Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

King Kong - Episode No 3

King Kong

Episode No. 3

Mar 04 1933



DENHAM, filmmaker

DRISCOLL, first mate

ANN, beauty

ENGELHORN, ship captain


IGNATZ, the beast



6:30 - 6:45 P. M. MARCH 4, 1933 SATURDAY


NARRATOR: We present the third episode in the new and thrilling adventure series entitled "King Kong," based on a story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace. This is a story which has never been told before!

Carl Denham, the famous travel picture director has heard by chance of a mysterious island in an uncharted portion of the Southern Ocean. He decides to try to find it and make a picture there. He hires an old tramp freighter and a likely crew, keeping them in ignorance of their destination.

His earlier pictures had been criticized because they lacked romance. He decides that this time he'll have love interest and that he'll take an actress along - a young and pretty face - one that the public will love. The New York Theatrical agents had failed to find a girl willing to go on such a hazardous and mysterious voyage. Denham decides to find the girl himself.

Jostling through the Broadway theatre crowds, searching for a face, he is bitterly disappointed. On one of the forties, just off Broadway he stopped to buy cigarettes at one of those hole-in-the-wall fruit stands. A girl came softly up to the apple stand and a slim white hand closed slowly and hungrily about the red fruit. The proprietor accused her of trying to steal his apples. She protests. Denham takes her part and settles with the proprietor for a dollar bill. He buys Ann some food and suddenly realizes how beautiful she is. This is the girl he has been looking for.

I'm going to ask Mr. Denham to carry on the story - Mr. Denham.

MR. DENHAM: I'll never forget the thrill that Ann's face gave me at that moment. It was more than beautiful. The features were well-moulded and clearly defined. The eyes were large and incredibly blue - the sly humor in her mouth - the courage of her lifted chin! I outlined the proposed trip to her and offered her the job. She accepted. There was just time to buy her some badly needed wardrobe, in a midnight Broadway shop - and we grabbed a taxi to the dock in Hoboken where "The Wanderer" was tied up!

I showed Ann her quarters and then turned in for the night vastly pleased with my good luck. We were to sail at six in the morning and long before that time Ann was up in the fo'c'sle head, watching the preparations -


DRISCOLL: Carry that line aft! Aft, you farmer! Back there!

ANN: (MEEKLY) He's not very bright, is he?

DRISCOLL: (TURNING) Who the - what are you doing up here?

ANN: I just wanted to see!

DRISCOLL: (GRUFFLY) You're supposed to be sleeping.

ANN: I couldn't sleep. It's too exciting.

DRISCOLL: You're the girl Denham found at the last minute, aren't you?

ANN: Yes. I'm a little bewildered by it. It all happened so suddenly. And I've never been on a ship before.

DRISCOLL: And I have never been on a ship with a woman before.

ANN: I guess you don't think much of women on ships, do you?

DRISCOLL: Not to make any bones about it, they're usually cock-eyed pests!

ANN: I'll try not to be.

DRISCOLL: You got in the way once, already. Better stay below.

ANN: What! The whole voyage?

DRISCOLL: (HESITATES - THEN IN A SOFTENED TONE) You can come up once in a while.

ANN: Thank you. What's your name?

DRISCOLL: Driscoll - first mate!

ANN: Thank you, Mr. Driscoll.


DRISCOLL: Well, we're off -

ANN: We're off!

DENHAM: Yes, Ann. We're off.

ANN: Oh, good morning, Mr. Denham.

DENHAM: I thought I ordered you to sleep the clock around?

ANN: I couldn't. I was much too excited to sleep.

DENHAM: I see you've got acquainted with some of the crew already.

ANN: Yes - I've met Mr. Driscoll, the mate. He seems a little ----- uncontrollable.

DENHAM: Oh Jack's all right. He just isn't used to women, that's all.

ANN: Look! Look at that darling little monkey down there on the deck!

DENHAM: That's Ignatz! He's very peaceable and friendly. Come along. You might as well get acquainted with him. He's our mascot.

ANN: Listen to him chatter.


DENHAM: And this is Lumpy. Lumpy is the oldest member of our crew - and the wisest. Lumpy!

LUMPY: Yes sir.

DENHAM: This is Miss Darrow - Miss Ann Darrow.

LUMPY: Glad to meet ye.

DENHAM: I'll run up fore and leave you in Lumpy's care.

ANN: So, you're Lumpy?

LUMPY: Kerrect as kin be. And this - she's Ignatz.

ANN: Is Ignatz yours?

LUMPY: Yes - practically. I've had her for nigh on to six years now. But I've never been able to make up my mind whether she belongs to me or I belong to her. Monkey's, miss, is very possessive.


ANN: What marvelous knots you make with that rope.

LUMPY: It's easy -

ANN: What do you call that one?

LUMPY: That's a running bow-line. Like to learn?

ANN: Yes - I would.

LUMPY: Well, you take this end.

ANN: This one?

LUMPY: That's right. Now, you make a loop. (BUS) Good. Now up - and over - and through...there you are.

ANN: Why look at that!

LUMPY: That knot'll never slip.

ANN: (PULLING AT IT) I guess I can remember how it's done. Oh, Lumpy. Just smell the salt air. Isn't it wonderful to be here?

LUMPY: Ruther be blowing foam off a tall one in Curley's place any day - and I'll betcha Ignatz here'd think the top of a cocoanut tree nineteen times wonderfuler. But everyone to their own taste, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.

ANN: Oh, of course. It won't always be as lovely. I suppose when the sea is rough it's pretty bad.

LUMPY: It's better when you can order the weather, (WHISTLE BLOWS) and working hours!

ANN: Good-bye, Lumpy. I'll look after Ignatz while you're busy.



DENHAM: The days slipped by uneventfully. We were all warmed to laziness by the tropic sun. The Wanderer's blunt and barnacled nose split the warm oily expanse with a matter of fact precision. The foamy crests rolled along her rusty flanks and were lost in the narrowing wake astern. All waters were alike to the Wanderer. Every last one was made to be split and rolled back along rusty hulls. All you needed was the power to do the splitting and so far as the Wanderer was concerned, that flowed from her engines with the fidelity of the tides. We put the Atlantic far astern. The slow drift through the Panama Canal was finished, too, along with the long slide to the Hawaiian Islands, to Japan for more coal, past the Philippines, past Borneo, past even Sumatra.

The crew was getting uneasy, though, about our destination. I began to understand what Columbus went through when he tried to keep quiet a restless crew. Ann, however, never questioned, never doubted. Her faith comforted me.

We were headed south and west. The time was morning. The weather was hot. It was so hot that the crew wore only such garments as the presence of a lady demanded.

Lumpy, sprawling in the shade alongside the inert Ignatz, was as naked as a Sioux down to his waist. From his waist hung a pair of frayed trousers that stopped halfway between his sharp old knees and his sharper ankles. Jack Driscoll and I encountered him in conversation with Ann.

LUMPY: Yer gitting to be quite a sailor, ain't yer?

ANN: I'd like to be.

LUMPY: Still like the sea?

ANN: I've been aboard six weeks and I like it more every day (MONKEY CHATTERS) Let me hold Ignatz.

LUMPY: He's purty fond of yer.

DENHAM: (FADING IN) There's a great picture, Jack. Beauty and the Beast.

DRISCOLL: Well, I never thought old Lumpy had much on looks, but he hardly warrants that.

DENHAM: Not him, Jack. Ignatz. See how quiet he is. He never was that quiet before. Not even in old Lumpy's arms. Beauty! Beauty and the Beast. It certainly is interesting. It most certainly is.


DENHAM: You'll find out in plenty of time, Jack. Good morning, Ann.

ANN: Good morning, Mr. Denham - and Mr. Driscoll.

DENHAM: Ignatz is very friendly with you.

ANN: He likes me more than anyone else aboard, don't you Iggy?


DRISCOLL: Suppose we make a few screen tests of you, Ann. Let's find out where we stand. Go down into the cabin and get into a costume. Capt. Engelhorn will show you where the boxes are. Dig out anyone you like. By the time you get it on the light'll be good for testing.

ANN: I won't be a minute, Mr. Denham.

DENHAM: (HALF ALOUD) Beauty and the Beast.

DRISCOLL: She seems like a fine girl.

DENHAM: I'd swear to that, Jack.

DRISCOLL: Not the kind you usually find on a trip like this.

DENHAM: A lot better.

DRISCOLL: I - I wonder if she really ought to be going, Mr. Denham?

DENHAM: What do you mean?

DRISCOLL: Mr. Denham, I'm going to do some butting-in.

DENHAM: What's your trouble, Driscoll?

DRISCOLL: When do we find out where we're going?

DENHAM: (SMILING) Pretty soon now.

DRISCOLL: Are you going to tell us what happens when we get there?

DENHAM: How can I? I'm no fortune-teller.

DRISCOLL: But you must have some idea what you're after.

DENHAM: Going soft on me, Jack?

DRISCOLL: You know I'm not for myself. But Ann----

DENHAM: Oh, you're gone soft on her? I've got enough on my hands without a love-affair to complicate things. Better cut it out, Jack.

DRISCOLL: Why should I?

DENHAM: (MUSING) It never fails. Some big hard boiled egg goes goofy over a pretty face and bingo! He cracks up and gets sappy.

DRISCOLL: Who's getting sappy? I haven't run out on you, have I?

DENHAM: Nope, you're a tough guy, Jack. But if beauty gets you.. (HE STOPS, THEN LAUGHS A LITTLE) Why, I'm going right into a theme song!

DRISCOLL: What are you talking about?

DENHAM: It's the idea I'm building my picture on. The Beast was a tough guy...tougher than you or anybody ever written about. Jack, he could lick the world. But when he saw Beauty, she got him. He went soft. He forgot his wisdom. And the little fellers licked him. Think it over, Jack.

LUMPY: (COMING UP) Mr. Denham. The skipper says will you please come up on the bridge? We've reached the position you marked, he says.

DENHAM: Come on, Jack. You're in on this. You wanted to know where we were going. Follow me. I'm going to spill it. (PAUSE) Hi there, skipper!

ENGELHORN: Meet Mr. Denham. You've got to tell me what we do now. Look at this chart. Here's our position. Two South, Ninety East. You promised me some information when we reached these latitudes.

DENHAM: (LOOKING AT CHART) 'Way west of Sumatra. That's right! Way west of Sumatra.

ENGELHORN: And way out of any waters I know. I know the East Indies like my own hand. But I was never around this place before.

DRISCOLL: Where do we go from here?

DENHAM: South-west.

ENGELHORN: South-West? But that way there is nothing--nothing for thousands of miles. What about food? So many in the crew makes the food go fast. And water? And coal?

DENHAM: Take it easy, Skipper. We're not going much more than around the corner from here. Take a look at this map, will you. (SPREADS IT) There's the island we're looking for.

ENGELHORN: Now we can get its position. Mr. Driscoll. Fetch the big chart.

DENHAM: You won't find that island on any chart, big or little, skipper. All we've got to go by I've shown you here. This picture and the position, both made up by a friend of mine, the skipper of a Norwegian barque.

DRISCOLL: He was kidding.

DENHAM: No. Listen. A canoe with natives from this island was blown out to sea. When my Norwegian barque picked them up only one was alive. He died before they reached port, but not before his story had enabled the skipper to piece together a description of the island and a fairly good idea of where it lies.

DRISCOLL: Where did you get hold of it?

DENHAM: Two years ago, in Singapore. I'd known the Norwegian skipper for years. He was sure I'd be interested.

ENGELHORN: Does he believe the native's story, this Norwegian?

DENHAM: Who cares? I do. Why shouldn't I?

Do you think a picture as detailed as that could grow out of the imagination? See, here's what the island looks like.

Here's a long sandy peninsula---a mile or two in extent. In front of the peninsula a reef is indicated with a tortuous passageway. The only possible landing place is through this reef. The rest of the shore-line is sheer precipice, hundreds of feet high. This precipice marks the edge of a dense growth which covers the many square miles comprising the rest of the island. Above the dense upland growth, and seemingly from the center of it, rises a mountain whose crudely drawn outline suggests a skull.

DRISCOLL: What's that across the base of the peninsula?

DENHAM: That detail, is most curious and most startling. Cutting the peninsula off from the rest of the island, is a wall.


DENHAM: And what a wall! Higher than a dozen men, and impregnable. It stretches across the base of the peninsula serving as a mighty barrier against who or what might attempt to come down the precipice from the back country.

DRISCOLL: When was this wall built?

DENHAM: Built so long ago that the descendants of the builders have slipped back into savagery. They have completely forgotten the remarkable civilization which erected the shield on which they now depend. But the wall is as strong today as it was ages ago. The natives take care that it never grows weak. They need it.


DENHAM: Because there's something on the other side--something they fear.

ENGELHORN: A tribe of enemies, I guess.


ENGELHORN: What then?

DENHAM: Give me a cigarette, will you Driscoll.

DRISCOLL: Here you are sir.

DENHAM: Thanks. (PAUSE) Did any of you ever hear of - Kong?

DRISCOLL: Kong? No, I don't think I ever did.

ENGELHORN: Kong? Why - yes. A Malay superstition isn't that it? A God, or devil, or something?

DENHAM: Something, all right. But neither man nor beast. Something monstrous. All powerful. Terribly alive. Holding that island in the grip of deadly fear, as it held those intelligent ancestors who built the mighty wall.

DRISCOLL: Aw - bunk!

DENHAM: I tell you there's something on that island. Something no white man has ever seen. Every legend has a basis of truth.

ENGELHORN: Do you expect to photograph it?

DENHAM: If it's there - you bet I'll photograph it.

DRISCOLL: (VERY SKEPTICAL) Suppose it doesn't like to have its picture taken.

DENHAM: Suppose it doesn't? Why do you suppose I brought those gas bombs?

NARRATOR: Denham turned and stared into the Southwest. Skeptical though he was and anxious for Ann, Driscoll could not resist staring too. In spite of himself his eyes sparkled with a restless excitement. The skipper, though he chewed tobacco, placidly, realised that they were face to face with a great adventure.


The next episode in the amazing story of King Kong comes to you at the same time next Monday evening.


ANNOUNCER: This is the National Broadcasting Company.




Our listeners in the vicinity of New York City may be glad to know that King Kong is of such tremendous interest that it is now being presented at the Radio City Music Hall AND the new RKO-Roxy Theatre for one week.