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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Catch the original ‘King Kong’ on Sunday

It's hard to gauge just how much effect the original version of "King Kong" had on the movie industry. Yet the late Roger Ebert insisted that the film was "the father of 'Jurassic Park,' the 'Alien' movies and countless other stories in which heroes are terrified by skillful special effects."

Directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the 1933 production was groundbreaking production. It featured stop-motion special effects by Willis O'Brien that, though tame by today's efforts, were revolutionary for the time.

If you haven't ever seen the film on the big screen, well, now's your chance. 'King Kong" will screen for one day only, at 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, at the Regal Cinemas theaters at Northtown Mall and at Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium.

Speaking of Ebert, here is more of his review: "The movie plunders every trick in the book to create its illusions, using live action, back projection, stop-motion animation, miniatures, models, matte paintings and sleight-of-hand," he wrote.

"But," he added, " 'King Kong' is more than a technical achievement. It is also a curiously touching fable in which the beast is seen, not as a monster of destruction, but as a creature that in its own way wants to do the right thing."

Doing the right thing. Strange notion in 2020. Even for a lovesick gorilla.