‘It was beauty killed the beast’: ‘King Kong’ back on the big screen

Fay Wray in the 1933 movie 'King Kong'
Fay Wray in the 1933 movie “King Kong.”
(Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Big galoot though he may be, the legendary 1933 “King Kong” has been careful to keep his distance from a national theatrical release for quite a while. So it is very much news to find him back where he belongs for the first time in 64 years on March 15 at 1 and 4 p.m.

Playing in hundreds of theaters nationwide, including many in the Los Angeles area, “Kong” is being presented by Fathom Events as part of its TCM Big Screen Classics series, allowing viewers to understand one more time how it came to pass that “it was beauty killed the beast.”

Though the film costars solid citizens like Robert Armstrong and Bruce Cabot as well as assorted prehistoric monsters, the focus is always going to be on the gifted Fay Wray and Kong himself, a spectacular piece of stop-motion animation by the brilliant Willis O’Brien. It’s a film that thrills today as much as it ever did.