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Empire State Building

Movie King Kong Merian C. CooperandErnest B. Schoedsack (1933)
King Kong climbing the Empire State Building in front of passers-by, while in the distance approach planes is undoubtedly the most mythical association between a building and a character from pop culture. An episode in the history of the Big Apple, even if it's all fiction...
Empire State Building à New York
Empire State Building à New York. Crédit photo : Fantrippers.

“Groooooar”

King Kong

At the dawn of the 20th century, much of the planet remained stale. The creatures that can be found there inspire the public as well as the first filmmakers who are committed to exploiting this fascination.

Preceded by the documentaries of the Lumière brothers and by works such as those of Georges Méliès or films Tarzan of the Apes and The Lost World, King Kong clearly played on the public interest in great apes, at a time when great apes were still rare in zoos.

Merian C. Cooper himself had been passionate about these animals since he read the stories of the French-American explorer Paul Du Chaillu as a child.

Based on a screenplay partly developed by the writer Edgar Wallace, King Kong went into production under the direction of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.

The two men are filming simultaneously with the same team, the film The Most Dangerous Game, at night, while the day is dedicated to King Kong. Four gorillas are built, as well as a model of the top of the Empire State Building for the final sequence in which King Kong fights planes after taking his beautiful to the top of the building.

Only two versions of these dummy gorillas were saved. One was also acquired by Bob Burns and Peter Jackson, when he made his own remake in 2005 and the other was sold at auction in London in 2009.

Second scene of the Empire State Building in King Kong Empire State Building in New York

A huge success, King Kong forever marked New York and the Empire State Building, even though the giant gorilla and skyscraper never met.

Today, he pays tribute every day to a specific cause by changing the colors of the lighting of his top floors. At the top of the Empire State Building, where Tom Hanks once met Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, it’s possible to to tosse New York, before offering a King Kong souvenir, not forgetting to stop at the 80th floor observatory refurbished in 2019.

On the course, we find the beast during the mythical scene but also other great works that have put the place in the spotlight. More than a monument, an institution… A movie star!

134.000

This is the auction price in 2009 of the King Kong metal frame that was used for this mythical scene.

Scene from the Empire State Building in King Kong
Photo credit: RKO Radio Pictures
Second scene of the Empire State Building in King Kong
Photo credit: RKO Radio Pictures
Third scene of the Empire State Building in King Kong
Photo credit: RKO Radio Pictures

Empire State Building

A true star of the New York skyline, the Empire State Building has inspired many authors and has appeared in numerous works.

One of his works stands out in particular and has left its mark on generations of film lovers: the film King Kong (1933). The mythical Art Deco building, inaugurated in 1931, is one of the most famous buildings in t... Learn more about Empire State Building

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Fantrippers

By Gilles Rolland

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Fantrippers Buying Board

New York's guide to the 100 cult places for 2019 films, series, music, comics and novels

Guide New York to 1000 cult movies, series, music, comics and novels locations

Guide New York to 1000 cult movies, series, music, comics and novels locations NEW EDITION Discover New York differently with our best seller in a new edition enriched with many new places of worship, thirty courses, new photos and anecdotes in 640 exciting pages. The barracks of Ghostbusters,the famous bridgeOnce upon a time in America,the Katz Delicatessen of When Harry met Sally…,the building of Friends, Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in Sex and the City, Superman’s Daily Planet, Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel, the subway station of the legendary music video Bad by Michael Jackson, the places evoked in the novels of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Paul Auster, Marc Levy, Guillaume Musso… DISCOVER NEW YORK IN A NEW AND ORIGINAL CONCEPT

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