Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Son Of Kong

(1933, USA, 70m, b/w)
d Ernest B. Schoedsack p Merian C. Cooper sc Ruth Rose ph Edward Linden ed Ted Cheesman ad Byron L. Crabbe m Max Steiner cast Robert Armstrong, Helen Mack, Frank Reicher, John Marston, Victor Wong, Ed Brady

One month after the demise of the original giant ape, Carl Denham escapes reporters, lawsuits and the threat of indictment, for a jolly around the Indian Ocean with Captain Englehorn and Charlie the Cook. They run into Helstrom, originator of the Skull Island map, and are sufficiently gullible to believe his claim that the island is home not only to giant monsters but to treasure too. The subtitle – “A Serio-Comic Phantasy” – is pretty accurate, particularly when “little Kong” appears, the hammiest eye-rolling ape ever to hit the screen. As requisitely lovely stowaway Helen Mack puts it, however, he is rather cute, and his inevitable demise has a genuine poignancy. The film was rushed out to capitalise on its predecessor, with none of the subtext, but the animation is up to scratch, the action and direction efficient, and there is a nice melancholy to Denham’s regret for his previous conduct, which aptly prolongs the mournfulness of the original’s ending.

© Time Out Film Guide

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