King Kong cut content (lost scenes; 1933)

Peter Jackson's "Spider Pit Sequence" recreation.

Most people are familiar with the original 1933 classic King Kong, co-directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, respectively, however, most people are unaware that a large amount of footage was cut and as a result is currently considered to be missing.

The following scenes were cut (some of them may have never even been shot):

  • The famous "Spider Pit Sequence" that was cut after the first screening. After being shaken off of a log into a ravine by Kong, the crew members are attacked by a wide variety of creatures (including giant spiders, hence the name). The scene caused several members of the audience to scream, leave and in some cases faint, and as such was cut by Cooper himself from all following screenings, (although allegedly due to the fact that it "stopped the story", and not due to the bad reception it received). It was later reconstructed by Peter Jackson using traditional stop motion effects, (the reconstruction being included on the two disc collectors edition of the movie). There are no known surviving copies of the scene in existence. It does appear, however, in Delos W. Lovelace's 1932 novelization of the film.
  • Kong vs. Three Triceratops; partially filmed and appears in Lovelace's novelization.
  • Brontosaurus violently kills three sailors in the water. 
  • Styracosaurus chases the crew onto a log. This scene is sometimes considered to be part of the spider pit sequence and is also included in Peter Jackson's spider pit reconstruction. 
  • Extended scenes of Jack Driscoll and Ann's escape from Kong's lair. Included shots of Kong climbing down after them. This scene was cut because it interfered with the film's pacing. 
  • Kong breaks up a Hotel Poker Party; possibly filmed but removed for being too similar to a scene in the 1925 film The Lost World.
  • An above shot of Kong falling from the Empire State Building. This scene was removed because it looked too unrealistic and Kong allegedly looked transparent.

Due to the common practice of burning cut content it is likely these scenes will never see the light of day.


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