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King Kong

2. King Kong – King Kong

You can take your pick between the sensational original and Peter Jackson’s slightly bloated but nonetheless impressive remake. What you can’t do is go with any other big screen version – they are universally terrible. Kong is a pre-historic leftover – enormous, powerful, dignified and alone.

Much as he makes pretty short work of dinosaurs and island invaders, his tenderness towards Ann Darrow show that he is capable of gentleness and it is this contrast and tension that gives the films and their titular protagonist their enduring appeal.

That Willis O’Brien (who inspired Ray Harryhausen, who inspired Jackson) was able to create so real and affecting a character with a wire frame and some fairly rancid fur stands as testimony to his enduring skill. Jackson’s Kong is beautifully rendered too, but with all of the tools at his disposal it is as unfair a contest as Kong vs a T-Rex.

Best Ape Moment – The Original – Smell the fingers (but it’s elusive so we’ll settle for this “shake the tree” moment). The Remake – T-Rex rumble

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.