Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's Favorite OTR

King Kong

I recently got hold of a copy of a very nicely done audio adaptation of the best movie ever made—the original King Kong. I don’t think this is actually an old-time radio production. My understanding is that is was produced for release on a long-playing record in the early 1960s.

But what the hey—it’s close enough to OTR and it really is pretty good. With a running time of 36 minutes, it has to condense and rearrange the story somewhat. But it manages to do so intelligently and effectively.

Captain Englehorn, the skipper of the ship that takes everyone to Skull Island, is the narrator and point-of-view character. That makes him a more active character than he was in the movie as he accompanies the rescue party into the jungle after Ann Darrow is taken by Kong. (In the movie, he stayed behind at the native village to keep the gates open.)

There another small change from the movie that’s interesting to analyze. In the movie, movie-maker Carl Denham was a long-time friend of Englehorn and first mate Jack Driscoll. In this version, though, he’s hired them for the first time and his personality clashes with both seamen (especially Driscoll) much more strongly than in the film. In fact, he and Driscoll get into a fist fight at one point.

This change works quite well in this shorter version of the story, as it acts to build up a sense of tension even before they all reach the island.

There are other differences in details between the film and the audio play, but the play keeps the general plot intact. Writing, acting and sound effects are all good and we are left with an alternate but still entertaining version of the saga of the world’s most famous giant ape.

Click HERE to listen or download.

1 comment:

  1. It's quite good, but I'm not sure why some online listings claim it's a "1938" radio show, as it was not from radio, and not from 1938. But it is fun and worthwhile.


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