1933 – “King Kong” premieres

One of the most famous films of all time, the original King Kong is famed for its storyline (a sympathetic monster?), Fay Wray’s luminous beauty and Ray Harryhausen’s superb stop-motion special effects. It was not the first giant monster film, nor the first jungle film – there were dinosaur and Tarzan films before it – but it was the first giant ape film.

Kong himself has gone on the be one of the most famous movie monsters of all time, with multiple remakes, sequels and appearances in other films to his credit – his only serious rival for the crown of King of Monsters is Godzilla (who is equally iconic and even more prolific).

The film is one of the most loved films of all time, being a massive commercial success (except in Nazi Germany, where it was banned), a critical favourite (admittedly, of the guilty pleasure variety), and a cult classic. Not bad for an adventure yarn.

Referenced in:

Science Fiction Double Feature — Rocky Horror Picture Show original cast
Fanfare / Don’t Dream It, Be It — Rocky Horror Picture Show original cast

1932 – “Doctor X” premieres

“Doctor X” was the second Warner Bros. movie to be filmed using the improved Technicolor process which both removed grain and improved the colour and clarity of the film. Starring Fay Wray, Lee Tracy and Lionel Atwill, the film was directed by Michael Curtiz (best known to history as the director of “Casablanca”.

The film’s plot is complex and intricate, a murder mystery and a monster film in one. It was produced before the motion picture Production Code came into force, and thus was able to feature mature themes such as murder, rape, cannibalism, and prostitution.

Seven years later, the film spawned a sequel, “The Return of Doctor X”, but thanks to differences in cast and crew, plus the effects of the Hays Code, the similarity between the two films begins and ends with the titles.

Referenced in:

Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Picture Show original cast