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KING KONG – Max Steiner

October 12, 2015 1 comment

kingkongsteiner100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director and screenwriter Merian Cooper awoke one night from a nightmare of a giant gorilla terrorizing New York City. The nightmare served as the catalyst for conceiving a film, which would pit the giant gorilla against a Komodo dragon and other beasts. He pitched his idea to R.K.O. executive David Selznick who saw opportunity to lift the struggling studio out of debt and tasked Cooper with both producing and directing the film. To save money he would use stop-motion animation, as well as the huge jungle stage that had been built for The Most Dangerous Ground (1932) rather than shooting on location. A screenplay was crafted by Cooper, James Creelman and Ruth Rose, which secured Selznick’s blessing. The cast would include Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham, Bruce Cabot as John Driscoll, Frank Reicher as Captain Englehorn, and Noble Johnson as the native chief. The story offers a classic “Beauty and the Beast” tale, which takes place in 1932 and is set in New York City. Famed filmmaker Carl Denham has conceived his most audacious film yet, which will be shot on an isle of legend – the uncharted Skull Island where resides an enormous best of unfathomable power. He finds Ann Darrow, a young actress down on her luck and offers her a role of a lifetime, starring in his new film to be shot on an exotic South Seas island. She jumps at the opportunity and they set sail on the Venture for Skull Island. Read more…

KING KONG – James Newton Howard

December 16, 2005 1 comment

kingkongOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

There was much controversy surrounding Peter Jackson’s new version of King Kong from the get-go. Initially, there was surprise that the Oscar-winning director would choose this film as his follow up to the massively successful Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then, there were stories of unrest amongst the cast and crew, the need for re-shoots, and the film not playing well with test audiences. Finally, almost as a final insult, original composer Howard Shore had his score rejected at the eleventh hour, officially as a result of “differing creative aspirations”. This left new composer James Newton Howard with less than six weeks to write a replacement score. Many in the industry were worried as to whether Newton Howard could pull it off – but the truth of the matter is that composers often write their best music when under enormous pressure, and King Kong is very much an example of that. The score is, in my opinion, a qualified success. Read more…