|Fig.1 King Kong Poster|
"Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes', it was beauty killed the beast". The last famous lines from one of films most prominent and influential blockbusters. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack's 'King Kong' (1933), a stand out film with a story full of adventure and stuffed full of social context. Expressing views on gender, race, ethnicity with a dash of sexual connotations, all of which are buried beneath the action packed and special effects fuelled storyline.
Ann Darow, King Kong's scream queen. Played by Fay Wray, Miss Darrow is captured by the beast and taken through the jungle, seen as a helpless onlooker as Kong battles fiendish beasts, and simultaneously fending off Darrow's fellow human companions.
'Kong cares for his captive human female, protects her, attacks only when provoked, and would be perfectly happy to be left alone on his pacific island' (Ebert, 2002)
A looming metaphor of man, Kong is a brute. A brute that is mesmerised by the beauty of a woman.
Instantly Kong claims Miss Darrow as his own. He protects and cares for her. This is seen within his bouts of rage and battles with a T-Rex and an oversized serpent, each provoking him, testing his 'masculinity' finding out who is the bigger man.
Throughout the film Kong stands tall as the king of his own land. A figure with an almighty sense of power. This is until he is captured and shipped off to the city of New York. Chained to a crucifix-esque stand, and showcased to thousands of innocent yet curious city dwellers, Kong is now the helpless one. A complete role reversal.