Sunday, March 11, 2012

13 Things We Know About Kong

Kong-blogging, essay 10 of 15 blog entries on
Skull Island in King Kong (1933)

13 Things We Know About Kong

Extreme closeup of Kong from King Kong (1933).

In all honesty, we don’t know much about Kong.  King Kong (1933) is very sparing in its sharing of information about the nature of its title character, Kong.  Declining to speculate, I’m restricting the following 13 observations to the limited facts imparted about Kong during the Skull Island portion of King Kong.

Surprised Kong.
1. Kong is an ape with some gorilla-like features. His appearance does not entirely conform with that of any currently existing ape species.

2. Kong’s height:  It’s hard to get a bead on the size of the animal.  In far shots, he seems to be 18 to 20 feet high, but the closeups of Kong with people, as well as his closeup hand size, would scale to an animal much larger, possibly 40 or even 50 feet tall.

3. Kong has been alive long enough to give rise to legends and superstitions in the region and for the
Curious Kong.
native civilization to build a giant wall.  The possibility that Kong had ancestors who generated the legends and prompted the building of the wall is neither raised nor dismissed by the movie.

4. Based on the comments and actions of the natives, it is reasonable to infer that Kong is the only large ape of his kind currently alive on Skull Island.

5. Historically, the wall at the native village has been sufficient to keep Kong out.

Suspicious Kong.
6. Kong’s protective instincts toward Ann Darrow reveal a new facet of his personality.  There is no indication that he has ever acted in this almost maternal way in response to the villagers’ previous human sacrifices.

7. Kong’s aggressive behaviors include chest-beating and roaring, mainly used as tactics of intimidation.

8. Kong is very strong, even for a hypothetical ape of his size.

Protective Kong.
9. Kong is an unusually intelligent fighter capable of using fairly sophisticated boxing and wrestling moves.

10. Kong is innately curious.

11. Kong may maintain a permanent lair within the cave on Skull Mountain.  Kong’s use of this space remains ambiguous.

12. Kong bleeds when cut or bitten.

13. Kong can be rendered unconscious by gas bombs, suggesting that his respiratory and nervous systems are
those of a typical mammal.

Victorious Kong.

Reference Sources
The Making of King Kong by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner
Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper by Mark Cotta Vaz
Willis O'Brien: Special Effects Genius by Steve Archer
Dinosaurs Past and Present, Volume 1, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Dinosaurs Past and Present, Volume 2, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Charles R. Knight: The Artist Who Saw Through Time by Richard Milner
All in the Bones: A Biography of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins by Valerie Bramwell and Robert M. Peck
Special features on the two-disc special edition, King Kong (1933) by Warner Home Video Inc.
... and an occasional sneak glance at Wikipedia entries (but always double-checking everything!)

Watch King Kong...
Purchase a King Kong DVD or Blu-Ray set at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Rent King Kong at Netflix or other rental service.

© 2012 Lee Price

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