all surprised if Warners pushed this to 2005, to coincide with PJ's new version
I hope not. WB should release it when the restoration is done. I don't want to see WB do what Fox is doing with "All That Jazz", that is being unable to decide on an appropriate release date & deciding that Kong "needs" the help of another film to "sell" it. IMHO Kong can sell itself without the help of another film & that includes the proposed Jackson version.

Speaking of the Jackson version, I was glad to read that it is to be a "period" film set in the 1930's. Although I doubt it will happen, I'd really love to see this new version filmed in Black & White, just like the 1933 version. There is probably not any chance this will happen because of the backlash against B&W films by today's "younger" generation of audiences. Too bad! Seeing it done in B&W would be glorious!
 

Patrick McCart

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Well, I think the Chicago-All That Jazz co-release idea is good. All That Jazz may get more fans and buyers by catching the eyes of Chicago fans.

As for King Kong, waiting for best quality is great. I doubt they're waiting for the remake...
 

Jeff_HR

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I think the Chicago-All That Jazz co-release idea is good
I'm aware of a "Chicago" release date, but still nothing from Fox about "All That Jazz". Hmmm. I'm willing to wait patiently until 2004 for "King Kong", but I think 2005 is too long to wait. If it goes that long something is amiss!
 

Derek_McL

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Universal must have the rights to the 1933 King Kong in the UK because a Region 2 edition of the film has been available here for quite a while although most of it is covered with grain particularly the scenes aboard the ship enroute to Skull Island. Hopefully Warners will present us with a restoration sooner than 2005 !
Classic Films on DVD
 

James Reader

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As far as I know Universal has had rights to the King Kong character since Godzilla vs King Kong (or King Kong vs Godzilla if you prefer
) which was a co-production with Universal. They also sued (and lost) Nintendo over Donkey Kong (Nintento proved that King Kong as a trademark has entered the Public Domain).

However, as far as I know, the 1933 film has never been owned or distibuted by Universal in America. However, like Citizen Kane and other RKO pictures, Universal seem to hold the European rights.
 

David Lambert

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Nintento proved that King Kong as a trademark has entered the Public Domain
Actually, Nintendo proved that "Donkey" was an Americanized version of the Japanese word that was synonymous with "Stupid", and that "Donkey Kong" was generally meant to imply a stupid ape. That is was general language usage, not an infringement.

Moreover, Universal's honcho Sidney Sheinberg (I believe he's the one more infamous in these HTF parts for performing the "Happy Ever After" edits to Brazil!) had gone on record as threatening that this copyright infringement would cost Nintendo all their money or somesuch nonsense, and trying various strongarm tactics to get them to "voluntarily" give up the name and stuff. When that was proven satisfactorily to the judge, he took a dim view of the entire lawsuit and pretty much ruled in Nintendo's favor as "punishment" to Universal.

The implication was that, in a lawsuit that could have really gone either way, the judge basically decided not to reward someone for using strongarm tactics. Funny how Nintendo has gone on to use them - rather brilliantly, I might add - ever since. I guess they learned from the best!

It's all spelled out in Chapter 6 of a wonderful little book called Game Over, which is a biography of Nintendo:
 

oscar_merkx

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thanks David for that update about that courtcase

 

Jeff Adkins

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My guess is that Dino De Laurentis still owns the rights as he made the last two films, King Kong (1976) and King Kong Lives (1986). I believe he has a working relationship with Universal as he worked with them recently on Red Draghon.

Jeff
 

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