Son of Kong, The (1933)

Son of Kong, The (1933)

“Believe it or not, there’s a little Kong!”

Wracked with guilt and looming debt, King Kong’s promoter (Robert Armstrong) joins his friend (Frank Reicher) on a sailing expedition, where he meets a beautiful runaway orphan (Helen Mack) and learns about hidden treasure on Skull Island from the unscrupulous man (John Marston) who gave him the original map. Little do they know they are about to encounter Kong’s friendly son on the island.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Fantasy
  • Hidden Treasure
  • Mutant Monsters

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “bargain-basement sequel to King Kong is a curio devoid of the original’s Freudian implications, mythic and dream elements” and notes that while “kids may like Kong, Jr.’s comical nature”, “fans of the original will be disappointed in most everything but the action finale.” He argues that the “picture is so rushed that one can’t even savor Willis O’Brien’s special effects”, but this isn’t quite true — there are a good handful of Kong-versus-beast battle scenes in the second half, though they don’t arrive until after an unnecessarily lengthy and unexceptional exposition. I agree with Peary that the “most interesting element as far as Kong lore goes is that Carl Denham [Armstrong] is very apologetic about what he felt he did to Kong in the original” — indeed, the entire movie is a form of apologia and redemption for Kong’s ignoble fate, with his son manifesting only his most helpful, playful, and silly qualities.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Willis O’Brien’s special effects

Must See?
No; this one is for fans of the franchise.


3 thoughts on “Son of Kong, The (1933)

  1. I have this on Blu-ray but haven’t got a round to watching it yet. The last time I saw it was in my childhood and
    I loved it them; charming little film with great SPFX.

  2. Agreed that it’s not particularly must-see. Mainly because much of what happens before the characters get to the island is ponderous and not all that compelling. To call it “bargain-basement” might be a bit harsh – but, if ‘King Kong’ is seen as ‘dinner’, then ‘TSOK’ is the ‘after-dinner mint’.

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