King Kong

New DCP screening!

King Kong
Originally scheduled in the V.A.C. on 35mm, but print pulled from us at last minute. Come to Muenzinger for a DCP presentation.

"I'm going out and make the greatest picture in the world -- something that no one's ever seen or heard!" When Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) speaks these words near the beginning of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's King Kong, we somehow know that he's referring to the picture we're watching right now. Even today, looking at this nearly 80 year-old film brings with it a sense of wonder and astonishment, as if all the special effects spectacles that came after it never existed.

The King Kong plot has movie producer (or "picture maker") Carl Denham traveling to lands unknown to make a new film with his latest discovery Ann Darrow (Fay Wray). During the trip, she falls for the ship's first mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot). When they arrive on the uncharted island, they discover a band of natives who live in fear on one side of a great wall, a wall designed to keep out the giant ape known as Kong. After a great battle and great losses, Denham captures the beast and brings it back to New York for a show, but Kong escapes and climbs the Empire State Building, creating one of the cinema's most indelible images.

The film itself is, of course, a special effects wonder. Technicians made the giant ape from a combination of oversize body parts, small models and stop-motion animation. But although the technicians' fingerprints are visible from time to time on Kong's body, his movements are sublime. He actually gives a performance, moving fluidly and actively, depending upon his mood.

King Kong is also notable as being perhaps the first film to use an all-original score instead of bits and pieces of random classical music. Max Steiner's thundering adventure music would even stand alone on a soundtrack album as its own listening experience.

But beyond that, King Kong is all things to all people. It's a romance, both straightforward (man meets woman) and subversive (ape meets woman). It's a bizarre poem ("'twas beauty killed the beast."). It skewers the exploitative nature of showbiz, while at the same time thriving on it. It's one of the rare, great works of art that stands up to endless repeated viewings, each time revealing something new.

— Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

King Kong

Thu October 3, 2013, 7:30 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 1933, English, B&W, 100 mins, 35mm, 1.37:1, NR



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

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