King Kong Premieres

Poster for the 1933 film "King Kong", the first in a series of movies about the giant gorilla
Poster for the 1933 film "King Kong", the first in a series of movies about the giant gorilla

Historical Context

Since its appearance for the first time in 1933, the King Kong character has appeared in numerous films, television shows, video games and books, becoming one of the most well-known American movie monsters worldwide. Originally developed by Merian C. Cooper, who was inspired by books about Africa from his childhood, movie studio executives initially rejected his expensive monster project in the early years of the Great Depression.

After being impressed with the stop-motion effects being used on other films at RKO studios, Cooper hired Edgar Wallace to create a screenplay based on his idea. A number of King Kong models were built, mainly out of foam rubber, latex and rabbit fur. Other innovative techniques were used, such as combining the live-action with the stop-motion.

After premiering in New York on March 2, 1933, The film was released to huge success on April 7 with many reviewers at the time praising its special effects and stop-motion action. Since then, King Kong has been portrayed in numerous movie adaptations, including Peter Jackson's 2005 film King Kong and the more recent Kong: Skull Island.

Poster Info


Artist: Unknown
Location published: New York City, New York, USA

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related Events

  • 1933-03-02 "King Kong" film directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, starring Fay Wray premieres at Radio City Music Hall and RKO Roxy in NYC

Historical Posters