Can you HELP ME FIND the MISSING KING KONG (1933), SPIDER PIT SEQUENCE? My name is Bart Pierce and I have been successfully working in the field of film restoration for 30 years. DO YOU KNOW ANYONE OR HAVE YOU YOURSELF EVER SEEN THE GIANT SPIDER IN KING KONG (1933)? I am interested in communicating with anyone who has any information relating to someone having seen the King Kong spider pit sequence. I am particularly interested in communicating with INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES who have seen the SPIDER in King Kong (1933). I have the resources to follow up on locating any print or material containing the lost "spider pit sequence." If you can assist me in locating this material please contact me via e-mail at email@example.com
To the naysayers:
There is more than adequate proof that the spider sequence at one time existed. Some of the most high profile individuals in the production of King Kong (Merian C Cooper/producer, Orville Goldner /special-effects, Max Steiner/composer, Bert Willis/cameraman, Linwood Dunn/optical camera effects department) have stated that it was shot as part of the initial test real to show to studio executives. There is no reason to disbelieve these people. These same credible people have said the scene was cut prior to its initial screening for reasons of pacing. But people have reported seeing the sequence as recently as 1983.
It was common practice for film studios in the United States to send films out to theaters before the final cut and it was often necessary to send out films early to foreign countries for dubbing to a foreign language. This was the beginning of the sound era and many countries had laws that required the dubbing be done in their country. The final cuts were frequently (even usually) made by the projectionists via instructions from the studio and they didn't always get it right. This was a crazy time in Hollywood (it's always a crazy time in Hollywood). Sometimes there were special “silent” versions made of sound films that had silent film titles in them because not all theaters had sound yet (especially overseas). The reason that the United States has the "restored" version of Kong that we have now is because the instructions to remove the offending portions of Kong were not followed overseas. For years we were complaining about lost scenes while the Europeans were watching all those scenes on their television prints, blithely unaware they were missing in the United States. They had never excised the scenes.
This information supports the belief that the
spider sequence could very well exist even if it was excised prior to its
initial release as stated by most qualified sources. In a nutshell: films were
often sent out prior to their final edited cut to theaters. These prints were
then edited by the projectionists as instructed by the studios at a later date
(sometimes they were edited by the projectionists based upon the tastes and
values of the neighborhood in which they were shown). The original negatives
were also edited to conform to these studio instructions (so that future prints
and replacement prints would not have these excised scenes). Projectionists
were not always scrupulous in fulfilling these edit orders sent out by the
studio. As a result prints could exist that simply were not conformed as
instructed by the studios (or even incompletely edited, resulting in part of an
excised sequence still being there). In addition even 16mm prints could exist
because early on there were no good duplication stocks and so prints were used
as Masters to generate other prints (both 16mm and 35mm).
I can't guarantee that a print exists or that it has not been destroyed. But I can tell you that this would not be the first movie that was found here or in a foreign country with excised scenes that were, supposedly, excised prior to its initial release. People have seen this film with the spider pit sequence. If we listen and followed up we could have that spider pit sequence.
I've been doing professional film restoration for 25 years and was responsible for locating the majority of the King Kong elements that have been used in the most recent transfers. I've also been responsible for restoring scenes to ALIEN (1980), LAURA (1944), THE SEAHAWK (1940), THE BIG SLEEP (1946), ESSEX AND ELIZABETH (1939), most of the Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films and a variety of other films. I have had a lifelong love affair with KING KONG (1933) since I first saw it on TV when I was 10. I am an animator, special-effects artist, writer, producer and documentary film maker with 30 years experience. My sons recently produced, directed and co-wrote a comedy horror “zombedy” film called DEADHEADS http://www.deadheadsthemovie.com/ or http://www.facebook.com/deadheadsmovie?sk=info> or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1273207/
which is presently being sold for distribution in the wake of rave reviews from film festival audiences. I like to refer to them as Sons of the Evil Dead because I was the special photographic effects artist for that film [EVIL DEAD (1980)]. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083907/
I'm looking for any individuals that have SEEN THE GIANT SPIDER IN KING KONG (1933). I would like to speak to them and get any details they have about where, when, who and how and with whom they saw the sequence. I don't care how long ago it was. Dates and locations provide background on unique story of how King Kong was distributed and this is the information I will use to locate this lost treasure. I am of course interested in any information or details about the sequence. My methods are like those of a detective: “Know the ground and follow the leads you have.” I have been successful in finding lost sequences because I am familiar with the myriad ways in which film distribution took place in the early days of film.
Let's find this. This process is not always fast but it has worked the majority of the time for me. I have found things no one else has. I'll keep you informed if I get close or if there is something else that can expedite the search.
I am particularly interested in communicating with INDIVIDUALS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES who have seen the giant spider in King Kong (1933). There is less familiarity with the King Kong spider pit sequence outside of the United States. People could be watching it and not report it because they don't know it's anything special.
If you can assist me in locating this material please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org