King Kong in the city of New York. Kong's transformation from a ''beast-god'' on Scull Island to an attraction for the New York citizens

Plan for an oral presentation

Presentation (Elaboration), 2014

18 Pages, Grade: B



Detailed Plan for an Oral Presentation


Part One: King Kong as ‘a beast-god’ on Scull Island

Part Two: Kong as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the world’ in New York

Part Three: Kong’s destruction at Empire State Building. (novel) +Sequence analysis : The end of the

movie . Kong at the Empire State Building. (Film)


Simplified plan


Detailed Plan for an Oral Presentation


The fallowing presentation will deal with King Kong’s novelization of the movie script by Delos W. Lovelace (1932) and the 1933 classic film directed by Merian C. Cooper and Schoedsack.

1. General information about the film (came out during the great depression)
2. General information about the writing of the novelization (released one year before the film to advertise it)
3. Where did the idea of a movie with a giant gorilla come from (Cooper’s fascination for adventures )

Willis O'Brien is the man primarily credited with bringing King Kong to the screen, but in truth, Kong was the brainchild of Merian Cooper, a truly larger-than-life film producer, on whom the character of Carl Denham was modeled. Cooper had been a fighter pilot in World War I, a POW after he was shot down behind enemy lines, and- with his partner Ernest Schoedsack- had traveled to the wilds of Asia and Africa to film documentaries.1 Cooper imagined King Kong as the logical extension of his true life exploits; exaggerated but a recognizable caricature of his experiences. Originally he had wanted a “real gorilla to portray Kong, and even wanted to have it fight a Komodo dragon!”2 We can all be grateful he encountered Willis O'Brien (who was working on his own dinosaur film- Creation) and decided to produce Kong and the monsters of Skull Island using stop- motion. The idea was “Cooper's, but the majesty and spectacle of the film belong to O'Brien. The miniature jungle settings created by O'Brien's crew with multiple glass paintings created an otherworldly quality to Skull Island that could not be duplicated by shooting on location- as Cooper had originally envisioned.”3

To be sure, the film is very much a product of a simpler time. However, if the acting in Kong is compared to its early 1930's contemporaries in the horror/fantasy genre, it holds up quite well. Cooper and Schoedsack understood the necessity of establishing the characters before Kong's entrance, but kept dialog to a minimum. The story is told visually, with camera-work furthering plot points that may have seemed didactic otherwise. The film is carried by not only its visual imagery, but by one of the first feature length music scores. This was an innovation that put King Kong ahead its sound contemporaries, which relied quite heavily on the spoken word and direction alone. There is a ten minute sequence in the center of the film- after the death of the tyrannosaurus until the escape of Ann and Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot) from Kong's lair- that is told entirely with visuals, music, and sound effects. It is in large part due to the score that much of Kong's emotional impact is conveyed, particularly in its finale atop the Empire State Building. Steiner was able to suggest Kong's emotional state, assisting O'Brien in providing empathy to a creature who in reality was only an 18 inch high puppet.4

Like Star Wars, King Kong was a made for the movies myth, not based directly on any previous source other than Cooper and O'Brien's imagination. It spawned one of the first monster movie sequels, one remake, (so far) and countless imitations, parodies, and merchandise. Among fantasy films, only the Wizard of Oz can rival King Kong for the sheer longevity of popularity, but while Oz provided escapist entertainment, it did so in a lighter fashion. Kong provided escapism but of a more disturbing and haunting kind.

Part One: King Kong as ‘a beast-god’ on Scull Island.

He is powerful, immense and god like creature on his home island, there is no one bigger and stronger than him. He gains all battles and enjoys his victories.

Quote 1

‘The beast-god lumbered back, beating his breast and indifferent to all his enemy’s blows. His roaring charge carried both fighters hard against the tree in which Ann crouched and that long-tormented pedestal crashed dawn….Any critical observer would have realized that Kong had met enemies of the meat-eater breed before and had worked out a technique of battle which served well when he was not too enraged to use it.’5 (King Kong, chapter 13, p.100)

‘When the meat-eater finally stretched out in death, Kong drew close and gazed down with loud cheeps of pleasure. He waggled the broken jaws with satisfaction and looked over towards Ann as though to invite her praise’ (humanization of Kong - He needs Ann’s approval and admiration) (King Kong, chapter 13, p.101)

‘Driscoll had never thought to hear that thunder of rage without terror. But when it beat upon his ears, with its accompanying tattoo of mighty hand upon mighty chest, he was no more than a breach away from a supporting shout.’ (King Kong, chapter 13, p. 116)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten 6

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten 7

Words used to describe Kong through the novelization of the movie script: Mighty hands, mighty chest, the beast-god, ape-beast, long flashing teeth, the beast’s-god pillar-like legs, the great hands, huge fingers, the eighth wonder of the world, black monstrous body, etc.

Part Two: Kong as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the world’ in New York

Thanks to a long shot we see Kong at a stage in the center of the shot. Below we see the three human figures, which are small and insignificant, together with the part of the public. This makes a contrast of the big figure of Kong and suggest danger.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten 8

It is a mistake to compare Kong technically or artistically with films from later decades. Consider the cultural context in which King Kong was produced. America was in the darkest days of the Depression. World War II was seven years away, and nobody outside of a few physicists knew what 'atomic bomb' meant. Kong truly was the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' just as the Empire State Building was at the time considered the greatest technological marvel. As Cooper envisioned it, Kong was an adventure escapist film, offering Depression-Era audiences something that at the time would be considered the 'ultimate in adventure.' To today's audiences Kong no longer represents something 'all powerful' or able to 'lick the


1 consulted on 15/06/2014 , at 15.03

2 consulted on 15/06/2014 , at 15.03

3 consulted on 15/06/2014 , at 15.03

4 consulted 14/06/2014, at 14.02

5 Wallace, Edgar and Marian C. Cooper. King Kong, New York: The modern Library, 2005, p.13



6 Image taken from consulted 12/06/2014, 13.07

7 Image taken from

8 Image taken from consulted 18/06/2014, 12.50

Excerpt out of 18 pages


King Kong in the city of New York. Kong's transformation from a ''beast-god'' on Scull Island to an attraction for the New York citizens
Plan for an oral presentation
Université Toulouse II - Le Mirail  (English Department)
English Studies: Literature and Cinema
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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king, kong, york, scull, island, plan
Quote paper
Lora Cvetanova (Author), 2014, King Kong in the city of New York. Kong's transformation from a ''beast-god'' on Scull Island to an attraction for the New York citizens, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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