King Kong (2005 film): Wikis


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King Kong

Theatrical poster for King Kong
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Jan Blenkin
Carolynne Cunningham
Fran Walsh
Peter Jackson
Written by Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Merian C. Cooper
Edgar Wallace
Starring Naomi Watts
Jack Black
Adrien Brody
Thomas Kretschmann
Kyle Chandler
Jamie Bell
and Andy Serkis
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Jamie Selkirk
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) December 14, 2005 (2005-12-14)
Running time 187 minutes
Country United States
New Zealand
Language English
Budget US$207 million
Gross revenue US$550,517,357

King Kong is a 2005 remake of the 1933 film of the same name directed by Peter Jackson and stars Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody. Andy Serkis, through performance capture, portrayed Kong.

The film's budget climbed from an initial US$150 million to a record-breaking $207 million. The film was released on December 14, 2005 and made an opening of $50.1 million. While the film performed lower than expectations, Kong made domestic and worldwide grosses that eventually added up to $550 million,[1] becoming the fourth-highest grossing movie in Universal Pictures history. Strong DVD sales also added over $100 million to the grosses.[2] It also received positive reviews, with some considering it one of the all-round best movies of 2005, though it has been criticised for its length at three hours and eight minutes (while a three-disc extended DVD edition increases this to over three hours and twenty minutes). It won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing.



The film opens in New York City, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. Having lost her job as a vaudeville actress, Ann Darrow is hired by troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to star in his new movie against popular actor Bruce Baxter. Ann signs on when she learns her favorite playwright Jack Driscoll is the screenwriter. As the SS Venture sails across the ocean, they fall in love. A warrant is out for Carl's arrest and Captain Englehorn begins having second thoughts. Despite his attempt to turn around, the ship is lost in fog and crashes into encircling rocks.

Carl and some of the crew take rowboats to the island and explore a seemingly deserted village against a wall. Carl notices a girl with dark-colored skin and offers her chocolate; she bites him, and moments later, a member of Carl's film crew is impaled by a spear. The natives emerge from behind the wall and attack the crew. The matriarch vows to sacrifice Ann to "Kong". Just as Carl is about to be killed, Englehorn and the sailors break up the attack. Everyone returns to the ship.

They lighten the load on the ship to sail away, but Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped by the natives. On the island, Ann is tied to a wooden drawbridge and lowered to the other side of the wall across a crevasse. The crew arrives too late, as Kong claims Ann and disappears into the jungle. A rescue party is organized; Captain Englehorn gives them 24 hours to return.

The rescue party gets caught in a stampede of Brontosaurus triggered by a pack of Venatosaurus hunting them; four of the party are killed. Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group, intending to return to the ship.

While Ann plays dead, Kong sets her down near some ruins to eat nearby bamboo. Ann tries to escape, but Kong blocks her. Ann realizes Kong's curiosity about her and entertains Kong with juggling and dancing from her theater routine. After being humiliated during an attempt to intimidate her, Kong leaves Ann by herself.

The rescue party stumbles across a log, but Kong attacks, shaking the rescue party into a ravine of giant insects. Baxter and Englehorn rescue what remains of the rescue party. Kong returns to rescue Ann from three Vastatosaurus rex, and takes her to his mountain lair. They watch the sun set, and Ann attempts to communicate with Kong using sign language, with mixed success.

Jack continues searching for Ann alone, while Carl plans to capture Kong in a desperate attempt to save his job. Jack reaches Kong's lair, but disturbs him from his slumber while freeing Ann. As Kong fights a swarm of giant bats disturbed by the commotion, Jack and Ann try to escape by climbing down a giant vine, only to be pulled back up by Kong. Jack grabs one of the bat's wings and he and Ann fly down, falling into a river. They arrive at the village wall with Kong following them, where Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong breaks through the gate and is temporarily restrained by the crewmen. He becomes infuriated when he sees Ann resisting while being pulled away by Jack, and follows after Ann to get her back, killing several crew members. He is knocked out by chloroform and taken to New York.

Around Christmas, Carl presents Kong — the Eighth Wonder of the World on Broadway. Ann refuses to participate in the show. Kong becomes enraged when he sees it is not Ann, then several camera flashes from press members anger him further, causing him to break his chains. As the audience flees, Kong destroys the interior of the theater. He spots Jack and attempts to kill him, but Jack escapes. Kong bursts out of the theater and wreaks havoc in Times Square. Jack lures Kong out of Times Square, and drives a taxi with Kong chasing after him.

Kong stops Jack's taxi, knocking Jack unconscious; he then sees Ann, which calms him down. They share a quiet moment on a frozen lake in Central Park, but are interrupted by the military. Kong climbs the Empire State Building. Observing the dawn, Kong repeats the sign for "beautiful" Ann used in his lair, causing Ann to realize his intelligence. Before Ann can attempt further communication, they are attacked. Kong makes his last stand against the Curtiss Helldivers,[3] on the summit of the observation spire. Kong is hit by several bursts of gunfire, and gazes at a distraught Ann before falling to his death. Jack reaches Ann and comforts her. Hundreds of people run to Kong's body. A man tells Carl that the airplanes got him, but Carl replies, "It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."


  • Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow: A struggling vaudeville actress who is desperate for work. Carl Denham discovers her attempting to steal an apple from a fruit stand. She is a big fan of Jack Driscoll, but knows nothing about acting in a movie. During the course of the voyage, she falls in love with Driscoll. She also forms a special relationship with Kong.
  • Jack Black as Carl Denham: A film director who obtained the map to Skull Island. Due to his desperate situation — involving debts and theft — Carl is obsessive, slowly losing his moral compass.
  • Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll: A scriptwriter who falls for Ann. He is on the voyage mistakenly, when he delivers 15 pages of script to Denham, who delays him as the Venture begins its voyage.
  • Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Englehorn: The German Captain of the SS Venture.
  • Colin Hanks as Preston: Denham's neurotic but honest personal assistant.
  • Jamie Bell as Jimmy: A boy, found on the SS Venture, wild and abandoned. He is a kleptomaniac and views Hayes as a father figure.
  • Evan Parke as Ben Hayes: Englehorn's first mate and a friend of Lumpy, who leads Ann's rescue mission due to his army training and combat experience gained during World War I. He is killed after Kong throws him against a rock wall.
  • Lobo Chan as Choy: Lumpy's best friend and a janitor on the Venture, who falls to his death during the log scene.
  • Kyle Chandler as Bruce Baxter: An actor who specialises in adventure films. He abandons Ann's rescue mission but brings Englehorn to rescue the search party from the insect pit, and is given credit for rescuing Ann during the Broadway display of Kong.
  • Andy Serkis as Kong (motion capture and voice): A 25-ft gorilla who is around 120–150 years old.[4] He is the last of his species, Megaprimatus kong.
    • Andy Serkis as Lumpy: The ship's cook, barber and surgeon. He warns Denham about rumors he has heard about Skull Island and Kong. He joins the search for Ann but is killed in the insect pit.
  • John Sumner as Herb: Denham's loyal camera man. He is killed by a pack of Venatosaurus.
  • Craig Hall as Mike: Denham's soundman for the journey. He is the first person to be killed when the Skull Island natives spear him.
  • Jed Brophy and Todd Rippon cameoed as crew members.



Peter Jackson was a nine year old in the New Zealand town of Pukerua Bay when he first saw the 1933 version of King Kong. He was in tears in front of the TV when Kong slipped off the Empire State Building.[5] At age 12 he tried to recreate the film using his parents' super-8 camera and a model of Kong made of wire and rubber with his mother's fur coat for the hair, but eventually gave up on the project.[6] In 1996, he developed a version that was in pre-production for 6–7 months, but the studio cancelled it.[7] This is most likely because of the release of Mighty Joe Young and Godzilla the same year.[6] During this time Jackson had achieved the designs of the Brontosaurus and the Venatosaurus.[6] He then began work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy.[8] No casting was ever done, but he had hoped to get either George Clooney or Robert De Niro for the roles of Jack Driscoll and Carl Denham, respectively.[9] With the overwhelming box office and critical success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Universal contacted him during production of the second film,[6] and he was paid $20 million USD to direct this film, the highest salary Hollywood ever paid a director.[10]

Screenplay development

Peter Jackson has stated that the script significantly changed between the 1996 and 2005 drafts. He described his first rough draft as a "tongue-in-cheek comedic film with elements of Raiders of the Lost Ark and other films", and as a "monkey-farce". He has said that in retrospect, he is glad that Universal pulled the plug on this version of the film, as he was able to rework the screenplay into something better.[6]

In Jackson's original 1996 draft of the script, Ann was the daughter of famed English archaeologist Lord Linwood Darrow exploring ancient ruins in Sumatra.[11] They would come into conflict with Denham during his filming, and they would uncover a hidden Kong statue and the map of Skull Island. This would indicate that the island natives were the last remnants of a cult religion that had once thrived on the mainland of Asia. Instead of a playwright, Jack was the first mate and an ex-First World War fighter pilot still struggling with the loss of his best friend, who had been killed in battle during a World War I prologue.[11] Herb the camera-man is the only supporting character in the original draft who made it to the final version. The fight between Kong and the three V. rex also changed from the original draft. In the draft, Ann is actually caught in the V. rex's jaws, where she becomes wedged, and slashed by the teeth; after the fight, Kong gets her out but she is suffering from a fever, from which she then recovers.

The rewriting of the script between 1996 and 2005 involved basing the characters more closely on the 1933 ones, but adding more detail (the screenplay is not based at all on the 1976 version).[12] The process began with a nine minute animatic created by Peter Jackson and shown to the writing team, causing Philippa Boyens to cry. Jackson, alongside Christian Rivers and his team, created animatics for all the action sequences which wound up becoming the first stage in animation. The Empire State Building animatic in particular, was completely replicated in the final film.[6]


Peter Jackson decided early on that he did not want Kong to behave like a human, and so he and his team studied hours of gorilla footage.[13] Andy Serkis, who modelled his movement, went to the London Zoo to watch the gorillas, but was unsatisfied. He ended up going to Rwanda to observe mountain gorillas in the wild with a company called Rainbow Tours. The resulting Kong is entirely a special effect, but he acts and moves very much like a real gorilla.[14]

Andy Serkis in his Kong bodysuit.

Apart from Kong, Skull Island is inhabited by dinosaurs and other large fauna. Inspired by the works of Dougal Dixon, the designers imagined what 65 million years or more of isolated evolution might have done to dinosaurs.[6] The names of these and hundreds of other beasts are found in the book The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island.


The film's budget climbed from an initial US$150 million to a record-breaking $207 million,[15] making it at one point the most expensive film yet made. Universal Pictures only agreed to such an outlay after seeing a screening of the unfinished film, to which executives responded enthusiastically. Marketing and promotion costs were an estimated $60 million. The film's length also grew; originally set to be 135 minutes, it soon grew to 200, prompting Universal executives to fly to New Zealand to view a rough cut, but they liked it so their concerns were addressed.[16]

Other difficulties included Peter Jackson's decision to change composers from Howard Shore to James Newton Howard seven weeks before the film opened.[17]


The marketing campaign for King Kong started in full swing on June 27, 2005, when the teaser trailer made its debut, first online at the official Volkswagen website at 8:45 p.m. EST, then 8:55 p.m. EST across media outlets owned by NBC Universal (the parent of Universal Studios), including NBC, Bravo!, CNBC and MSNBC. That trailer appeared in theatres attached to War of the Worlds, which opened on June 29.[4]

Jackson also regularly published a series of 'Production Diaries', which chronicled the making of the film. The diaries started shortly after the DVD release of The Return of the King as a way to give Jackson's The Lord of the Rings fans a glimpse of his next project. These diaries are edited into broadband-friendly instalments of three or four minutes each. They consist of features that would normally be seen in a making-of documentary: a tour of the set, a roving camera introducing key players behind the scene, a peek inside the sound booth during last-minute dubbing, or Andy Serkis doing his ape movements in a motion capture studio.[18] The production diaries were released on DVD on December 13, 2005, one day before the U.S. release of the film. This was one of the first occasions in which material that would normally be considered supplementary to the DVD release of a film, was not only released separately, but done so in a prestige format; the Production Diaries came packaged in a box with a set of prints and a replica 1930s-era clipboard.[citation needed] It is also the first time such material was published prior to the release of the film.[citation needed]

A novelisation of the movie and a prequel entitled The Island of the Skull was also written. A multi-platform video game entitled Peter Jackson's King Kong was released, which featured an alternate ending. There was a hardback book entitled The World of Kong, featuring artwork from Weta Workshop to describe the fictional bestiary in the film. A number of spin-offs from the remake's franchise include books, novels, comics and video games.


The billboard at the Odeon Leicester Square premiere

With a take of $9.7 million on its Wednesday opening day, and an opening weekend of $50.1 million, King Kong did not meet expectations of Universal Pictures executives. Some media outlets even considered the film to be a flop after its weak opening weekend, as at that point it was not on pace to make back its $207 million budget.[19] Its opening weekend of $50.1 million, while good for most movies, fell short of the inflated expectations caused by the movie's enormous budget and marketing campaign.

However, King Kong was able to hold its audience in the subsequent holiday weeks and ended up becoming a domestic hit, grossing $218.1 million at the North American box office (putting it in the top five grossing films of 2005 domestically).[20] King Kong fared much better in the international market, as it grossed $332.437 million outside North America, leading to a worldwide total of $550.517 million (putting it in the top five grossing films of 2005 worldwide).[21]

Other factors also affect a film's profitability besides box office sales, such as the DVD sales. King Kong, sold over $100 million worth of DVDs in the largest six-day performance in Universal Studios history.[22] As of April 3, 2006, King Kong has sold more than 7.5 million DVDs, accumulating over $140 million worth of sales numbers, domestically alone.[23] As of June 25, 2006 King Kong has generated almost $38 million from DVD rental gross.[24]. As well, in February 2006, Universal received $26.5 million from TNT/TBS and ABC for the television rights to the film.[25]

Thus, despite the film's inauspicious start at the box office, King Kong turned out to be very profitable. Ticket and DVD sales combined, the film earned well over $700 million,[26][27] becoming the fourth-highest grossing movie in Universal Pictures history.

Critical reaction

King Kong received a favourable critical response, garnering an 83% "Certified Fresh" approval rating among 'T-Meter Critics', and a 76% rating among 'Top Critics' on Rotten Tomatoes.[28] The most common criticisms of the film were due to excessive length, lack of pace, over-use of slow motion, and some obvious use of CGI effects. Positive critical reviews regarded it as one of the few good epics and all-round best movies of 2005. Roger Ebert gave the movie four stars, and listed it as the 8th best film of 2005.[29] Similarly, King Kong has been included in many critics' Top Ten of 2005 lists.[30] The film received four Academy Award nominations for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Art Direction, winning all but the last.[31] Entertainment Weekly called the depiction of Kong the most convincing computer generated character in film in 2005.[32] Some criticised the film for retaining racist stereotypes present in the original film, though it was not suggested that Jackson had done this intentionally.[33] King Kong ranks 450th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[34]

Possible 3-D release

Peter Jackson has expressed his desire to remaster the film in 3-D at some point in the future.[35] Jackson was also seen shooting with a 3-D camera at times during the shoot of King Kong.[36]

Cinematic and literary allusions

Jamie Bell's character is repeatedly shown reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, a novel about a journey into a primitive land and mankind's exploitation of fellow man. Jack Black and critics have noted Carl Denham's similarity to Orson Welles.[37] When Jack Driscoll is searching for a place to sleep in the animal storage hold, a box behind him reads Sumatran Rat Monkey — Beware the bite! - a reference to the creature that causes mayhem in Peter Jackson's film Braindead (1992)[38] (in that film, the rat monkey is described as only being found on Skull Island).

References to other versions of King Kong

  • Fay Wray, the original Ann Darrow, was asked by Peter Jackson to do a brief cameo in which she would utter the film's final line: "It was beauty killed the beast." At first she flatly refused, but then seemed to consider the possibility. However, she died shortly after her meeting with Jackson.[37] The line ultimately went to the character of Carl Denham, as in the original.
  • An ad for Universal Pictures is visible while Kong is tearing up Times Square. In the original film, an ad for Columbia Pictures appeared in the same spot, and the production designers replicated it, but Columbia asked for a large amount of money for its use, so effects artists replaced it.[38]
  • When Denham is considering who to play the part before meeting Ann, he suggests "Fay", but his assistant Preston replies, "She's doing a picture with RKO." Music from the 1933 original is heard, and Denham mutters, "Cooper, huh? I might have known." Fay Wray starred in the 1933 film, which was directed by Merian C. Cooper and released by RKO.[38]
  • When Carl Denham calls Bruce Baxter and Ann Darrow to film a scene on the deck of the ship, the shot is essentially identical to a scene between Ann and Jack Driscoll in the 1933 version.
  • In the original film, Merian C. Cooper made up an "Arabian proverb" about "beauty and beast". The 2005 remake repeats the fake proverb.[38]
  • Kong's New York stage appearance looks very much like a re-enactment of the sacrifice scene of the 1933 film, including the posts the 'beauty' is tied to and the nearly identical performance and costumes of the dancers. In addition, the music played by the orchestra during that scene is the original 1933 score by Max Steiner.[38]
  • The 1933 film featured an extended sequence in which several members of the party were devoured by massive spiders and insects after being shaken off a log into a ravine by Kong. This scene was pulled before release when Cooper decided it slowed the film down. Peter Jackson recreated the scene for the 2005 remake. He also paid homage to the spider pit sequence by recreating the scene using stop motion photography, which he included as an extra for the deluxe DVD release of the original 1933 film.
  • The battle between Kong and the final V. rex is almost move-for-move like the last half of the fight between Kong and the T. rex in the original 1933 film, right down to Kong playing with the dinosaur's broken jaw and then standing, beating his chest and roaring victoriously.[38]
  • After the crew captures Kong on the beach, Denham speaks a line from the 1933 film: "The whole world will pay to see this! We're millionaires, boys! I'll share it with all of you. In a few months, his name will be up in lights on Broadway! KONG, THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!" [38]
  • In the original film, director and co-director Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack appear in cameos as the pilot and rear-gunner who shoot Kong. In the 2005 film, Jackson plays one of the gunners; the pilot is played by Rick Baker, who played Kong (in a rubber suit) in the 1976 remake.[38]

Musical score

King Kong
Soundtrack by James Newton Howard
Released December 6, 2005
Recorded 2005
Genre Soundtrack
Length 74:27
Label Decca Records
Professional reviews
James Newton Howard chronology
Batman Begins
King Kong
Freedom land

The musical score for King Kong was composed by James Newton Howard. Originally Howard Shore, who worked for Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings, was to compose the score for the film and recorded several completed cues before he was removed from the project by Jackson. James Newton Howard joined the project with literally weeks to score and record more than three hours of music.[citation needed] Shore still makes a cameo appearance as the ill-fated conductor in the theatre from which Kong escapes. The film's record album was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Track listing

  1. "King Kong" – 1:09
  2. "A Fateful Meeting" – 4:16
  3. "Defeat Is Always Momentary" – 2:48
  4. "It's in the Subtext" – 3:19
  5. "Two Grand" – 2:34
  6. "The Venture Departs" – 4:03
  7. "Last Blank Space on the Map" – 4:43
  8. "It's Deserted" – 7:08
  9. "Something Monstrous… Neither Beast Nor Man" – 2:38
  10. "Head Towards the Animals" – 2:48
  11. "Beautiful" – 4:08
  12. "Tooth and Claw" – 6:17
  13. "That's All There Is…" – 3:26
  14. "Captured" – 2:25
  15. "Central Park" – 4:36
  16. "The Empire State Building" – 2:36
  17. "Beauty Killed The Beast (Part I)" – 1:59
  18. "Beauty Killed The Beast (Part II)" – 2:22
  19. "Beauty Killed The Beast (Part III)" – 2:14
  20. "Beauty Killed The Beast (Part IV)" – 4:45
  21. "Beauty Killed The Beast (Part V)" – 4:13

Home media

King Kong was released on DVD on March 28, 2006 in the United States. The three versions that came out were single disc fullscreen, single disc widescreen and a 2-Disc Widescreen Special Edition. The second disc of the Special Edition contains the remainder of almost all the production diaries not contained on the Peter Jackson's Production Diaries DVD set. The only missing episode is "13 Weeks To Go" which contained footage of Howard Shore recording the original score. It is still available on the website. King Kong was not released on VHS in the United States, but it was exclusively released on VHS in Germany.

The 3 disc Deluxe Extended Edition was released on November 14, 2006 in the U.S.A.,[39] and on November 1 in Australia.[40] Thirteen minutes were put back into the film, and a further 40 minutes presented alongside the rest of the special features. The film was spread onto the first two discs with commentary by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens, and some featurettes on Discs 1 and 2, whilst the main Special Features are on Disc 3. Another set was released, including a WETA figurine of a bullet-ridden Kong scaling the Empire State Building, roaring at the army with Ann in hand. The extended film amounts to 201 minutes in total.[41]

A special HD DVD version of King Kong was part of a promotional pack for the release of the external HD DVD Drive for the Xbox 360. The pack contained the HD DVD drive, the Universal Media Remote and King Kong on HD DVD.[42] It was also available separately as a standard HD DVD.[43] The film's theatrical and extended cuts were released together on Blu-ray Disc on January 20, 2009.[44]

Extended Edition scenes

The extended edition has 13 minutes of footage reincorporated into the film, over 230 new visual effects shots, and 40 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD.

The first major addition comes after the rescue team enters the jungle, in which they startle a Ceratopsian dinosaur and it goes on the rampage. Hayes shoots it and the scene ends on a reference to the original film as Carl and Herb film its tail in death throes.

The second major addition is a scene in the swamp where the rescue team on two rafts are first surrounded by swarms of Scorpiopede creatures, before an attack from an enormous serpentine Piranhadon fish (this is briefly seen in the teaser for the film). Three men are killed and Jack almost drowns. Carl captures the last death on camera (to the disgust of Lumpy) which he takes great pains to retain in the chaos. After exiting the swamp, Lumpy shoots an approaching sound in the thick foliage. Jack believes he has shot Ann, which turns out to be a large bird similar to a giant Moa (which may have been Jackson's fictional "Brutornis").

The insect pit sequence is extended with footage of the characters climbing out of the pit, notably including a monologue from Carl about the point of death, Jimmy finding Hayes's body and taking his cap to remember him, and Bruce Baxter killing more insects. There is also more film of Kong rampaging the native village while attempting to retrieve Ann. Kong chasing Jack's cab is extended. During the army's attack on Kong, he tramples a van containing a man who issues the fire command, and also knocks a van, with a commander insulting Kong, out of his way. The rest of the deleted scenes have unfinished effects, and are not incorporated into the film, but remain on the DVD set with individual introductions by Peter Jackson.


In January 2010 it was announced that Universal Studios[45] is working on the storybook of a sequel[46] to be shot in 3-D.[47]


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  43. ^ Highdefdigest
  44. ^ "'King Kong' to Roar on Blu-ray this January". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  45. ^ The King is Back! New Kong Ride Debuts at Universal This Summer!
  46. ^ King Kong Rises in 3-D at Universal Studios Hollywood
  47. ^ King Kong to rejoin Universal tours in 3-D

External links


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King Kong is a 2005 film and a remake of the 1933 classic of the same name. It concerns an amoral filmmaker and orphaned teen who, along with a beautiful vaudeville actress and the crew of a tramp steamer, seeks out a deserted, mythical island to shoot his next picture. The island proves to be far from a lush vacation in the tropics. Instead, Carl and his team are manhandled by savage natives, monstrous bugs and bats, dinosaurs, and a giant ape called Kong, who develops an attachment to the leading lady. This leads to tragedy when Kong is captured and brought to New York City, where he wreaks havoc in an effort to find her.

Directed by Peter Jackson. Written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Phillipa Boyens.


Ann Darrow

  • That's all there is. There isn't any more.
  • Good things never last, Mr. Denham.
  • It's me he wants!

Carl Denham

  • I'm not gonna let 'em kill my film!
  • What are they going to do, sue me? They can get in line!
  • There's still some mystery left in this world, and we can all have a piece of it. For the price of an admission ticket.
  • [after escaping angry studio executives] Don't worry, Preston, I've had a lot of practice at this. I'm real good at crappin' the crappers.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kong, THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!
  • "And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty, and beauty stayed his hand. And from that day forward, he was as one dead."
  • Goddammit, Preston, all you had to do was look her in the eye and lie!
  • Sorry, fellas, you're gonna have to do better than that. Monsters belong in B movies.
  • Defeat is always momentary.
  • Just as you go down for the third and final time, as your head disappears beneath the waves, and your lungs fill with water, do you know what happens in those last precious seconds before you drown? Your whole life passes before your eyes...and if you've lived as a true get to watch it all in color.
  • It wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.

Jack Driscoll

  • Isn't it obvious?
  • Stop, please! Stop! We have to turn back! They've taken Ann!
  • [noticing the disturbing effigy of Kong on Carl's map] What is that?
  • That's the thing you come to learn about Carl. His unfailing ability to destroy the things he loves.
  • Actors. They travel the world, but all they ever see is a mirror.

Captain Englehorn

  • [Jack has to sleep in a cage where animals have been kept] So what are you, Mr. Driscoll? A lion... or a chimpanzee?
  • We're leaving, and I want you off my ship.
  • [after saving Carl and the others from the vicious Skull Islanders] Seen enough?
  • [to Carl, who he has just saved from a slimy demise in the insect pit] That's the thing about cockroaches. No matter how many times you flush them down the toilet, they always crawl back up the bowl.


  • [to Hayes, after being told to run if they encounter any danger] I'm not a coward. I ain't gonna run.
  • Adventures on a tramp steamer, just like us!


  • [at the killing ground, where the hundreds of Kong's victims have been left to rot] It's a bleedin' boneyard! They've been ripped limb from limb!
  • There's only one creature capable of leaving a footprint that size... the Abominable Snowman.
  • [Hayes does a headcount for how many sailors are injured] Injured? Four of us are DEAD!


Zelman: [upon receiving word that Carl Denham has hired a ship to get to a location for his picture] What location, Carl?! You're supposed to be shooting on the back lot!
Carl Denham: Yes, I understand that. But fellas, we're not making that film anymore. Things have changed. The script has been rewritten. Life... intervened. I've come into possession of a map. The sole surviving record of an uncharted island-- thought to exist only in myth! Until now...
Zelman: Whoa. Carl. Slow down.
Sleazy Studio Guy: Is he asking for more money?
Thuggish Studio Guy: He's asking us to fund a wild goose chase.
Carl Denham: I'm talking about a primitive world... never before seen by man. That's where I'll shoot my picture.
Sleazy Studio Guy: Will there be boobies?
Carl Denham: Boobies?
Sleazy Studio Guy: Jigglies. Jiblonkas. Bazooms. In my experience, people only go to these films to observe the undraped form of the native girls.
Carl Denham: What are you, an idiot? You think they asked DeMille if he would waste his time on nudie shots? NO! They respected the filmmaker! They showed some class! Not that you'd know what that means, you cheap lowlife! God...
Zelman: Would you step out for a moment, Carl?
[Carl leaves the room and points to a glass of water] Gimme that!
Preston: You won't like it. It's non-alcoholic.
Carl Denham: [emptying the water into a plant pot] Preston, you have a lot to learn about the motion picture business. [he presses the glass against the door and listens intently]
Zelman: Don't get me wrong. Carl Denham's made some interesting pictures. He's had a lot of... near success.
Thuggish Studio Guy: He's a preening self promoter. Washed up, no talent. The guy's got 'loser' written all over him.
Zelman: Look, I know his project isn't working out as well as we planned, but--
Thuggish Studio Guy: This jumped up little turd's gonna bankrupt us!
Zelman: The animal footage has value.
Sleazy Studio Guy: Sure! Universal are desperate for stock footage!
Thuggish Studio Guy: Then sell it! Scrap the picture!
Zelman: (sighs) Get him back in.
Zelman's Assistant: Mr... Denham? [Carl and Preston have disappeared from the waiting room]

Carl Denham: Vaudeville, huh? I worked Vaudeville once. That is a tough audience. If you don't kill 'em fast, they kill you--
Ann Darrow: Mr. Denham. I want you to know that I'm not in the habit of accepting charity from strangers, or for that matter... taking things that don't belong to me.
Carl Denham: It was obviously a terrible misunderstanding.
Ann Darrow: It's just that I haven't been paid in a while--
Carl Denham: That's awful. Anyway, Ann. You wouldn't happen to be a size 4 by any chance? [Ann stands to leave] No, no. Oh God, no! You've got me all wrong. Ann, please! I'm not that type of person at all.
Ann Darrow: What type of person are you?
Carl Denham: I'm someone you can trust, Ann. I'm a movie producer. Believe me, I am on the level. No funny business. Please, sit down. Please, sit down. Please. [Ann reluctantly sits] I want you to imagine a handsome explorer bound for the Far East.
Ann Darrow: You're filming in the Far East?
Carl Denham: Singapore. On board ship he meets a mysterious girl. She's beautiful, she's fragile. Taunted. But she can't escape the feeling that forces beyond her control are compelling her down a road, from which she can not draw back. It's as if her whole life has been a prelude to this moment; this fateful meeting... that changes everything. And sure enough, against her better judgement...
Ann Darrow: She falls in love.
Carl Denham: Yes!
Ann Darrow: But she doesn't trust it. She's not even sure if she believes in love.
Carl Denham: Uh... really? Why is that?
Ann Darrow: Good things never last, Mr. Denham.
Carl Denham: So you're interested? Great. Now, I don't wanna rush you, but we are under some time pressure.
Ann Darrow: Well, I really--
Carl Denham: Ann, I'm telling you. You're perfect. Look at you, you're the saddest girl I've ever met. You're gonna make 'em weep, Ann. You're gonna break their hearts.
Ann Darrow: See, that's where you're wrong, Mr. Denham. I make people laugh, that's what I do. Good luck with your picture.
Carl: Wait! Ann, Miss Darrow, Please! I'm offering you money, adventure, fame, the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage! You wanna read a script? Jack Driscoll's turning in a draft as we speak.
Ann Darrow: Jack Driscoll?
Carl Denham: Sure, why? Wait... you know him?

Choy: This room very comfortable. Plenty dim light, fresh straw.
Jack Driscoll: What do you keep down here?
Choy: Lion, tiger, hippo, you name it.
Jack Driscoll: You sell 'em to zoos?
Choy: Zoo, circus. Skipper get big money for rare animal.
[Jack steps in a steaming pile of camel dung]
Choy: Careful! Camel have bad accident on floor. Stain unremovable.

Carl Denham: [while filming a herd of Brontosaurs] Walk forward, Bruce.
Bruce Baxter: What?!
Carl Denham: You're the star of this picture, now get into character and hit toward the animals!
Bruce Baxter: Are you sure about this, Denham? Don't we have a stand-in for this type of thing?
Carl Denham: I need you in the shot or people will say they're fake.
Bruce Baxter: Oh, nobody's gonna think these are fake!

Captain Engelhorn: You wanna trap the ape?
Carl Denham: Isn't that what you do? Live animal capture? I heard you were the best.

Carl Denham: [after Englehorn turns the ship away from Denham's course] One more week. That's all I'm asking. Please. I haven't got a film yet. I've risked everything I have on this trip.
Captain Engelhorn: No, Denham. You've risked everything I have.
Carl Denham: What do you want? Tell me what you want, I'll give you anything!
Captain Engelhorn: I want you off my ship.

Carl Denham: [contemplating his arrest] I'm finished.
Jack Driscoll: How did you think this would end, Carl?
[In the cabin, the ship's compass spins wildly and points in all directions]
Captain Englehorn: Chart our position. Use the stars.
Hayes: There are no stars, captain.
Jack Driscoll: [examining the map] What is that?
Carl Denham: What?
Jack Driscoll: That, right there.
Carl Denham: (sarcastically) I don't know. What is it, a coffee stain? (looks at the map and sees the disturbing effigy of Kong)

Hayes: [recognising Jimmy, he confiscates the gun] Jesus, Jimmy!
Jimmy: Hey, I need that!
Hayes: I'm not giving you a gun!
Jimmy: You were younger than me when they gave you one!
Hayes: I was in the army. I was trained. I had a drill sergeant!
Jimmy: I have a drill sergeant. He orders me around all the time.

Bruce Baxter: Heroes don't look like me, not in the real world. In the real world they got bad teeth, a bald spot and a beer gut. I'm just an actor with a gun, who's lost his motivation. Be seein' ya.

[the boat is leaving the dock, and Carl has forced Jack to accompany him because he hasn't finished the script]
Jack Driscoll: God damn it!
Carl Denham: I keep telling you, Jack. There's no money in theatre.

Carl Denham: I'll give you another thousand if you leave right now.
Captain Englehorn: You haven't given me the first thousand yet.
Carl Denham: I'll make it worth your while...
Captain Englehorn: There's nothing out there.
Carl Denham: Then you've nothing to lose.

Captain Englehorn: [after saving Carl, Jack, Jimmy and Preston from oversized insects] That's the thing about cockroaches. No matter how many times you flush them down the toilet, they always crawl back up the bowl.
Carl Denham: Hey buddy, I'm out of the bowl. I'm drying off my wings and trekkin' across the lid!

Carl Denham: $2000 is the deal. Will you take a check?
Captain Englehorn: Do I have a choice?

Carl Denham: Bring the tripod and all of the film stock.
Herb: You wanna go to the six-inch lens?
Carl Denham: [he considers the size of Kong, who he has just seen for the first time] Wide-angle will do just fine.

Jimmy: Why does Marlow keep going up the river? Why doesn't he turn back?
Hayes: There's a part of him that wants to Jimmy. A part deep inside himself that sounds a warning. But there's another part that needs to know. To defeat the thing which makes him afraid. We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember because we were traveling in the night of first ages of those ages that are gone leaving hardly a sign, and no memories. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there, there you could look at a thing monstrous and free.


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