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Seeking a backer for his movie, Merian C. Cooper approached a top Hollywood mogul. "You know what a 50-foot gorilla would see in a five-foot girl?" the mogul asked. "His breakfast!" The studio chief wasn't buying but the public was. King Kong saved RKO from bankruptcy and became an all-time classic, ranking 43rd on the American Film Institute's list of Top-100 American Movies. King Kong teems with memorable moments: a moviemaking expedition on a fantastic isle filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures; the giant simian's lovestruck obsession with the film shoot's blonde starlet (scream queen Fay Wray); Kong's capture; his Manhattan rampage; and the fateful finale atop the Empire State Building, where Kong cradles his palm-sized beloved and swats at machine-gunning airplanes. "It was beauty killed the beast." But in these and other great scenes, Kong lives forever.

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WAT4630 King Kong DVD (1933/Fay Wray) $12.97 $11.99