After completing The Lord of the Rings trilogy and winning multiple Academy Awards, Peter Jackson could likely have made just about any movie he wanted. He chose to remake King Kong, one of the all-time great movies.
The 1933 version by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack isn't great because of snappy dialogue or great acting (both are adequate, at best). And it isn't great because of beautiful pictorial compositions and evocative lighting (as might be said of Bride of Frankenstein, for example). No, King Kong stands as one of the great works of American cinema primarily for two reasons: 1) it contains brilliant stop-motion photography that would remain state-of-the-art for decades to come and 2) it tells arguably the greatest adventure story in the history of cinema. But King Kong is far from a perfect movie. The early scenes, before the adventure/filmmaking expedition reaches Skull Island, are frequently creaky; and Fay Wray isn't given much of a character to work with, so she spends much of the movie simply playing the damsel in distress. But the movie's weaknesses are made insignificant by the way the movie lets us witness a thrilling journey into uncharted territory, where anything might exist, where the only limits are those of imagination. Once the original King Kong reaches Skull Island, it's movie magic of the highest order.