King Kong
(1933, M C Cooper and E B Schoedsack)

Hairy hero: Mountainous, misunderstood mass of animatronic emotional contradiction, Kong.
Sapien sidekick: Fay Wray’s chimp-teasing good-time girl Ann Darrow.
Monkey business: Heroes don’t come much more tragic than poor old Kong. Once upon a time he was the undisputed king of his own island kingdom, the biggest fish in a small but cosy pond, whiling away the days fighting T-Rexes and giving the dubious Um Bongo native Johnnies a good scare. Now here he is, stuck on top of the Empire State Building being machine-gunned by biplanes and shouted at by a cheap showman in an even cheaper suit. And all for the love of a woman! There’s a lesson here, lads: if you can hold her entire body in the palm of your hand, it probably isn’t meant to be.