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Godzilla + King Kong

Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Dir. Ishirō Honda. Japan, 1954, 98 mins. With Takashi Shimura, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata. The horrors of nuclear destruction were rendered B-movie poetry in this landmark Japanese mega-hit. Awakened by the blasts of H-bomb tests, the primordial, flame-spewing Gojira rises from the ocean floor for an epic rampage through the streets of Tokyo. Though it has spawned dozens of sequels and remakes, the original Godzilla remains unmatched in its urgency and poignancy. Its now iconic images of mass destruction and chaos inevitably echoed the atomic devastation of World War II.

King Kong
Dir. Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack. U.S., 1933, 100 mins. With Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher, Sam Hardy, Noble Johnson. Distinguished for its groundbreaking stop-motion animated effects by Willis O’Brien and musical score by Max Steiner, the original King Kong brought Fay Wray to stardom as Ann Darrow, the beauty who conquers the brutal heart of a giant beast. Darrow travels with adventurous film director Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) to Skull Island, where she is captured by local natives to serve as a human sacrifice for the behemoth ape Kong. After fighting off prehistoric dinosaurs, the beast is eventually seized and taken to New York City, where Kong breaks free and pursues Darrow through the streets. Cooper and Schoedsack’s classic retains its super-sized thrills and its emotional poignancy.