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King Kong in Cinerama; Merian C. Cooper's Grand Idea; Edited
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:41 am    Post subject: King Kong in Cinerama; Merian C. Cooper's Grand Idea; Edited Reply with quote

EDITED.

This is a drawing of Merian C. Cooper's planned production of "King Kong" in three-strip Cinerama. Cooper had, of course, created the movie "King Kong," and his support of the then-proposed Cinerama before it was put into production for its first film "This is Cinerama," made Cinerama happen.

Coincidentally, Cooper directed and co-produced that first Cinerama film.

Here is one of the rarest drawings, by Willis O' Brien, I've come across of the proposed Cinerama version of "King Kong." Ernest B. Schoedsack, who'd co-directed Kong and the 1949 "Mighty Joe Young," was scheduled to direct it.

Cooper had previously backed the Technicolor process and company and along with his pal and investor Jock Whitney, made another fortune in that successful venture. He did okay with Cinerama, too.

Here is the drawing for the never-made Technicolor, Cinerama version of Kong:

http://www.cineramaadventure.com/kingkongincinerama.jpg

Here's a photo, from before the 1933 original Kong, of Cooper, seated on one or more camels, and Schoedsack -- the tall guy in the pith helmet, and two natives with the cooperative camel -- all three of whom are otherwise unidentified. The three camels in the photo were never identified.

http://www.cineramaadventure.com/cooper+schoedsack.jpg

Cooper:

http://www.cineramaadventure.com/cooper_m_1.jpg

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Steve Yohe:

As a huge original-"King Kong" fan, I hope you enjoy these.

Here are the voices (and in Merian Cooper's case, footage of his honorary Academy Award speech) of Ernest Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper. The tape-recording of Schoedsack was unknown until recent years and Robert Armstrong and Ruth Rose are also heard.

I haven't yet listened to the full Schoedsack recording because I just found it but it's well worth a listen.

Keep in mind that Cooper was born and raised in the South and never lost his accent.

Schoedsack's recording -- and quite a few great anecdotes (I know of no sound-film of him that survives):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMLIn8UTQ-E

Here is Cooper at the Academy Awards; Charles Brackett is presenting Cooper his Oscar for his contributions to film-making, his first two documentaries, for his help in the development of modern Technicolor and of the original Cinerama. There are few films of Cooper talking. Here is one of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt8cREjwZrk

Also, for the very first Academy Awards, there were two best-picture categories; one was "Unique and Artistic Picture." This was not an honorary award, but a voted-on genuine version of "best picture." In subsequent years it was combined with "best picture."

Here were the nominees with the full titles of their films:

Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack for Paramount Pictures "Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness"

William Fox for Fox Film Corporation "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans"

Irving Thalberg for MGM "The Crowd"

William Fox won, but it was still a hell of an honor to be a best-picture nominee at the first Oscars.

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is footage of Willis H. O'Brien, who created the special effects for King Kong. In this film of the Academy Awards ceremony in 1950,, "Mighty Joe Young" and RKO Pictures and Arko Pictures (a partnership of Merian Cooper and John Ford) win the Oscar for special effects.

O'Brien is seen accepting the award for his work on Mighty Joe Young. He was a man of many words...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svr4giOnmos

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANOTHER King Kong motion picture, as JDW noted in the main thread, is coming next spring. The film's title, currently, is "Kong: Skull Island."

This one, at this time, is listed as having four screenwriters, 93 producers and stars Toby Kibbell of this summer's Ben-Hur infamy and Samuel Jackson, and will be released by Warner Bros. It is or was to be filmed in Australia, Hawaii, Vietnam, and Los Angeles.

Digital photography is the mode of recording this thing. Apparently Godzilla makes some sort of guest appearance.

Jackson has his signature line in the film; "...or I'll blow your head off."

Here's a trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD31Zh0398s

Where's Merian C. Cooper when ya need him?

Ken
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Filming finished earlier this year. It may have some re-shoots / additional shots.

The four writers isn't a problem. The original Kong had four writers from Story stage to actual Screenplay credits. Borenstein is knee deep in the KongZilla universe, doing the last Godzilla which most fans of the monster genre liked quite a bit. His job was/is to tie things into a "universe" that the studio is doing. Having others come in to polish or doctor is pretty common.

Kibbell is down the list of stars - he's Jackson's #2. The real stars are Tom Hiddleston, Jackson, John Goodman and Brie Larson.

Not a bad signing of Larson before she won the Oscar (this Feb) and before Disney/Marvel signed her to be their first woman to lead one of their comic movies (signed in June to star in Ms. Marvel). Hiddleston is of course over rather big to fans of these types of spectacles thanks to Marvel.

I thought the trailer would suck, but it's pretty decent in fitting into the KongZilla vibe. We all know that you're just not going to be able to do the original movie, so the best is something that's respectful of the original while also trying to find a tone that works now. The recent Godzilla did that rather well.
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Huston, the great director and screenwriter, once noted: " "There is a willful lemming-like persistence in remaking past successes time after time.

"They can't make them as good as they are in our memories, but they go on doing them and each time it's a disaster. Why don't we remake some of our bad pictures ?... "


As applicable to day as when he said in the last century.

Ken
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jdw
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They've been remaking Kong for decades. I don't care for any of them, but I also don't have the place in my heart for the original like Steve does. Great movie, but not a transcendental thing in my life as was pretty clear from my poking fun at Steve with the Kong-Godzilla pics in the other thread.

I do have a soft spot for Godzilla in my heart since my brother and I liked them when we were kids. So I tend to separate Original Kong (and the sequels that try to remake it) with the Godzilla-Toho Kaiju universe Kong. The Legendary KongZilla universe is a play on that one.

Like I said, the 2014 Godzilla was respectful of the original, and frankly a better movie than probably any of the Toho Kaiju movies that I've seen, though one can debate it with the original. From the trailer, it looks like the Kong will be respectful of the original, but also fitting it into a KongZilla universe. I don't have a problem.

I tend to crap on most remakes, and regularly bemoan the lack of creativity in much of Hollywood. But it's the nature of the beast that's been going on since the start.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

King Kong and The Destroyer are the two biggest things in my life. They even look like each other.---Steve Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think John has ever seen King Kong in a theater. It's a lot different than watching a cut up version on TV. If he hadn't been around me, he wouldn't even think about it. Seeing these movies on a big screen really changes the way you think. You know....if you think.---Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I did at the wonderful Rialto. It wasn't a transcendental movie for me. I was more blown away seeing The Seven Samurai in that same theater. And a number of other movies.

Hell, the Rialto itself meant more to me in my teens and early 20s than King Kong did. :)

It's a great movie. I'm not going to deny it. I just don't have a special place in my movie heart for it like Godfather, Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back, Casablanca, The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Close Encounters, Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur, etc.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was at the Rialto all the time. I eat next door at Golden China.---Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Golden China was brand new in my first year of college. Good lord does that make me feel old.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are old!---Yohe
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supposedly the entire 1910 version of Frankenstein. It's older than any of us. Filmed by The Thomas Edison Co.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcLxsOJK9bs

Ken
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Ken Viewer



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KING KONG has been in the process of being adapted to being a Broadway musical -- NOT KIDDING -- and first opened as a live-attraction show in Australia in 2013.

Today, the New York Times reported that playwright Marsha Norman has parted company with the producers. She is the latest of several writers who've tried to turn the movie into a musical. Yes, a musical.

Women have traditionally been attracted to writing scripts for Merian C. Cooper's story and movie, and co-director Ernest Shoedsack's wife, Ruth Rose, co-wrote the original screenplay, for which she claimed she had been paid only $25 (again, not kidding -- this was before the Writers Guild of America was formed to represent screenwriters).

Whether Broadway's writers' union, the Dramatist's Guild, will give credit to Cooper for the original story and characters, is unknown. Of course, whether the musical ever gets to the Broadway stage is also unknown.

King Kong keeps attracting producers, directors and fans and has long-ago outlived Cooper. It seems to rank up there with films that have become immortal.

Monkey business has always been profitable.

For today's New York Times report, this link should work:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/theater/king-kongs-latest-victim-the-writer.html

Ken
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