5.8/10
3,114
89 user 43 critic

The Son of Kong (1933)

Passed | | Adventure, Comedy | 22 December 1933 (USA)
The men who captured the giant ape King Kong return to Skull Island and find his likewise gigantic but far more friendly son.

Writer:

(story)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune in order to save her family's ranch.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller
King Kong (1933)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
King Kong (1976)
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A petroleum exploration expedition comes to an isolated island and encounters a colossal giant gorilla.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Kong falls from the twin towers and he appears to be alive. However, his heart is failing, so it's replaced with an artificial one. All is well until he senses that there's a female Kong somewhere out there and escapes wreaking havoc.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, Peter Elliott
Rodan (1956)
Adventure | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Akihiko Hirata
Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and, ultimately, New York City.

Director: Eugène Lourié
Stars: Paul Hubschmid, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An adventure into the realities of the No Oxygen Zone.

Director: Frédéric Dieudonné
Stars: Jean-Jules Verne, Buzz Aldrin, James Cameron
Mothra (1961)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Furankî Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyôko Kagawa
Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.

Director: Harry O. Hoyt
Stars: Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
John Marston ...
...
...
Red
Edit

Storyline

After the disastrous results of his last expedition, Carl Denham leaves New York aboard a ship to escape all the trouble. After a mutiny, he and a few companions are left behind on Skull island, where they meet a smaller relative of King Kong and make friends with him. Written by Michael Zolk <mzolk@ix.urz.uni-heidelberg.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Twelve Foot Ape Befriended them On the Island of King Kong! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Son of Kong  »

Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,342,880 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Merian C. Cooper's enthusiasm for this movie was curtailed when he was told he had less than half the budget of King Kong (1933) to work with, and he had to have it in theaters within six months, for Christmas 1933 release. See more »

Goofs

When Little Kong fights the Nothosaurus in the cavern following the discovery of the treasure they are both reflected in the glass used in the process shot superimposed on Denham and the girl in the background. See more »

Quotes

Carl Denham: Stick with me and you'll be wearing diamonds.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast credits in the opening titles identify the character played by Helen Mack as "Hilda", but nowhere in the story itself is she given a name other than her stage billing of "La Belle Helene". See more »


Soundtracks

Dill Pickles
(uncredited)
Written by Charles L. Johnson and Al Bryan
Played on piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"The Son" also rises
18 September 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Of the films in what I like to call the Great Ape Trilogy ("King Kong," "The Son of Kong" and "Mighty Joe Young"), this is my pet favorite. I loved "The Son of Kong" as a kid but hadn't seen it in years until I rented it recently from my local public library. Was it as good as I remembered? No -- it was even better!

This movie generally gets a bad rap, and I admit that some of the criticisms are valid: It was rushed, it can't compete with "King Kong" in terms of spectacle or horror, it's a light dessert after a steak dinner. Because it's a sequel, it is fair to compare it to the original, and in some respects the comparisons are unfavorable. It's not exactly "Bride of Frankenstein" or "The Godfather Part II." But it's a wonderful film in its own right.

The best thing about "The Son of Kong" is that it makes perfect sense. Carl Denham (played, as in the original, by Robert Armstrong) is being sued by practically everyone in New York for the death and destruction caused by King Kong. That's exactly what would happen, not just in 1933, but especially today, which gives this old movie an unexpected freshness. Also, because of severe budgetary and time restrictions, the filmmakers knew they couldn't make another spectacle, so they wisely went in the other direction. The result is a smaller and far more lighthearted film whose titular character is a charming innocent who acts exactly the way a young ape would act. He's curious, he's playful and he's friendly, but he's also suitably ferocious when attacked or when protecting his human friends, as a watchdog pup would be.

There's also a sweetness and compassion about this film, not only in the kindly attitude toward animals, Little Kong in particular, but in the relationship between the remorseful Denham and the lonely Hilda, touchingly played by Helen Mack, a beautiful and underrated actress who gives what I think is the best performance in the picture.

"The Son of Kong" is wonderfully atmospheric, mainly in the scenes on Skull Island but also in those in Dakang and aboard the Venture. Considering they were so rushed to finish the film, the animators and technicians did a superb job, especially the great Willis O'Brien, who reportedly didn't like the final product. That's too bad, because he did some of his best work on this movie, as evidenced by Little Kong's alternately thrilling and amusing fight with a giant cave bear, by the cataclysmic storm and earthquake that rock the island, and by some of the small touches that set O'Brien apart from everyone else in his field. Kudos also go to Max Steiner, whose musical score is almost as good as it was in "King Kong."

Then there's the humor, which is delightful, contrasting nicely with the darker and sadder aspects of the film. It's provided primarily by Mickey the process server (played impishly by Lee Kohlmar) and, of course, by Little Kong himself. Yes, it's slightly overdone a couple of times, as when Little Kong scratches his head and anthropomorphically shrugs in a display of confusion, but overall it's a welcome and essential element.

In addition to Robert Armstrong and Helen Mack, the actors play their parts well. Frank Reicher (returning as Capt. Englehorn), Victor Wong (back in an expanded role as Charlie the cook, whom he plays with dignity and a certain twinkle), John Marston (marvelously slimy as the villainous Helstrom) and Ed Brady (as a surly mutineer) round out a good cast.

Ruth Rose's script is witty, gritty and realistic. It has been criticized for borrowing, clichés and all, from plenty of timeworn tales, but I don't care. For me, it works. And the finale can mist the eyes of even the strongest man.

All in all, "The Son of Kong" is a terrific, if brief (only an hour and 10 minutes), adventure. It's also a love story, as well as a tale of heroic sacrifice and ultimate redemption. I'm happy to say that one of my favorite childhood movies is now one of my favorite adulthood films, too. Here's looking at you, kid.


52 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show