Friday, September 12, 2014

Terrifying Vintage KING KONG 1933 Concept Art by Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe

Friday, September 12, 2014 - by Maurice Mitchell 4


Check out King Kong (1933) concept illustrations by Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe!

Every Friday I feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on King Kong (1933)

In 1933, Merian C. Cooper approached an executive to finance his King Kong movie saying, "You know what a 50-foot gorilla would see in a five-foot girl? His breakfast!" Cooper had a dream to make a monster movie based on books he'd read about terrifying gorillas hidden in the jungles of Africa. Cooper took his idea to Paramount Studios, but executives turned him down. The idea of paying to send film crews to Africa and Komodo during the Great Depression seemed too risky. But years later he tried again at RKO using stop-motion animation. When Merian C. Cooper was getting a presentation for RKO executives to make his big gorilla movie he had Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe make production paintings of different scenes. These paintings sold the movie and helped bring the immortal tale of King Kong to life.

Mario Larrinaga and  Byron Linden Crabbe were professional artists who worked on screen classics like The Son of Kong (1933) Gone with the Wind (1939) and Seven Wonders of the World (1959).

Click on the images to enlarge.

Note: Many of these images have been color corrected because of age and yellowing. So, the artwork does not necessarily represent the way the drawings originally looked.



 






Click on the links if you want to see more of Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe's work or King Kong artwork on my blog.


Some images via http://king-kong.fansforum.info and http://classicmoviemonsters.blogspot.ca

What do you think of the concept illustrations? If you've seen King Kong (1933) what do you think of the creature designs?

Official King Kong 1933 Description
"On a mysterious and dangerous island, a film producer captures a giant ape and brings him back to New York in the hopes of capitalizing on his prize."
Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Production Design by Carroll Clark   
Cinematography by Eddie Linden, J.O. Taylor, Vernon Walker
Starring Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong
© Copyright 1933 RKO Radio Pictures, All rights reserved

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

4 comments:

  1. I've seen that first one somewhere before. Just think how close we came to never having a King Kong.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are gorgeous! I especially like the one of the arm reaching in through the window. Such vivid detail.

    Love it or hate it, the original Kong was a seminal film. It's next up in my own Family Movie Night list so you can expect a review in a few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The art you displayed is stunningly beautiful! There's some real talent to the concept art and I think you've really shown that in the examples.

    I wonder if these artists did anything outside of their film work? Like, museum quality? Or are we all so jaded at the talent floating around that we don't notice?

    Blame Squid - saw a link on his King Kong post and now you're stuck with me.

    Cherdo
    Juvenile art scribblings and snark-artist

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for these! Love these Kong concept drawings, some here I've never seen before, certainly much cleaner scans.

    ReplyDelete

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