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King Kong (original) on LD - Which version is best?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim_K, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I'm looking at getting the king of all monkey movies and I'd like some advise from some LD aficionados.
    Which one do I get?
    CRITERION
    vs.
    RKO Collection King King/Son of Kong
    thanks in advance
    Jim
     
  2. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    The RKO double feature has the superior transfer and you are getting two movies for the price of one!
    ------------------
    DVDBeaver & My DVD Collection
     
  3. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    I believe there was also a Turner/Image 60th Anniversary Remaster LD in 1993 that was the latest of the three, which wasnt bad (you could also buy a 'colorized' version of same...) [​IMG]
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Lowry Digital Images is restoring King Kong for a 2002 DVD release.
     
  5. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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  6. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Yes, the King Kong/Son of Kong from Image is best. I had both.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's in dvdFile's Studio Day report for WB. It says King Kong is being restored for DVD (which probably means a digital one.)
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I own the Criterion CAV King Kong, second printing, and the RKO King Kong/Son of Kong and the RKO, as already noted, has the best picture. But the Criterion has the supplements. Get 'em both, or wait until next spring or summer for the dvd.
    ------------------
    They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!
    They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa To the funny farm. Where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming to take me away, ha-haaa!!!!!
    - Napoleon XIV
     
  9. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    We keep hearing the term uncut! restored! regarding KING KONG...
    How many of you know that there apparently was a sequence shot that was deemed too horrible (for 1933) to be left intact?
    IF only this could be found and integrated back into the film.
    (I have seen photos from it-in of all places, FAMOUS MONSTERS)
    When the crew on the island are running from KONG, and cross the chasm via a downed tree, KONG comes up and shakes all clinging to it into the abyss below...we see brief shots of bodies falling to the ground.
    In the scene supposedly cut (and in the photos I saw) as many of the men lay dying, giant spiders,10 feet tall, slither out of the cracks, and begin to devour the screaming men alive... the chasm bottom looked creepy enough as it was, but that would have been too much!
    I have heard little of this over the years, and was wondering if anyone could shed more light on it...
     
  10. Chauncey

    Chauncey Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    In that Studio Day report I don't believe a date was specified, just that Lowery Digital Images is working on it. Speculation is that this won't come out until 2003 for the 70th Anniversary.
    ------------------
    "It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen"
    S&S Challenge: 72 ...24
    DVD BEAVER

    My DVD Collection
     
  12. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    In regard to the "Spider" scene from King Kong, that scene was filmed and indeed deemed too horrific for the 1933 audience by either the director or producer. The scene was then excised and destroyed because it "stopped the picture cold", according to an article I read about this scene many years ago. I remember this vividly since it sounded like a great scene and I was upset that I would never be able to see it. [​IMG]
    Oh well...can't wait for the DVD.
    ------------------
    Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus.
     
  13. Mike Friedrich

    Mike Friedrich Stunt Coordinator

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    ~ Yes Mark there is a Turner/Image 60th Anniversary remaster and it is one of the best transfers so far of King Kong. I rented the *Son of Kong[disc 2] once from the double feature LD, but I really didn't care for it so I just stuck with my original above mentioned *King Kong remastered title, B&W of course !
    Can't wait to see what the Dvd will have to offer !
    bodymov'n [​IMG]
    ------------------
     
  14. L. W. Cobb

    L. W. Cobb Agent

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    I'd go with the Criterion Kong. The supplements make this the one to have, especially the excellent and informative commentary. [​IMG]
     
  15. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    The scene where Kong shakes the men off the log and the giant insects come and eat them was only shot to show producers and to sell the movie. It was never intended to be in the film. It was never seen by anyone outside the studio and presumed lost. Reference is:
    1) The Making of King Kong by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner-1975
    2) The Girl In the Hairy Paw by Ronald Gottesman and Harry Geduld-1976
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    thanks for the feedback guys [​IMG]
    I guess I forgot to ask this about the various cuts.
    which version has the longer cut?
    I remember seeing a restored version with scenes (to violent for the time I guess) put back into the film (i.e. Kong stomping on a villager, etc.).
    Jim
     
  17. Mike Friedrich

    Mike Friedrich Stunt Coordinator

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    ~ Jim...., the restored 60th Anniversary Turner/Image extended play LD that I have has a total runnng time of 100 minutes/BW, it was mastered from a Digital Video Source and is CX encoded with digital and analog audio tracks, it is Not Rated. Does anyone else have the feature running time of the Criterion and or the RKO version ?
    THE KING RESTORED
    In 1938 KING KONG was re-released to theaters for the second of many theatrical runs. For its release it was edited by the Hays Office, a group of censors appointed in 1934 by the MPA. Scenes removed included ; sailers being attaked by brontosaurus; Kong chewing and trampling natives ; Kong dropping a Mahatten women to her death; Kong peeling of strips of Fay Wray's dress and sniffing his fingers. The entire film was also darkened quite a bit in order to lessen the graphic realism of a few shots mainly the close-ups of the bleeding tyrannosaurus0, taking away much of the movie's rich detail.
    The excised footage was believed lost until 1968, when a battered 16mm print was discovered in a garage in Philadelphia. It was spliced into the original 35mm, bringing Kong back to its full length. The poor image quality of the restored scenes was rather jarring, however, and the entire film was still to dark.
    In 1988 Turner Home Entertainment uncovered a complete mint condition 35mm print in Europe. Digitally mastered from this pristine source , the film's incredible array of vibrant , richly detailed images , its commanding music score and intricate sound mix can all be experienced as its makers intended , for the first time since 1933 . Turner Home Entertainment and Image Entertainment are proud to present the 60th Anniversary Edition of KING KONG on LaserDisc , preserved at last with the quality and care it deserves.
    I hope this answers some questions, the above text refers to the;
    1933~60th~1993 *Anniversary KING KONG Turner/Image LaserDisc
    ------------------
    [Edited last by Mike Friedrich on November 17, 2001 at 09:33 AM]
     
  18. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    thanks for the info Mike. That's the version I remember seeing.
    Although now It's between 3 different versions and I really don't know which one to get now. oh well.
    It will be interesting to see which version/cut eventually ends up on DVD though.
    [Edited last by Jim_K on November 17, 2001 at 09:51 AM]
     
  19. Andy W

    Andy W Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, you asked, “Does anyone else have the feature running time of the Criterion and or the RKO version ?”
    The Criterion lists a running time of 101 minutes.
    The RKO version, which includes the Son of Kong, is the same disc you referred to in your reprint of “The King Restored,” as your three paragraphs were taken directly from the inside gatefold jacket. The front jacket’s banner says “The RKO Classic Collection.” The cover also shows “Turner Home Entertainment” and “distributed exclusively by Image Entertainment.” However, I don’t see a “60th Anniversary” notation anywhere. The Turner Entertainment artwork and Image Entertainment copyrights are both listed as 1991, so I don’t think this would be called a 60th Anniversary edition.
    One more bit of trivia regarding the RKO/Turner/Image LD set, the large gold sticker on the outer plastic wrap says, “Entire film-including the censored scenes-digitally mastered from a restored 35mm archival 1933 original release print-never before used as a home video source. Absolutely the finest version, in both video and audio terms, ever offered on LaserDisc-bar none!”
    I agree with others that the RKO LD is the better presentation of King Kong versus the Criterion LD, but the Criterion has an excellent commentary by film historian, Ronald Haver, which is not on the RKO LD.
    FWIW, the Criterion also has the previously censored scenes, albeit in 16mm, which were the only film elements known to exist for these scenes when Criterion made the LD in 1987 (one year before the 35mm prints of the censored scenes were found).
    I hope this info helps.
     
  20. Mike Friedrich

    Mike Friedrich Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: "However, I don't see a "60th Anniversary" notation anywhere , The Turner Entertainment artwork and Image Entertainment copyrights are both listed as 1991 so I don't think this would be called a 60th Anniversary edition. [/quote]
    I would presume that you were referring to your copy of KING KONG. On my 60th Anniversary Edition, on the front cover, it is clearly printed in a bold red outline with a gold circle in the middle, and the numbers being in red as follows; 1933 (60) 1993 .
    The final sentence on the last paragraph reads as follows;
    " Turner Home Entertainment and Image Entertainment are proud to present the 60th Anniversary Edition of KING KONG on LaserDisc, preserved at last with the quality and care it deserves".
    Additionally *THE KING RESTORED is listed on the back cover of my LD jacket, the copyrights are stated as 1993 RKO, and artwork 1992 Turner Broadcasting.
    For sure the Criterion offers a great extra and would be worth having, likewise the RKO/Image versions would be the best in quality for viewing the feature. The double bill offers the SON OF KONG , it's ok IMO.
    ~ Jim, if you really just want to see KING KONG, get the RKO/Turner 60th Anniversary/Image version. If you want to view both KING KONG/SON OF KONG then get the RKO/Turner/Image double bill version.
    And if you're interested in the feature and the extras on KING KONG ,as previously mentioned, then get the Criterion version. And finally if you have the coin to spare get them all !
    bodymov'n [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Mike Friedrich on November 17, 2001 at 08:59 PM]
    [Edited last by Mike Friedrich on November 18, 2001 at 09:48 AM]
     

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