"Put me down!...You Goddamn male chauvinistic pig ape!"
Description: Jessica Lange as Dwan shouts at the 40-foot ape that plucks her off the ground in the motion picture King Kong (1976). When her insults and struggling enrage the ape, she apologizes, “I didn‘t mean that! I swear I didn’t. Sometimes I get too physical; it’s a sign of insecurity, you know? Like when you knock down trees....you're a nice ape, nice sweet, sweet monkey."
Dwan is an aspiring actress. When a yacht explodes at sea, Dwan takes to a raft and is rescued by a passing ship owned by the Petrox Corporation. The ship is heading to a island recently discovered via infrared imagery in the Indian Ocean.
When the actress revives, she explains, "I'm Dwan. D-W-A-N, Dwan. That's my name. You know, like Dawn, except that I switched two letters to make it more memorable...You know we're going to be great friends. I'm a Libra. What sign are you? I bet you're an Aries. Aren't you? Of course you are. I knew it. That's just wonderful."
The crew of the Petrox Explorer consists of:
- Captain Ross (John Randolph).
- Carnahan (Ed Lauter), the ship's First Mate.
- Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin), an executive of the Petrox Oil Company and leader of the expedition that hopes to find vast deposits of oil on the fog-shrouded island.
- Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges), a primate paleontologist who sneaks on board the vessel because he wants to see the island first-hand an ape beast that is rumored to live on the island. When Jack is discovered, he is put in the brig, but later when Wilson verifies he actually is a scientist, Jack is made the expedition's photographer. Jack offers his knowledge of the island with the following explanation:
"And I'm not so sure human feet have never walked on that island before. you see, in 1605, Piero Frenandez DeQuerez was blown south from Timetang. He wrote in his log of piercing the white veil. That's obviously the could bank - And landing on the beach of the skull... Where he heard the roar of the greatest beast. The rest of that log entry unfortunately was suppressed by the Holy Office in Rome...In 1749, a waterlogged lifeboat was found in the same area, it was empty, but drawn in blood on the thwart was the likeness of some huge, slouchy humanoid thing. And this trange warning... "From the wedding with the creature who touches Heaven, lady, God preserve thee." I also heard of a note in a bottle written by a dying Japanese submariner in 1944. I haven't been able to track that one down."
When the Petrox Explorer arrives at their destination, a small party of crew members leave the ship to investigate the island. ("Let's not get eaten alive on this island. Bring the mosquito spray.") Wilson does find petroleum, but it is such a poor grade, he decides it won't be profitable for commercial use.
Meanwhile, the crew encounter a huge island fortress that is the home of the island natives. The wall's size broadcasts the message that either the island natives like their privacy or they fear something that lives in the nearby jungles.
As the crew of the Petrox spy on a native sacrificial ceremony, they are spotted and brought to the leader of the island who is fascinated with the beautiful, blonde haired actress. They allow the crew member to return to their ship but subsequently kidnap Dwan and sacrifice her to the island god, a huge ape that the natives call Kong.
When the giant 40-foot ape emerges from the jungle, it goes to the sacrificial altar where Dwan wriggles in fear. The ape snatches the frightened, screaming victim and returns to the jungle.
The crew of the Petrox lead an expedition into the jungle to rescue Dwan, but all but two are killed when Kong tosses them into a deep crevice. Prescott and Boan survive. Prescott pushes on to find Dwan, while Boan returns to the ship.
"Take plenty of TNT when you go inland. Any sign of a monkey bigger than four feet, send him bang-bang." -Fred Wilson
Kong returns his captive to his jungle lair where he is fascinated with the tiny creature. He begins to feel affection for Dwan, perhaps like a human would towards a favorite pet. But in Kong's case it is love.
Suddenly, a giant snake attacks and Kong wrestles with it as Prescott arrives on the scene and snatches Dwan away. Kong gives chase as Prescott and Dwan desperately stumble through the island jungle to the safety of their ship.
When Prescott and Dwan reach the beach, Wilson has prepared a surprise for the immense simian...a large pit filled with chloroform gas. When Kong succumbs to the gas, Wilson, who saw no profit from the oil the island decides to secure Kong and take the creature back to the states, put the ape on display and reap a tidy financial reward.
Arriving in New York, Wilson cages Kong and markets the captive ape as "King Kong," who now sports a crown on its head. But when Dwan is surrounded and hounded by photographers at the sight, Kong believes she is in danger and breaks loose of his cage.
Prescott and Dwan flee across the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan and seek refuge in an abandoned bar. As Kong works his way through the concrete corridors of New York City in search of Dwan, he steps on and kills Wilson, the leader of the Petrox expedition that brought Kong to this strange new world.
Eventually, Kong recaptures Dwan and climbs to the top of the World Trade Center to seek asylum from the people who pursue him.
Kong and Dwan spend a quiet moment on the top of the world, but suddenly Kong is attacked by flame throwers and military attack helicopters. The great ape fights valiantly against the modern technology sent to kill it, but in the end, Kong falls to his death hundreds of feet below.
Feeling only compassion and grief for Kong, Dwan rushes down to the streets to be with her mighty Ape whom she now considers a friend and protector. Kong broken and battered body lies in a pool of blood as once again photographers and news reported move in to record this moment for posterity.
Note: The motion picture King Kong (1976) is a remake of the original 1933 film featuring stop-motion animation by Willis O'Brien who brought the towering ape to life for people seeking entertainment during the Depression of the 1930s.
In 2005, Peter Jackson, the director of the extremely successful film franchise The Lord of the Rings (2001), rebooted the franchise with his own vision of the giant ape.