2001 Universal (UK) Edition

Directors: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack

Starring: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Explorers discover, and hope to capture, a giant ape on a remote tropical island.

One of the greatest fantasy films ever made, the 1933 version of King Kong will need no introduction to movie buffs, although a couple of generations may need to be convinced of its merits in the wake of Jurassic Park et al.

The 2001 Region 2 disc from Polygram reveals secrets and shortcomings that have been hidden in previous VHS releases, which were unavoidably smeary. Polygramís presentation is far from pristine, though: it has harsh contrast, and constant signs of wear and tear. Itís also quite tightly cropped, so much so that David O Selznickís Executive Producer credit almost falls off the bottom of the screen, and the image is noticeably off-centre throughout the credits, (and, presumably, throughout the rest of the film). Although the presentation is generally acceptable, particularly the 2.0 mono sound (at 192kbps), which is relatively robust, other - better - versions are likely to follow.

The disc also contains the twenty-five minute King Kong - It Was Beauty Killed The Beast documentary, an American production made for the filmís 60th anniversary. Itís a fairly cursory point A to point B history of the film that will tell casual purchasers everything they need to know, and may even satisfy more dedicated fans.

October 2005 Update:

This edition will soon be superseded by a new R2 edition from Universal, and a lavish Special Edition from Warner Home Video in the US.

More information about the new R2 release can be found here.







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