17. King Kong
Appears in: King Kong (1933)
Scariest moment: Kong's unforgettable introduction, when Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), tied up as a helpless prisoner, screams in terror as the massive Kong pokes his head out from behind some trees.
Weakness: Hot blonde women. We feel you, Kong!
Screenwriters James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose executed a deft okie-doke when they brought King Kong to life in 1933. At first, the gigantic ape is presented as a villainous monster, the sure-to-be doomsayer for beautify actress Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) when she's abducted by jungle natives and strung up for Kong to do with as he pleases.
As the story progresses, though, Kong softens up. By the film's end, the once-scary beast has earned the audience's affections, giving its tragic episode atop the Empire State Building a sad poignancy that's uncommon for monster movies.