"You will have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood," Merion C. Cooper allegedly said to Fay Wray prior to the production of King Kong
. The remake currently in theaters is the work of Peter Jackson, who was so taken with the 1933 original as a child that he nurtured a lifelong ambition to remake the film with modern technology. What makes Jackson's version so charming, however, is the way he invested an old-fashioned sense of wonder and a slew of sly in-jokes to his technological wizardry. Although the original film's giant ape may look a little silly these days, there's much to admire, from the sheer audacity of the conception to Max Steiner's brilliant, flamboyant orchestration. The original film may be less sentimental and politically sensitive than Jackson's remake, but it resides in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest films of all time. The original KING KONG
screens this Friday night at the N.C. MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCES
in Raleigh at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and the show will be preceded by music from rock duo The Foyer and a short film program from A/V Geeks. You can also check out Discovering Chimpanzees: The Remarkable World of Jane Goodall
, which remains open late for this First Friday event. For more info, visit www.naturalsciences.org
or call 733-7450.