It was called a number of things in its fifty years of existence, but the RKO Forty Acres (which actually measured just over twenty-eight) was above all a prolific movie and television studio located in Culver City, California. It started off as a film studio during the silent era that continued prominent use in sound films including Gone With The Wind, The Magnificent Ambersons and King Kong. Later, it was widely used for television shows like Bonanza, The Adventures of Superman and, most prominently, The Andy Griffith Show. It even got used in a number of classic Star Trek episodes (and be sure to visit this site for some nice screen caps revealing Enterprise crew members walking around Mayberry). The RetroWeb has a very thorough history of the studio, complete with prodigious pictures.
In the 1933 movie King Kong, the titular hero kills a group of sailors by throwing them off a log. But some were supposed to have survived the fall, only to meet a gruesome end at the bottom of the ravine. When King Kong was edited, this terrifying scene was lost. So director Peter Jackson decided to re-create it! The Lost Spider Pit Sequence [more inside]
The men of "King Kong: The Musical" perform "Big Spender" The song was performed at a performance of Twisted Broadway: Melbourne. Twisted Broadway is a charity fundraising organization based on New York’s ‘Broadway Backwards’, an annual charity every raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; Twisted Broadway will continue to raise money for research and developmental programs for people living with HIV/AIDS through Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. [more inside]
Universal Horror: history of the early horror films made by Universal Studios such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong, The Mummy and many more. Directed by Kevin Brownlow. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh. 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7
And how did DVDs get commentary tracks? Let Bob tell you: You have to understand how much of this stuff is accidental. I knew the guy who was the curator of films at the LA County Museum of Art, and I brought him to New York to oversee color correction. He’s telling us all these amazing stories, particularly about King Kong, because it’s his favorite film. Someone said, “Gee, we’ve got this extra sound track on the LaserDisc, why don’t you tell these stories?” He was horrified at the idea, but we promised we’d get him super stoned if he did, and he gave this amazing discussion about the making of King Kong, which we released as the second sound track.... [via snarkmarket] [more inside]
How would the military really kill a giant monster? The excellent Danger Room blog considers the problem in a two part post. Of course, if you want to find out how giant your monster is first, you may want to consult this discussion comparing monster heights.
She has screamed her last. Fay Wray has died at the age of 96. Which pretty much rules out her having a cameo in Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong.
Foreigners are plotting to revisit an ancient menace upon New York, and indeed the whole country! I would have thought this sort of terror was something that could have been left in the past.