The depression has hit New York showman Carl Denham (Armstrong) hard, so he sets out on a quest to find the next big thing. Taking along adventurer Jack Driscoll (Cabot) and similarly down on her luck actress Ann Darrow (Wray). They find Skull Island, a place populated by huge beasts. Kong is king of them all, but falls for the blonde.
One of cinema's first and most influential FX pictures, King Kong - the tale of a giant ape who is relocated to New York and causes chaos - easily stands the test of time, thanks in no small part to Willis O'Brien's ground breaking, yet highly individual stop-motion techniques.
It takes a while for the monkey to show up, but once he does, we're plunged into a brutally effective, dark lost world. Among many, Cooper and Shoedsack's finest stroke of genius was bringing Kong back to New York, which still impresses in its audacity. The humans don't fare so well; the characters are (even by the standards of the day) half-baked, and the performances - with the exception of Armstong as the P.T. Barnum-alike - wooden. Although Fay Wray proves she can scream with the best of 'em, which counts for a lot.
A giant of the genre, age has not wearied him.