King Kong: a cinematic legend

Course Dates: 05/06/21 - 12/06/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
King Kong was billed as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' in the original film and nearly ninety years later that status is just as mighty. Explore the film's conception, production and groundbreaking special effects, its enduring 'beauty and the beast' narrative, and its reputation, both critically and culturally, while also considering a sequel, two remakes, and other entries in the series.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: HF054

Finished Sat, day, 05 Jun - 12 Jun '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The production, narrative and critical and cultural reputation of King Kong (1933). While this will be our main focus we will also be considering remakes and other films featuring King Kong (see below for details).

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• The film's production context (RKO Studios in the 1930s, horror films and 'jungle adventure' films)
• The production history of King Kong (including its special effects)
• Narrative in King Kong
• The film's critical reputation (we will look at various critical responses to the film)
• The film's cultural reputation (including Kong himself as an icon in popular culture)
• Other films featuring King Kong

Suggested reading: Paul A. Woods (ed.), King Kong Cometh! (Plexus, 2005).

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Describe and evaluate the thematic and generic origins of King Kong
• Describe and evaluate the production background to the film
• Evaluate the film's narrative and themes
• Evaluate a range of critical responses to the film and its reputation
• Evaluate the film's cultural reputation, particularly the figure of Kong himself
• Evaluate a range of sequels, remakes and other films featuring Kong.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and paper; the tutor will provide all other materials.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please look for other Film Studies courses at, history & writing/film studies.

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.