Jesse Schwab’s review published on Letterboxd:
With a combination of visual effects, a spectacular soundtrack, and a timeless story, "King Kong (1933)" fits the mold of being titled, "The Greatest Movie of All Time." People argue what is the best film ever made ; with the right arguments, the topic can go on forever, whether it's about groundbreaking effects, inventive cinematography, amazing acting, a creative story- you get the point. So I'm here to argue that THIS movie, fits into all those categories and more.
The visual side of a movie is half of it, due to it being what people actually watch. Most films up to "King Kong," in terms of innovating effects, only had interesting angled shots and strange looking sets. With "King Kong" having a giant ape as its focal point, the cast and crew had to invent new techniques to give the impression that the monster actually exists. This included a mixture of putting clips together and enormous puppets to show Kong and the humans interacting with each other. Using these techniques plus more was ground breaking at the time and practically unheard of; creating the pavement for effects spectacles even to this day. This could have been a simple man in an ape suit, but with the use of stop motion effects by pioneer Willis O'Brien, Kong has a greater sense of self and natural likeness to him. Stop motion takes a long time (just do some research) and when you consider the amount of time Kong was on screen for- it just shows how much time and dedication went into this project.
The other half of a movie is sound; in which this film does nothing but impress with. Did you know that Kong's roar was a mixture of various animal sounds? It's interesting, but the main course is the fully orchestrated soundtrack accompanying the film. All of the sounds are blended together to create a sense of wonder, danger, romance- it makes the experience that much better. Keep in mind that "talkies" was still a new thing, so the fact that the sound design in "King Kong" was so well done, is just mind-blowing.
Even to make a story that is so memorable is a tough task to accomplish. Not only does "King Kong" get its story across effectively, it manages to refresh the story with a new twist. As the film has mentioned multiple times, it's about Beauty and the Beast. The plot is about a film maker taking his crew to the mysterious Skull Island for the opportunity of a life time. However, they discover the giant ape Kong, in which Kong falls in love with the beautiful lead actress, Ann. This leads to one of the most recognizable finales in film history, with Kong on top of the Empire State Building swatting off airplanes. From running away from dinosaurs on Skull Island to the destruction of New York, the plot to "King Kong" is still referenced, parodied and most importantly remembered to this very day.
Between the effects, sound design, and story, "King Kong" remains to be one of the most memorable and recognizable films in history. It was revolutionary, not to mention a decade before "Citizen Kane"; a movie many consider to be the greatest movie of all time. Just like the nickname given to this giant ape- "King Kong (1933)" is truly the Eighth Wonder of the World, and with much analysis, it's the greatest movie of all time.