Son of Kong (1933)

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King Kong Films
King Kong (1933)
Son of Kong
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Son of Kong
American Son of Kong Poster
Directed by Ernest Schoedsack
Producer(s) Ernest Schoedsack
Written by Ruth Rose
Music by Max Steiner
Distributor RKO Radio Pictures
Budget $269,000
Box office $1,342,880
Running time 69 minutes
Aspect ratio 1.37:1
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3.69
(35 votes)

Son of Kong is a 1933 American giant monster film produced by RKO Radio Pictures and a sequel to King Kong, released earlier that same year. It was released to American theaters on December 22, 1933.

Plot

Over a month following King Kong's demise atop the Empire State Building, Carl Denham is broke and beset by lawsuits and court summmons, and boarding in an old woman's house to escape reporters. Charlie, the cook from the Venture, manages to get inside and see Denham, and informs him that Captain Englehorn wants to see him aboard the ship. Denham has his business partner Mickey disguise him and bring him to the docks in his carriage. In the captain's quarters of the Venture, Denham discusses with Englehorn what their next move should be. Englehorn suggests they enter the cargo business using the Venture, as they both are likely to face prison time if they remain in New York City. Denham accepts, and sets off on the Venture with Charlie and a ragtag crew.

The Venture eventually docks in Dakang, still unsuccessful in doing much business. Denham and Englehorn visit the local town, where Denham insists they go see a show advertised on a poster. Englehorn reluctantly accompanies him to the show, which consists of a band of dancing monkeys and a singing act by "La Belle Helene." Denham takes a liking to the performer, a pretty young black-haired woman named Hilda Petersen. After the show, Hilda returns to the tent where she and her father run their small traveling circus. Against Hilda's wishes, her father invites over Nils Helstrom, a disgraced Norwegian captain, to drink. As the two men become increasingly intoxicated and begin arguing, Helstrom snaps and breaks a liquor bottle over Petersen's head. This also knocks over a torch, setting the entire tent ablaze. Helstrom flees while Hilda frees the animals and pulls her father from the burning tent. Hilda asks her father who did this, but he dies from his wounds before he can respond. Denham finds Hilda the next morning and learns what happened to her father, and tries to comfort her by saying she can make something of herself as an entertainer. She asks if Denham is in the entertainment business, but he quickly denies it. Denham goes to a local bar with Englehorn, where they encounter Helstrom, whom Denham recognizes as the Norwegian skipper who sold him the map of Skull Island. As the two men catch up, Helstrom says he is aware that Denham found Kong on the island, and suggests Denham share some of the profits with him since he helped him find the island. Denham responds that he is broke and being sued by everyone in New York, to Helstrom's dismay. Helstrom then asks if Denham also found the treasure of Skull Island, left behind by the once-great civilization which built the wall. With the possibility of treasure on Skull Island, Denham and Englehorn decide to make a return voyage and bring Helstrom along. Before departing, Denham gives Hilda some money to book passage out of Dakang, but she asks repeatedly to come with him. Denham refuses and bids her farewell before leaving aboard the Venture.

As the ship approaches Skull Island, Helstrom convinces the crew to mutiny, as 12 members of Denham's last trip to the island all perished, yet both Denham and Englehorn escaped unscathed. Around the same time, Charlie finds Hilda hiding in the cargo hold. Unable to take her back now, Denham decides to allow Hilda to accompany them. Once the Venture is within sight of Skull Island, Helstrom stages his mutiny and with the rest of the crew force Denham, Englehorn, and Hilda to leave aboard a lifeboat. They find Charlie waiting for them, who claims he didn't like the rest of the crew and would rather go with them. Helstrom tries to declare himself captain of the Venture, but the crew laughs and throws him overboard, with Denham reluctantly letting him board their boat. Equipped with only food and two shotguns Charlie snuck aboard, they make their way to the beach of Skull Island. They are greeted by a spear that lands in front of them as the native chief and his men approach. The chief informs them that he holds them responsible for all of his people's deaths when they let Kong through the wall. Everyone then reboards the boat to find a different spot to land, as the natives are clearly hostile to them. They land in a small inlet, where Denham and Hilda scout ahead to search for higher ground. They eventually encounter Kong's 12-foot albino son Kiko, who is trapped in a pit of quicksand. Out of remorse for causing his father's death, Denham pushes over a nearby tree, which Kiko grabs onto to escape. They eventually come upon a temple, which Denham believes may house the treasure. He and Hilda stay behind at the temple while Englehorn and the others scout ahead. They are quickly charged by a Styracosaurus, which chases them into a small crevice. Englehorn fires his gun at the beast, which simply grabs it in its mouth and bites it in half. Charlie tries stabbing at it with his cleaver, but the dinosaur is unfazed.

Back near the temple, Hilda and Denham find themselves under attack by a giant cave bear. Hearing Hilda's scream, Kiko jumps into action and wrestles with the bear. Kiko struggles to stay on even footing with the larger foe, but successfully beats it into submission and causes it to flee. Kiko notices that his finger has been injured in the fight and sits moaning in pain. Hilda suggests they help him, to which Denham agrees due once more to his guilt for what he did to Kiko's father. Hilda tears off a strip of cloth from her blouse which Denham wraps around Kiko's wounded finger as a bandage. As he does so, he genuinely apologizes to Kiko for what he did to his father. Hilda and Denham atre able to catch a fowl in the jungle for food, but she remarks that she wishes they could reach the coconuts in a nearby tree. Denham tries pushing against the tree unsuccessfully, before Kiko intervenes and shakes the tree, showering Hilda and Denham with coconuts. The two make camp outside the temple, where they are silently observed by Kiko.

The next morning, Englehorn, Charlie, and Helstrom find that the Styracosaurus is gone and Englehorn's gun is broken. Denham and Hilda still struggle to figure out how to get into the temple, only for Kiko to smash the wall down. The three enter the temple and find a necklace bearing huge diamonds set atop a stone statue. Carl has Kiko help him reach it, and just as he exclaims they have found the treasure, a dragon enters the cave and attacks them. Kiko fends it off, grappling with the reptilian beast which constricts its tail around his neck. However, Kiko throws the dragon to the ground and punches it in the head repeatedly until it ceases moving. Kiko believes he is victorious before the dragon stirs back to life and bites him. Kiko punches the dragon again, and this time it goes limp. The three all head out of the temple where they meet Englehorn and the others. The sight of Kiko causes Helstrom to run off in terror, and Denham tells the others to get to the boat while he stays behind to get the rest of the treasure. However, a severe storm strikes the island as earthquakes begin to tear it apart. Helstrom jumps into the boat but a sea serpent erupts from the water and eats him. Hilda, Englehorn, and Charlie reach the boat and begin to float away as Skull Island crumbles into the sea. With the temple collapsing around them, Kiko and Denham climb outside and find themselves on a rapidly-sinking platform. Kiko climbs to the top, beckoning to Denham to follow. However, Kiko's leg becomes trapped in the rock, and he is unable to move. As the lifeboat holding Hilda, Englehorn, and Charlie approaches, Kiko grabs Denham and holds him high above his head as he sinks below the water. The others are able to rescue Denham from Kiko's hand, and can only watch as the heroic ape sinks to his death.

As day breaks, Englehorn spots a boat which promptly rescues them. Sometime later, Denham stands on deck looking longingly at the sea. Hilda approaches him and asks what he's thinking about, and he responds how he feels bad for Kiko. He wonders if Kiko knew he died saving his life, and Hilda replies that she's sure he did. Denhamm informs her that they will split profits from the treasure four ways, but Hilda suggests they split it in thirds: one third for Englehorn, one third for Charlie, and one third for the two of them. Denham is surprised but overjoyed at Hilda's suggestion, and the two share a loving embrace as they look out over the sea.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Ernest Schoedsack
  • Written by   Ruth Rose
  • Produced by   Merian C. Cooper, Archie Marshek, Ernest Schoedsack
  • Music by   Max Steiner
  • Cinematography by   Edward Linden, J.O. Taylor, Vernon Walker
  • Edited by   Ted Cheesman
  • Assistant Directing by   William Cody, Walter Daniels, Ivan Thomas
  • Special Effects by   Willis O'Brien, Harry Redmond Jr., Harry Redmond Sr.

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Gallery

Main article: Son of Kong/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Son of Kong (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • The Son of King Kong (O Filho de King Kong; Brazil)
  • King Kong's Son (King Kongs Sohn; Germany)
  • The Son of Kong (El hijo de Kong; Spain and Mexico)
  • Kong's Son (Kongin poika; Finland)
  • Revenge of Kong (コングの復讐,   Kongu no Fukushū, Japan)

Theatrical Releases

  • United States - December 22, 1933
  • Mexico - May 17, 1934
  • Netherlands - July 20, 1934
  • Sweden - October 27, 1934
  • Japan - December 1934
  • Finland - December 9, 1934
  • Portugal - May 6, 1936

Box Office

Son of Kong had a budget of $269,000, less than half the budget of King Kong, and grossed $1,342,880 in the United States.

Reception

Son of Kong received mostly negative reception upon release, and was criticized as a rushed cash-in on the success of King Kong, due to its short 69 minute runtime and several recycled elements from the previous film.

Video Releases

Warner Bros. DVD (2005)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (1.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Trailer
  • Notes: Also packaged with King Kong (1933).

Warner Bros. Blu-ray (2015/2017)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (1.0 Mono), Spanish (1.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Trailer
  • Notes: Includes French and Spanish subtitles. Also packaged with Mighty Joe Young, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and Them!, or King Kong (1933).

Videos

Son of Kong trailer
"Kiko vs. Cave Bear" clip

External Links

Comments

Showing 6 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

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Green Blob Thing

3 days ago
Score 0
It sucks that there's no blu-ray release of this in the UK. Blu-ray.com says that the US blu-ray isn't locked to Region A, just like it says for The Return of Godzilla, but I'm not 100% sure if I should seek it out or not just in case that turns out to be an oversight on behalf of the website, as any user can go on there and just tick that something works on any region.
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Godzillafan999

5 months ago
Score 0
Kiko vs minlla Please
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Makuta The shadow king 18

5 months ago
Score 0
kiko wins minya was defeated by gabara and kamacuras one of the weakest monsters in the godzilla franchise
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Toa Hydros

28 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Son of Kong

Though not even remotely in the same league as its predecessor, this is still very much an underrated film.

The stop motion is a bit choppy compared to the first film, but given the time and budget constraints O'Brian and company were under, it is still very well done. I especially love Kiko's fight against the Cave Bear; though not as spectacular as Kong's battle with the Tyrannosaurus, it's nonetheless a very cool scene. Kiko himself is very likable too; much like Kong before him, he is given a genuine character: bright-eyed and curious, but just as much a scrapper as his old man. Ya taking notes Minilla?!

The human characters, for the most part, are also decent: Carl Denham, is given a chance to further develop his character, while Hilda is also pretty likable. Helstrom is fairly weak as far as villains go, but he doesn't take up too much screen time.

In the end, Son of Kong isn't the masterpiece its predecessor was, but it is very entertaining nonetheless. I say give it a chance.
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The Boy Who Cried Godzilla

30 months ago
Score 0
Musical Monkeys are the best kaiju ever conceived by man
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Danijo

38 months ago
Score 0

While this one isn't much spoken of. I do like the portrayal of Carl Denham as being more sympathetic than in the original.

Also Hilda I seem to like more than Ann. Now this film is a bit much more lighter than compare to it's more serious-tone predecessor, but it doesn't detract much. And there is good action.

Overall, it's a decent but enjoyable film. But it still pales in comparison to the original one.
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