Kong Unbound: The Cultural Impact, Pop Mythos, and Scientific Plausibility of a Cinematic Legend

Overview

In 1933, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack, and Willis O'Brien created more than movie magic. King Kong is a pop-cultural icon and a central part of American mythology. But more than just another "Beauty and the Beast" tale, Kong Unbound also allows us to examine such themes as:

  • The Great Depression and ...
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New York, New York, U.S.A. 2005 Soft Cover New 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Featuring Essays by Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg, Harry Harrison, Pat Cadigan, Alan ... Dean Foster, David Gerrold and Many More. Soft Cover (Grade A++) No names or markings. Introduction, Preface, Foreword by Ray Bradbury. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In 1933, Merian C. Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack, and Willis O'Brien created more than movie magic. King Kong is a pop-cultural icon and a central part of American mythology. But more than just another "Beauty and the Beast" tale, Kong Unbound also allows us to examine such themes as:

  • The Great Depression and America's place in the world
  • Kong as Avatar of Repressed Sexual Energy
  • Kong as a Symbol of Slavery and Racism
  • Kong as Alternate Paleontology
  • The Triumph of Technology over the Natural World

These themes and more are explored in this wonderful collection of insightful essays by:

Ray Harryhausen
Ray Bradbury
Karen Haber
Richard A. Lupoff
Christopher Priest
Robert Silverberg
Jack Williamson
Harry Harrison
William Stout
Paul Di Filippo
Esther M. Friesner
Howard Waldrop
Frank M. Robinson
Pat Cadigan
David Gerrold
Philip J. Currie
Joe DeVito
Alan Dean Foster
William Joyce
Michael Chabon
Maurice Sendak

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416516705
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 5.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Foreword: Kong Reverie

Ray Bradbury

I'm here to praise Kong because it influenced me for most of my life, and when Dino De Laurentiis' man in the ape suit appeared, my rage could not be concealed. Instead of a virgin beauty, they depicted an unclad lady of the night with not a single virtue as cover-up. I dubbed it "The Turkey That Attacked New York."

When I was sixteen, my dream was to re-film Kong, providing it with color, which had just appeared at that time; I wanted to see those lovely monsters portrayed in vivid hues. Beyond that, there is no reason to change the perfection of Merian C. Cooper's screenplay.

Kong's perfection is its expectations, its feelings of apprehension from the very start. This peaks when during the ship's voyage Carl Denham directs Ann Darrow to stare at the empty sky and then shriek with terror. From there on, scene following scene, the film builds to the appearance of Kong himself, and then Kong dominates the action to the finale.

Willis O'Brien's animation has never been equaled. When you consider that it was created in 1932, when most modern technologies were unavailable, some of the film's scenes are totally astonishing, such as when Carl Denham's men try to cross a log bridge and Kong lifts the log and shakes the men free to fall to their deaths.

The whole thing has a perfection that I, as a screenwriter, can only admire, for I have seen the film dozens of times in the seventy years since its initial screening.

One of the great nights of my life occurred twenty years ago at the fiftieth anniversary of the premiere of King Kong. Ray Harryhausen, the world's greatest living animator, attended with me in a yellow Packard limousine. And these two boys — for that's what we still are — rolled up in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre and were twelve years old again.

There in the forecourt was a huge Kong model. We leaped out of the limo and ran into Kong's embrace. At that moment Fay Wray burst from the crowd and ran to hug and kiss us. This energy and this exultation describes how Kong has continued to affect our lives.

With its casting, writing, and direction, you have a film that will continue to be screened to the end of this century and beyond.

The peak in our lives occurred last year when Ray Harryhausen took Fay Wray to the top of the Empire State Building and once more declared his love, and our love, for this dear woman.

Kong will prevail far into the future and I, as his defender, will be there to the last.

Ray Bradbury

Los Angeles, March 2005

Foreword: "Kong Reverie" copyright © 2005 by Ray Bradbury.

Copyright © 2005 Universal Studios Licensing LLLP.

Universal Studios' King Kong movie © Universal Studios, Kong The 8th

Wonder of the World™ Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface

Ray Harryhausen

Foreword: Kong Reverie

Ray Bradbury

Introduction: Kong Transcendent

Karen Haber

Kong Is Us

Richard A. Lupoff

Fay Wray, the Pulp Tradition, and the Moral Minority

Christopher Priest

The Magic and Mystery of Kong

Robert Silverberg

King Kong: A Parable of Progress

Jack Williamson

A Myth for All Seasons

Harry Harrison

Kong: The First Wonder of My World

William Stout

The Myth Goes Ever Downward: The Infantilization, Electrification, Mechanization, and General Diminishment of King Kong

Paul Di Filippo

Give Beast a Chance

Esther M. Friesner

"The Bravest Girl I Ever Knew..."

Howard Waldro

King Kong-My Favorite Nightmare

Frank M. Robinson

Dating Kong: The Stop-Motion Animated Rape Fantasy

Pat Cadigan

King Kong: The Unanswered Questions

David Gerrold

Kong Long to King Kong

Philip J. Currie

King Kong: A Kid's Tale

Joe DeVito

Rooting Against the King

Alan Dean Foster

On Kong: A Conversation Among William Joyce, Maurice Sendak, and Michael Chabon

About the Authors

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