King Kong (1933) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

  • Carl Denham needs to finish his movie and has the perfect location; Skull Island. But he still needs to find a leading lady. This 'soon-to-be-unfortunate' soul is Ann Darrow. No one knows what they will encounter on this island and why it is so mysterious, but once they reach it, they will soon find out. Living on this hidden island is a giant gorilla and this beast now has Ann in it's grasps. Carl and Ann's new love, Jack Driscoll must travel through the jungle looking for Kong and Ann, whilst avoiding all sorts of creatures and beasts.

  • Carl denham, a 30s photographer, is making a show called "skull island". His final chance for success lands him into going to the actual island. along the way, he invites explorer, John discroll, and tap-dancing actress, Ann Darrow, only to discover the island is home to prehistoric life and kong, a 25-foot tall gorilla that can outfight any monster on earth.

  • In 1933, the bold and successful filmmaker Carl Denham travels by ship with a large crew, his friend Jack Driscoll and the starlet Ann Darrow to an unknown island to shoot a movie. The local natives worship a huge gorilla called Kong and they abduct Ann to offer her in a sacrifice to Kong. Jack Driscoll, who is in love with her, Carl Denham, who aims to capture the animal for an exhibition in New York and part of the crew hike into the jungle, where dinosaurs live, trying to rescue Ann. King Kong falls in love for Ann and protects her against the dangers. But the gorilla is captured and brought to New York. In the middle of a show in Broadway, King Kong escapes, bringing panic to the Apple city.

  • Master showman Carl Denham has fallen on hard times due to the depression, and mounts an expedition to the mysterious Skull Island to find another showpiece. He takes along adventurer Jack Driscoll and the down-on-her-luck gorgeous blonde Ann Darrow with him to spice up the show. Arriving on the island, they discover it is home to gigantic beasts like dinosaurs, and ruling over all is Kong, a 30 foot tall gorilla. The natives kidnap Ann as a sacrifice for Kong, and the other crew members head into the dangerous island interior to rescue her.

  • Carl Denham is a producer and director of adventure films specializing in remote and exotic locations. He sets off to a remote island, uncharted except for a map he purchased from a seaman. He hires a ship and with the star of his film, Ann Darrell, he sets off to Skull Island where there supposedly lives a large ape known as Kong. Thie island itself is is divided and the giant ape lives behind a great wall. Whe the local islanders kidnap Ann to offer her as a sacrifice, Denham and John Dricsoll set off to rescue her. It's obvious that Kong is fascinated with Ann and means her no harm but Dehnam gasses the beast and transports it to New York where he puts it on display. When it manages to escape, it terrorizes the city, climbing to the top of the Empire State building where it must confront air force planes trying to shoot it down.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • In 1933, in New York harbor Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), a fierce independent film director famous for shooting animal pictures in remote and exotic locations, who is also a shifty showman, has recruited a bunch of macho seamen but is unable to hire an actress for his newest project His usual agent Charles Weston (Sam Hardy) refuses to supply anyone because of the dangerous nature of the expedition, so Carl goes wandering in the streets of New York searching for a suitable girl.

    He chances upon starving unemployed Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), as she is caught trying to steal an apple. Denham is taken with her, pays off the grocer , then buys her a meal and tries to convince her to join him on the adventure of a lifetime, offering her the lead in his project. Although Ann is apprehensive, she has nothing to lose and agrees.

    They set sail aboard the Venture, a tramp steamer, and travel for weeks in the direction of Indonesia, where Denham claims they will be shooting.

    Despite his ongoing declarations that women have no place on board ships, the ship's first mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot) is obviously becoming attracted to Ann. Denham informs Driscoll he has enough trouble without the complications of a seagoing love affair. Driscoll sneers at the suggestion, reminding Denham of his toughness in past adventures.

    Denham's reply outlines the theme of the movie he is making: "The Beast was a tough guy too. He could lick the world, but when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft. He forgot his wisdom and the little fellas licked him."

    One afternoon Carl wants to practice filming with Ann. As he rolls the camera, he tells her first to look around relaxed, then to look puzzled, surprised, look upwards, then further upwards, terrorized and speechless, finally to scream loudly for her life, while staring at the most horrifying thing she has ever seen . . .

    After maintaining secrecy for weeks, Denham finally tells Driscoll and Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher) that they're searching for an uncharted island shown on a map in Denham's possession. The island has three labeled features: "peninsula", "jungle", and "Skull Mountain". Denham has the only map that shows the location, originally drawn by a native of the island who had been swept out to sea.

    Denham then describes something monstrous connected to the island, a legendary entity known to the islanders only as "Kong". The Captain has heard of something with that name.

    As the Venture creeps through the fog surrounding the island, the crew hears drums in the distance.

    Arriving at the island's shore, they see a native village on a peninsula, cut off from the bulk of the island by an enormous wall.

    A landing party, including the filming crew and Ann, goes ashore and encounters the natives, who are about to hand over a girl to Kong as a ritual sacrifice.

    Although Denham, Englehorn, Jack and Ann are hiding behind foliage, the native chief (Noble Johnson) spots them and approaches. Captain Englehorn is able to understand the native speech, and at Denham's urging makes friendly overtures to the chief. However, another tribe member (Steve Clemento) rushes up to the chief and tells him that the presence of outsiders has spoiled the ceremony. While translating this to the rest of the party, Englehorn says he must be the witch doctor.

    The chief then gets a clear look at Ann, and he begins speaking with great energy. Englehorn translates this as, "Look at the golden woman!" The chief proposes to swap six native women for Ann, an offer Denham delicately declines as he and his party edge away from the scene, assuring the chief that they will return tomorrow to get better acquainted.

    Back on the Venture, Jack and Ann openly express their love for each other. When Jack is called away to the captain's quarters, a stealthy contingent of natives captures Ann, takes her back to the wall, where she is presented to Kong in an elaborate ceremony, leaving her tied to columns behind the wall.

    Kong emerges from the jungle and is revealed to be a giant gorilla.

    The Venture crew returns to the village and open the huge gate on the wall; half of the crew then go after Kong, encountering an enraged stegosaurus, a brontosaurus, and a territorial apatosaurus. They get on a makeshift raft to cross a body of water, which is upended by a giant plesiosaurus.

    Up ahead in a jungle clearing, Kong places Ann in a high cleft of a tree, then goes back and confronts his pursuers as they are crossing a ravine on an enormous log. Kong shakes them off into the ravine, with only Driscoll and Denham surviving.

    Driscoll, continues the chase while Denham returns to get help.. Kong has become smitten with Ann, and Driscoll faces a challenge to save her from the beast and avoid being killed himself.

    Meanwhile, a tyrannosaurs rex approaches a terrified Ann, whose screams alert Kong, who rushes back and confronts the tyrannosaurus. The titanic fight between the two ends when Kong pries open the dinosaur's jaw until it breaks.

    Kong takes Ann up to his mountain lair, where a plesiosaurus emerges from a bubbling swamp and tries to strangle Kong, who kills it as well.

    Kong then inspects his blonde prize and begins to caress her, tearing off pieces of her clothing and tickling her.

    Jack interrupts the proceedings by knocking over a boulder. When the gorilla leaves Ann to investigate the noise, a pteranodon swoops from the sky and clutches Ann in its talons. A final fight ensues and the pterodactyl is dispatched.

    While Kong is distracted, Jack rescues Ann and takes her back to the village. To escape, at one point, they must jump into a deep pool of water many feet below.

    Kong chases them, breaks through the large door in the wall and rampages through the village, killing many natives.

    Denham hurls gas bombs at Kong, knocking him out, whereupon he exults in the opportunity presented: "He's always been King of his world. But we'll teach him fear! We're millionaires, boys! I'll share it with all of you! Why, in a few months, his name will be up in lights on Broadway! Kong! The Eighth Wonder of the World!"

    The next scene shows those last words in lights on a theater marquee. Along with hundreds of curious New Yorkers, Denham, Driscoll and Ann are in evening wear for the gala event. The curtain lifts, and Denham presents a subdued and shackled Kong to the stunned audience.

    All goes well until photographers, using the blinding flashbulbs of the era, begin snapping shots of Ann and Jack, who is now her fiancé. Under the impression that the flashbulbs are attacking Ann, Kong breaks free of his bonds and escapes from the theater, as the screaming audience flees.

    He rampages through city streets, destroying an elevated train and killing several citizens. He looks into windows, his glaring eyes looming in the windows of the wrecked elevated train

    Kong sees Ann in an upper floor hotel room, he reaches in the window, grabs her, and carries her to the top of the Empire State Building. The military dispatches four Curtiss Helldiver biplanes to destroy Kong.

    The ape gently sets Ann down on the building's observation deck and climbs atop the upper mast, trying to fend off the attackers.

    He manages to swat one plane down, but he is mortally wounded by machine-gun fire and plummets to his death in the street below.

    Denham picks his way to the front of the crowd, where a cop remarks "Well Denham, the airplanes got him."

    Denham replies, "It wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast."

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