Memorable Movie Quotes: KING KONG (1933)

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king-kong-1933

Kong sees Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) for the first time in KING KONG (1933).

Welcome back to MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES, that column where we look at great quotes from great movies.  Up today, one of the true classics, the original KING KONG (1933).

When you think of KING KONG, the first thing that comes to mind are the awesome stop-motion effects of Willis O’Brien and his special effects team.  These amazing effects which brought Kong to life remain impressive today.

But the screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose, based on an idea by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace is a strength in its own right. Rose also wrote the screenplay to the later Willis O’Brien giant ape hit, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), the film which introduced the world to the special effects of Ray Harryhausen, who worked on O’Brien’s team for YOUNG.

KING KONG contains lots of memorable lines of dialogue, including one of the most famous final lines in the history of the movies.

Let’s have a look:

Most of the memorable lines in KING KONG are spoken by Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), the adventurous movie maker who sets out to make an unforgettable movie and then switches gears after seeing Kong, deciding that he’s going to capture the giant ape and bring him back to civilization.

The notable dialogue starts in the very first scene, where Denham argues with his casting agent Charles Weston (Sam Hardy) over whether it’s safe or not to bring a woman on this particular voyage.  Also present and taking part in the conversation are ship’s Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher) and First Mate Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot).

Weston says the voyage is too dangerous for a woman, to which Denham scoffs that women face more danger in New York than they ever will with him, causing Driscoll to smirk and make this quip:

CARL DENHAM:  Listen, there are dozens of girls in this town tonight that are in more danger than they’ll ever see with me.

JACK DRISCOLL: Yeah, but they know that kind of danger.

 

Frustrated over Weston’s lack of cooperation, Denham decides to take matters into his own hands, saying as he prepares to leave the ship:

CARL DENHAM:  Listen – I’m going out and make the greatest picture in the world. Something that nobody’s ever seen or heard of. They’ll have to think up a lot of new adjectives when I come back.

 

Of course, Denham does find Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) on the streets of New York City, and he hires her to be in his new movie.  Later, on the ship, he has Ann dress in costume so he can photograph her.  Seeing that Denham is photographing her himself, she asks him:

ANN: Do you always take the pictures yourself?

DENHAM:  Ever since a trip I made to Africa. I’d have got a swell picture of a charging rhino, but the cameraman got scared. The darn fool, I was right there with a rifle! Seems he didn’t trust me to get the rhino before it got him. I haven’t fooled with a cameraman since; I do it myself.

kong-denham-filming-ann

Denham (Robert Armstrong) filming Ann (Fay Wray) on the deck of the Venture.

And later, when Denham reveals to Englehorn and Driscoll his belief that there’s something monstrous living on the island, something named Kong, something that he intends to photograph, it leads to this captivating conversation:

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN:  And you expect to photograph it?

DENHAM:  If it’s there, you bet I’ll photograph it!

JACK:  Suppose it doesn’t like having its picture taken?

DENHAM:  Well, now you know why I brought along those cases of gas bombs

 

Once Kong appears in the movie, the dialogue takes a back seat to the incredibly intense and rapid fire action scenes.  Kong has taken Ann, and Denham and his men follow in hot pursuit but have to deal not only with Kong but with man-eating dinosaurs.

Once Jack heroically rescues Ann from Kong’s clutches, and returns her to Denham and the remaining crew, safely behind the other side of the giant wall, it leads to this bit of dialogue, one of the most dramatic verbal sequences in the entire movie:

DENHAM:  Wait a minute, what about Kong?

JACK:  Well, what about him?

DENHAM:  We came here to get a moving picture, and we’ve found something worth more than all the movies in the world!

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN:  What?

DENHAM:  We’ve got those gas bombs. If we can capture him alive…

JACK:  Why, you’re crazy. Besides that, he’s on a cliff where a whole army couldn’t get at him.

DENHAM:   Yeah, if he stays there…[looks at Ann]  but we’ve got something he wants.

JACK:  Yeah. Something he won’t get again.

kong-ann-rescue

Jack (Bruce Cabot) rescues Ann (Fay Wray) but Denham (Robert Armstong) knows she isn’t quite safe yet:  Kong will want her back.

 

Once Denham has captured Kong, he boasts:

DENHAM:  Why, the whole world will pay to see this.

CAPTAIN ENGLEHORN:  No chains will ever hold that.

DENHAM:  We’ll give him more than chains. 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, it’ll be up in lights on Broadway: Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Yup, it’s the famous line which first mentions Kong as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” a phrase that has stuck with the movie and the Kong character through the decades.

This theme continues when Denham introduces Kong to his sold out audience in New York City:

DENHAM:  And now, ladies and gentlemen, before I tell you any more, I’m going to show you the greatest thing your eyes have ever beheld. He was a king and a god in the world he knew, but now he comes to civilization merely a captive – a show to gratify your curiosity. Ladies and gentlemen, look at Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World.

And of course KING KONG ends with one of the most memorable lines in movie history ever. After the epic conclusion atop the Empire State Building, we find Denham in the crowd on the ground looking at Kong, preparing to utter his immortal closing line:

POLICEMAN:  Well, Denham, the airplanes got him.

CARL DENHAM:  Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.

Cue Max Steiner’s classic music score.

king-kong-empire-state-building

“What?  I don’t get the final line in my own picture?” Kong laments.

KING KONG is a classic of adventure/horror movie cinema, filled with eye popping special effects and a superior script.  Ironically, the film’s biggest star other than Kong, Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, is most famous not for her lines of dialogue but for her nonstop screams of fright throughout the movie, which says a lot for Wray’s acting abilities, because she is a true star of this film, and unlike Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham and Bruce Cabot as Jack Driscoll, she makes her mark not with memorable lines of dialogue but with nonstop reaction shots, as she’s Kong’s prisoner for nearly the entire movie.

That being said, there are plenty of memorable lines of dialogue in KING KONG.  We looked at some of them in this column.  Hope you enjoyed them.

Thanks for joining me for this edition of MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES.  Join me next time when we look at more fun quotes from other classic movies.

—Michael

Books by Michael Arruda:

TIME FRAME,  science fiction novel by Michael Arruda.  

Ebook version:  $2.99. Available at http://www.neconebooks.com. Print version:  $18.00.  Email your order request to mjarruda33@gmail.com. Also available at Amazon.com.

IN THE SPOOKLIGHT, movie review collection by Michael Arruda.

InTheSpooklight_NewText

 Ebook version:  $4.99.  Available at http://www.neconebooks.com.  Print version:  $18.00.  Email your order request to mjarruda33@gmail.com. Also available at Amazon.com.

FOR THE LOVE OF HORROR, short story collection by Michael Arruda.  

For The Love Of Horror cover

Ebook version:  $4.99.  Available at http://www.neconebooks.com. Print version:  $18.00.  Email your order request to mjarruda33@gmail.com. Also available at Amazon.com.  

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IN THE SPOOKLIGHT: HORROR EXPRESS (1972)

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Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in HORROR EXPRESS

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in HORROR EXPRESS

This IN THE SPOOKLIGHT column on the Christopher Lee – Peter Cushing horror movie HORROR EXPRESS (1972) is now up in the April edition of the HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER.

It’s a reprint of a column which originally was published in the HWA NEWSLETTER in April 2006.  And remember you can read all of my IN THE SPOOKLIGHT columns in my IN THE SPOOKLIGHT EBook, available now at www.neconebooks.com.

HORROR EXPRESS is one of my favorite Peter Cushing-Christopher Lee movies, and I had fun writing about this one.  Hope you enjoy it.

—-Michael

 

IN THE SPOOKLIGHT

By

Michael Arruda

 

You gotta see HORROR EXPRESS (1972), at least once, anyway.

Though it stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, it’s not a Hammer Film, and this actually works in the film’s favor, because as a result of not being part of the “Hammer formula” it’s offbeat and refreshing.  It’s an international production, Spanish-British, filmed just outside Madrid at a studio that Christopher Lee described in his autobiography Tall, Dark, and Gruesome as “unspeakable.”   “The food was deadly, salmonella the principal sauce,” Lee wrote.

HORROR EXPRESS was written and directed by Gene (Eugenio) Martin on the same train sets from the movie NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1971), which the producer owned.

Christopher Lee plays anthropologist Sir Alexander Saxton who brings a fossil of what he hopes will be the missing link on the Trans-Siberian Express.  The frozen remains of the “man-ape” causes a stir before it even makes it onto the train.  A thief attempts to break into the crate housing the fossil, but ends up dead and inexplicably blind.  Peter Cushing plays rival scientist Dr. Wells, also on board the train.

Once the train starts moving, the monster escapes from the crate and the fun begins. 

Perhaps the most fun part about this movie is the script by director Gene Martin.  HORROR EXPRESS is not your run of the mill monster on the loose movie.  The script fills the tale with twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout.  It turns out, that the monster is not just an ape-man creature gone amok.  There’s much more going on here, which I won’t give away. 

The monster itself is quite chilling looking with frightening make-up and glowing red eyes.

You can’t talk about HORROR EXPRESS without talking about the performances.  The whole cast is good, particularly Alberto de Mendoza as the priest, Pujardov, and Julio Pena as the police inspector.  Of course, you have Lee and Cushing, and the most fun part about their performances in this movie, is that, unlike most of their films, where they’re adversaries, one the good guy, the other the villain, here, they work together against a common enemy.  They’re both given star screen time too, it’s not like one’s the star, and the other just has a cameo.  They’re both on screen doing their thing, and it’s tons of fun watching them work together taking on a deadly creature.

HORROR EXPRESS is also blessed with an abundance of humor.  For instance, in one scene, Cushing approaches his middle-aged female assistant to help him with an autopsy, and he says, “I shall need some assistance.”  She glances at the young woman he’s been having dinner with on the train and says, “Well, at your age, I’m not surprised.”

And just when you think the film can’t get any more unpredictable, who shows up but TELLY SAVALAS (!!!) (Yes, the original KOJAK himself!) as the ruthless Cossack, Captain Kazan, who stops the train with his regiment of brutal soldiers. 

Savalas gets to ham it up and deliver lines like, “The devil must be afraid of one honest Cossack,” (Or was that, “The devil must be afraid of one honest Cossack, baby?”).  The only thing missing is the lollipop in his mouth.  He even gets to bully Lee and Cushing.  It’s great stuff.  You’ll never forget it.

The film has a gory, bloody conclusion.  In fact, there’re generous amounts of blood and gore throughout HORROR EXPRESS.

There’s also a haunting music score by John Cavacas.

 Ready for a vacation?  Take a trip on the HORROR EXPRESS.  You’ll have fun, but be wary of bald Cossacks sucking lollipops.

 —END—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE SPOOKLIGHT: THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

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The Invisible Man's grand entrance

The Invisible Man’s grand entrance

Here’s my review of the Claude Rains classic THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933), another sample from IN THE SPOOKLIGHT, my collection of horror movie columns now available as an EBook from NECON EBooks at www.neconebooks.com.

This review was originally published in the HWA NEWSLETTER in April 2002.

Enjoy!

—Michael

 

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

“I meddled in things man must leave alone.”

            One of the most famous lines in classic horror cinema.  Who said it?  No, it wasn’t Colin Clive.  [He got to shriek the most famous of all- “It’s alive!” in FRANKENSTEIN (1931)].

            It was Claude Rains in THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933).

            THE INVISIBLE MAN is not always mentioned in the same breath with FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA (1931), or THE WOLF MAN (1941).  Nonetheless, it’s a topnotch horror film that entertains from beginning to end.

            Directed with flair by James Whale, the man who brought us FRANKENSTEIN and its superior sequel THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), THE INVISIBLE MAN is full of the stuff that makes old black and white horror movies so magical.  Take the Invisible Man’s first entrance, for example.  The tavern door swings open, and through the entrance steps a mysterious man in a trench coat, his head and face completely bandaged.  All noise within the tavern ceases.  The only remaining sound is the howl of the swirling blizzard winds outside.

            The screenplay, by R.C. Sheriff, is a nice adaptation of the H.G. Wells novella.  It tells the story of Dr. Jack Griffin (Claude Rains), a scientist who becomes invisible when he uses his invisibility formula on himself.  Unfortunately, the concoction also drives him mad, and he causes a reign of terror over the countryside.

            Claude Rains, in his starring debut, excels as Dr. Griffin, a.k.a. the Invisible Man.  Enough cannot be said about an actor who steals a movie just by using his voice!  Rains’ voice dominates the film, capturing Griffin’s madness perfectly.

            And Rains is supported by a fine cast.  Gloria Stuart, nominated for an Oscar in 1998 for her supporting role in TITANIC (1998), plays the leading lady who’s in love with Griffin.  Her father is played by Henry Travers, most famous today for his portrayal of the angel in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946).  Also on hand are Una O’Connor at her shrieking best, and E.E. Clive as the befuddled police constable.  Even Universal favorite Dwight Frye makes an appearance, as does John Carradine in a quick snippet on the telephone!

            The special effects by John P. Fulton are amazing.  They’re incredibly fun to watch.

            THE INVISIBLE MAN is full of humorous moments.  My favorite is the scene where the screeching old lady runs down the street.  As she disappears off camera, we see the reason she is screaming.  Along the road comes skipping a pair of pants, and we hear Claude Rains’ voice singing, “Here we go gathering nuts in May, nuts in May, nuts in May—.”

            And director Whale doesn’t skimp on the horror either.  THE INVISIBLE MAN contains one of the scariest murder scenes in all classic horror.  Griffin captures the cowardly Dr. Kemp and binds him in his car at the edge of a cliff.  He then tells Kemp in gruesome detail what’s going to happen to him when he pushes the car over the edge.  As the vehicle plunges from the cliff, we hear Kemp’s high-pitched shrieks just before the car hits bottom and explodes.  Chilling.

            Since it’s that time of year again, and we’re all thinking about the best horror works of the year, why not check out one of the best horror movies of all time?  THE INVISIBLE MAN.  A classic chiller that is high quality entertainment all the way.

            “This will give them a bit of a shock.  Something to write home about.  A nice bedtime story for the kids too if they want it!”  — Claude Rains as the Invisible Man.

(April 2002)