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King Kong - Episodes 8 & 9

King Kong

Episodes 8 & 9

Mar 25 1933

Mar 27 1933







NOTE: For the sake of clarity, some of the more obvious spelling and punctuation errors in the original typewritten script have been corrected.





TIME: 6.30 - 6.45 PM 




We present the eighth episode in the new and thrilling adventure series entitled "King Kong", based on the 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, from an old Norwegian skipper of a mysterious island in the Pacific. He organizes an expedition and sets sail, taking with him a girl to provide the love interest for his picture.

When the expedition arrives the girl is kidnapped by the natives and offered as a sacrifice to the mighty ape Kong. Denham and the first mate, Jack Driscoll, organize a rescue party and start out into the jungle after the girl whose golden beauty seems to have stilled the savage instinct of Kong. They encounter a reptilian pre-historic monster. Carl Denham is with us now and I'm going to ask him to continue his thrilling story. Mr. Denham.

DENHAM: Good evening, my friends. Our little rescue party felt immensely relieved after our encounter with the strange prehistoric monster of the jungle which we had finally dispatched with our gas bombs. It was a huge reptillian beast with a thick, scaly hide and a huge spiked tail. We left the carcass hurriedly, our one thought being to find Ann as quickly as possible. Every moment's delay lessened our chances of finding her alive. We looked for further tracks in the soft earth, and now that day had dawned they were easy to find. A half dozen men reported them, and in a little while the trail was resumed. It still led along the stream, but the land now sloped downwards. The mist began to thicken. A hollow lay ahead of us. The stream ran into it, and where the hollow sank deepest the morning mist had become, almost, a cloud of fog. In the midst of this we heard a splashing. Our first thought was that it might be Kong and we raced ahead. At the water's edge was a fresh footprint, not yet filled with water, although that seeped quickly into any depression made on the back.

DRIS  He got across.

DEN  Yes - and that's quite a lake there.

DRIS  We've got to swim.

DEN  That's out. We can't swim with guns and bombs.

DRIS  Then we can do better.

DEN  What do you mean?

DRIS  Look at those logs resting against the shore! Providential, that's what it is. We'll build a raft.

DEN  Good.

DRIS  All right boys. We're going to ferry over. . on a raft


DRIS  Spread out all of you. We've got to hunt for more logs and for stout, pliable vines that we can use for ropes.

DEN  Wait a minute, men. Here's something you ought to know. This may be more than you bargained for. If any one of you wants to go back, now's the time to shove off.

JIM  You say that maybe we'll want to back out because we've never seen any of these big lobsters? Is that the idea?

DEN  That's it.

JIM  Well! They haven't seen us either. That makes it fifty-fifty. I guess we'll stick.


DEN  Everybody worked at top speed, Driscoll the fastest of all. He dared not risk the moment's idleness which would enable the suppressed picture of Ann as he had last seen her to push too far forward into his mind. The men worked feverishly. There were vines in abundance. The half score of logs we required were easily found. This lagoon-like widening of the stream seemed a catch-all for everything that fell into its waters farther up. The raft was finished quickly. Driscoll pondered a moment.

DRIS  How deep do you think it is?

DEN  Not over ten or fifteen feet most of the distance. But from the way the grass disappears in the center, and the stillness of the water there, I think we may hit a pot-hole going down to the mines.

DRIS  We can paddle a little then.

DEN  All right men. Let's climb on board. Everybody got a pole?


DENH  Sort of a close fit. Just about room for all of us. You all right, Jimmy? 

JIM  Sure. I got a foothold. 

DEN  And that's about all. 

DRIS  Don't get the guns wet. 

JIM  Oke! 

DRIS  All set? 

ANOTHER VOICE: Sitting pretty. 

DRIS  Watch those bombs, Jimmy. 

JIM  Ain't I watchin'? 

DRIS  All right - shove off! 


DEN  Easy now! Watch the balance. Don't let her swing. 

DRIS  Keep your weight toward the center. We're awash on this back end. Well toward the center. 


DEN  And so we got away on our raft with a jerk and a clumsy roll that all but toppled the hindside men into the water. They saved themselves by their poles and presently were shoving with cautious earnestness along with the others. Everyone was suddenly dead sober. The fog; a reaction from the forced bits of jocularity at the start; the thought of Ann, which was almost as heavy a weight upon the minds of the men as it was on Driscoll and me, all helped to darken our mood.

The raft was no very tractable craft, either, and the problem it offered helped to lower our spirits. We were in the middle now, and as I had predicted the poles found no bottom; not even a hint of one. It was necessary to use them as paddles and this added to the danger of capsizing. The poles were badly balanced, and any sweeping movement that had real force behind it, tipped the raft ominously. 

DRIS  I think I see weeds ahead. We'll find bottom there. 


[DRIS]  What's that? 

DEN  The raft scraped over something - a knob or something. 

DRIS  Maybe - a jutting end of a water-soaked log. 

JIM  Log nothing! Look at that!


DEN  Dinosaur! By the powers! A dinosaur! 

DRIS  It's seen us!

DENHAM: The monstrous apparition threw the men into a panic. Paddles swung wildly. Only our unlooked-for arrival in shallower water, where the poles served as props, saved the raft. Even at that it tilted precariously and one man was pushed off. By luck his hand closed on a trailing length of vine-rope and he dragged along behind, slowing the flight. 

The huge head curved to the water and dived. A broad scaly back rose to the surface; then it, too, vanished.

DRISC: Push! It's trying to come up under us. We're nearly there. Everybody, now! Heave ho!

ALL  Heave ho! Heave ho!

DENHAM: It's coming faster, men! Jimmy save the gas bombs! Look out.


DENHAM: Jimmy was barely able to save himself. I made a tardy snatch for one of the gas bombs myself and dropped my rifle in the effort to secure it. We were all thrown violently into the water. The raft itself was smashed into match-like bits. The man who had been towing astern was hit by a piece of flying timber, went under and did not reappear. The others struggled toward shore like scattering sheep. The half-emerging dinosaur still thrashed among the fragments of the raft. The tremendous blow it had struck, the veiling mist and the shower of logs had brought a short confusion. Except for that, few of the men would have gotten away. As it was, all save one were scrambling over the far bank when the beast's head cleared. That one, the beast sighted and to him it gave chase in a series of lunging, elephantine strides.

Jimmy and I and one or two others reached shore first. We swung left at a dead run calling to the others to follow. As we ran, the ground ascended and the mist disappeared. We came finally to a high narrow crest beyond which the ground sloped again down to a wide morass. It was a soft, blackish expanse with here and there areas where the surface had hardened under the sun and cracked into great slabs. Driscoll and I stared at this. "It's asphalt," I ventured.

DRIS: Asphalt?

DENH  An asphalt morass that was there before the first beast came into being. A hell-hole. There'll be thousands of carcasses buried rods deep in it. If we try to cross, Jack, we'll have to be careful we don't stick and sink, too.

DRIS: Watch it, men.

DENH: Look!

DRIS  Where?

DENH  Over there on the far side of the valley!

DRIS  It's one of our sailors.

JIM  It's Tim. He musta taken the wrong direction.

DENH  The dinosaur's chasing him.

DRIS  Stand fast, men. We couldn't get to him in time.

DENH  He's climbing a tree.

DRIS  Hasn't anyone got a gun?

DENH  They're all at the bottom of the stream.

DRIS  If we only had one of those bombs we could run back and maybe do something yet.

JIM  I had to let them go to keep from drowning.

DENH  That was a lunkheaded trick. You could have saved a couple.

JIM  You lost your gun.

DEN  We all started again across the valley. Through the mist the dinosaur's grotesque head reached up, until only a threadlike strand of light separated it from the man's body in the tree. A thin, distant scream drifted to our ears. Head and body merged. Our little group drew closer to one another. One of the sailors turned suddenly and violently sick. Another would have burst in fury down the slope toward his comrade but I tripped him up. It was horrible, but there was nothing to be gained from standing around talking about it. Besides we had Ann to think of. We scattered out again to see if we could pick up a footprint.

I, myself, felt sick wondering how many of the crew were to go before we could catch up with Kong, and how many afterwards. Thinking of the beast-god, my mind conjured up the picture I had seen in the frame of the altar's pillars. The picture was so vivid that at first, as I gazed across the morass, I thought that what I saw was simply imagination. The shouts of the others told me otherwise. The picture was real!

The beast-god I sought was lumbering toward us from the center of the asphalt field. Monstrous beyond conception, as hairy as any of the simian creatures of an African jungle whom he resembled in all but size, the fact that he picked his way with a slow, almost human caution, made him all the more incredible.

Incredible, too, was the care with which he bore Ann. His primitive brain valued this strange possession for reasons it could not understand. Much as a pre-historic woman might have cradled her baby, he carried the girl's inert form in the crook of one arm.

Almost, I could have sworn, there was purpose in the way his broad back was interposed between his captive and the vast pursuing beasts which plodded inexorably behind, doggedly wresting their great feet from [the] suck of the asphalt.

These obviously were still more of the gigantic creatures which had survived on Skull Mountain Island from a forgotten age.

Huge four-legged things they were, with thick short necks and short heavy heads ending in horns. There were three horns on each head, short pointed weapons which shook implacably after Kong.

Both Kong and his pursuers were so intent upon one another that our little group of watchers had gone unnoticed.

DRIS: Down! Down!

DENH  If we only had our bombs.

DRIS  What are those brutes?

DENH  Tri- Tri - Wait a moment, I have it. Triceratops.

DRIS  What are they?

DENH  Just another of Nature's mistakes, Jack. Something like a dinosaur. But with their forelegs more fully developed. They got their names from the three horns on their heads.

DRIS  Well, we can thank our stars that Ann's still alive.

DENH  Look, Kong's put her down on the far side of that mound.

DRIS  He's going to give that Triceratops a battle. 

DEN  Already Kong was carrying on a long distance fire. Great slabs of the hardened asphalt swung up over his snarling face and went hurtling down upon the triceratop's horny heads. I couldn't believe it. I never thought there was a beast as strong as that. The power with which Kong cast his huge projectiles was amazing. One, striking fairly, broke off a horn. The Triceratop staggered, obviously hurt, and Kong redoubled his attack. The second of the two beasts swung grudgingly off to the flank and retreated slowly. The first also tried to retreat, but another missile hit it again on the head and it fell. Kong roared in triumph and beat his breast. 


DRIS  We'll have to get out of this. Creep back through the bushes. 

JIM  Keep down! 


DENH  Off to the right, through a fringe of trees, could be seen the rocky edge of a narrow stark ravine. At one point, there was what looked like a fallen log leading to the seeming safety of the far side. We all began sliding away. The ravine invited for a second reason. Kong, still roaring his triumph, had picked Ann up and was moving off. His course bent at an angle which, it seemed to me, would carry the beast-god around to the far side of the ravine. Only by crossing on the log bridge could we keep in touch. 

At first it seemed that the surviving triceratop would pass us by. It was some distance away. It, too, had been struck by more than one of Kong's asphalt slabs and had suffered injuries which held the center of its thoughts. Suddenly - without reason, the triceratop wheeled at right angles to its line of retreat and lumbered toward us. We dared not risk the chance that it would turn again before seeing us. We all leaped erect and fled. And again, as with the dinosaur, all got clear except the slowest man. Glancing back in fright, this one crashed into a low hanging branch, fell, and picked himself up too late. He tried to swing behind the shelter of a small tree, but the blundering triceratop crashed into this and came down in a heap - man and tree underneath. Then, as the rest of us watched, the beast rose on its foreknees, felt for its victim with its long central horn, and gored him to death.



The chances of rescuing Ann from the fiendish clutches of Kong seem fainter and fainter.

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







6:30 - 6:45 PM  MARCH 27 1933  MONDAY 


NARRATOR: We present the ninth episode of the new and thrilling adventure series entitled "King Kong", based on the 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 from an old Norwegian skipper of a mysterious island in the Pacific. He organizes an expedition and sets sail, taking with him a girl to provide the love interest for his picture.

When the expedition arrives the girl is kidnapped by the natives and offered as a sacrifice to the mighty ape Kong, who disappears with her into the jungle. Denham [and] the first mate, Jack Driscoll, organize a rescue party. They encounter several prehistoric animals, including a triceratop, which gores to death one of the rescue party. Carl Denham, who lived through the events of this incredible adventure, is here and will continue the narrative. Mr. Denham.

DENHAM: Good evening, my friends. Our weary searching party, stumbling toward the ravine, showed none of the confidence which had been so high in us when we trotted away from the great gate. And yet as far as the men were concerned they were more than ordinarily resourceful. The skipper and I had picked them with great care before we set sail. Again and again when confronted with sudden danger they had revealed and sustained that high courage which is the adventurer's final salvation, more potent than any weapon. Cast away in any ordinary wilderness they would have boldly combined their wisdom and ingenuity and won out. But here, for the first time, we all knew the meaning of utter helplessness. Of what use was guile and wit against the huge fantastic beasts of this nightmare island? Our frail knives were useless and we had lost our rifles and gas bombs when the raft was destroyed. Armed with them we could have fought on. Lacking them, we were as helpless as the trapped triceratop and its mate slowly smothering to death back in the morass. No one, not even buoyant Jimmy, stood ready now to say that the odds were fifty-fifty. Hard, sullen oaths dropped from our lips as we ran. Not oaths of defiance, but the bitter, resentful bursts of men who have been enmeshed through no fault of their own and who see no way of escape.

Driscoll and I did our best to pull the men out of this mood 

of surrender. One thing we agreed on. We must go back, if we could. One man must stay and try to keep track of Kong; but the others must go back for more rifles and more bombs. Then we might have a chance. From the rear came the crash of a heavy body ploughing among the trees.


DRISCOLL: That blasted three-horned brute is hunting us.

DENHAM: Wait, Jack. We've got a minute. The triceratop can't cross after us. And we've got to talk.

DRISCOLL: What is it?

DENHAM: We've got to go back for rifles and bombs. We're helpless as we are. Leave a man to keep track of Kong.

DRISCOLL: Right. I'll stay. You go for the guns and bombs.

DENHAM: You'd better get across the ravine. But we won't cross unless we have to. If that brute back of us will only get it into his crazy head that we aren't the ones who hurt him, we'll be saved a big walk.

DRISCOLL: Wish me luck. I'll try getting over on this giant log.

DENHAM: Good luck, Jack. Take it easy now. That ravine's deep.

DRISCOLL: (OFF) I'll say it's deep. And this log's slipping if you ask me.

DENHAM: Keep your eyes straight ahead. Don't be looking down.

DRISCOLL: (OFF) There are a lot of caves and narrow fissures in the rocks over there.

DENHAM: Yes, I see them. All right, old man, you're nearly over.

DRISCOLL: (FAR OFF) O. K. I'm all right now.

DENHAM: (CALLING) Goodbye. I'd have felt funny, Jack, if you had started to slip. That place down there is the breeding spot for the rottenest thing on this foul island.

JIMMY: Look, Mr. Denham! Down in that cave!

DENHAM: A huge spider.

JIMMY: Looks like a keg on a lot of legs!

DENHAM: It's staring up at us malevolently.

JIMMY: Now it's got its eye on something else.

DENHAM: Looks like a lizard, except for its size.

JIMMY: The spider's changing his mind.

DENHAM: He's spotted prey more his size.

JIMMY: Where?

DENHAM: See that round crawling object with tentacles like an octopus. Ah! The spider's got him. He's dragging him into a fissure.

JIMMY: I'm not going to cross that log with those things under me.

DENHAM: Maybe we won't have to.


[DENHAM:] Watch it. The triceratop has spotted us again. He's right behind us. That settles it. We'll have to cross. You men go first. I'll follow you.


DENHAM: The memory of what happened next still haunts me. I find myself waking out of my fitful sleep with the horror of the sight still before my eyes.

The men had moved cautiously, because of what crawled far below their uncertain feet. Hurrying them as much as I could, I looked back at the triceratop, picked up a rock and then threw the useless thing away. The men were grouped close together in the center of the log, advancing slowly. I stepped forward when suddenly I heard Driscoll shouting at me from the opposite side of the ravine. He was motioning frantically toward the ground sloping behind him. He motioned again, and with a last shout caught a vine at the edge of the ravine, swung down to a ledge and flung himself into a shallow cave. 

Lumbering up the slope came - Kong! At the sight of the men on the log he roared out and beat his chest. Stopping at a lightning-riven tree, he placed Ann's unconscious form in a notch as high up as his great arms could reach and then lunged forward to attack this new enemy so unexpectedly appearing to threaten possession of his golden-haired prize. Still angry from his earlier fight with the triceratops, he was doubly enraged now by the men. And at the further sight of the three-horned beast charging toward the ravine his rage broke all bounds.

I followed Driscoll's example and slid over the edge of the ravine into a fissure. The men on the log could do nothing. To advance against Kong was impossible.

To retreat was no less so, for the Triceratop, sighting his old foe, rushed up to the end of the log and bellowed a challenge. Driscoll and I, from our caves, watched the tragedy helplessly. To Kong, all moving beings in his vision were enemies, the men on the log as much as the beast behind it. He roared and beat his breast again. One of his great hand-like feet reached out as though he meant to attack at close quarters. At that movement a maddened plunge of the triceratop brought the beast jarringly against it's end of the bridge. The men in the center clung frantically. The beast-god gave his own end of the log an experimental shake and when the men cried out in terror, he began to chatter. 

Driscoll, from his cave, shouted menacingly. Kong caught sight of him, took a half step away from the log, but in the end refused to be diverted. I tried the effect of a rock, but that went unnoticed. Ignoring shouts and rocks, ignoring even the bellowed defiance of the triceratop, Kong curved both forearms under his end of the log and straining, upward got it off the ground and jerked it violently from side to side. Two of the men lost their holds. One gasped madly at the face of a prone comrade, and left bloody finger marks as he went whirling down into the decaying silt at the bottom.

He had no more than struck when the lizard flashed upon him. Watching, I hoped that the complete lack of movement meant unconsciousness, or better, that death had come instantly. The second man did not die in the fall. He was not even unconscious. He landed feet first, sinking immediately to his waistline in the mud, and screamed horribly as not one, but half a dozen of the great spiders swarmed over him. 

Up on the edge of the ravine the triceratop stamped the ground. Getting no notice from his adversary across the gap he bellowed uncertainly and began backing up. With a last bellow he wheeled around and lumbered toward the trees. 

Kong lifted the log and jerked it again. Another man fell, prey for a new outpouring of spiders. Another jerk, and the octopus-insect, along with a score of companions, began to fight against the spiders and the lizards for [the] booty. Only one man was left on the log and he clung desperately. Kong jerked, but could not shake him loose. Nor could all the despairing efforts of Driscoll and myself - all our shouts, all our rocks - turn the beast-god from his purpose. The clinging man shrieked. Kong glowered down upon him and in a culminating exasperation swung the log far sideways and dropped it. The end caught on the very edge of the ravine and then slipped slowly off to drop like a battering ram upon the insects at their feast below.  

Looking down in horror, I suddenly realized that Driscoll hiding in his cave opposite me was being menaced. A great spider was climbing the heavy vine which hung in front of the cave and by means of which the mate had got over the edge of the ravine. Its lidless, protruding eyes of no describable color looked up unblinkingly. I shouted a warning to Driscoll. He drew his knife and hacked desperately. Before the vine parted the spider had got so close that its soft fetid breath was wafted to the mate's nostrils, as it plunged back into the ravine, reaching futilely at other vines. 

Cold and shaking from the tragedy I had witnessed and had been unable to avert, I put my mind nevertheless to the rescue of Ann. I called to Driscoll -

DENHAM: Stay where you are. Kong can't get at you. I'll get back to the village someway and get help.

DRISCOLL: Go along. I'll stay here  until that hairy brute clears out and then I'll follow him.  You come back with bombs and something to bridge the 

ravine. I'll try to mark a plain trail.

DENHAM: I feel rotten leaving you. 

DRISCOLL: It's the one chance. Shove off! Good bye, old man.


DENHAM: Driscoll was so intent upon speeding my departure that he was not aware of Kong's great questing hand until I shouted a warning. The ape had come to squat at the edge of [the] ravine and feel down into the cave for this other of his enemies.

Driscoll backed up, and drawing his knife, stabbed shrewdly into Kong's dusty, hairless palm. The animal jerked away and roared. I threw a rock and hit him on his breast. Kong brushed the spot where the missile had struck and then groped down again into the cave. This time he snatched quickly, missed and got clear. He snatched again and again, and he missed. Enraged he thrust his hand deep into the cave and began a slow groping search.

Driscoll stabbed, but Kong ignored the wounds. He ignored my rocks, too.

Driscoll crouched in his shallow wall stabbing hopelessly at every chance. Twice the huge, curving fingers touched him. Twice he dug his knife in and got away. Now he was in a corner from which the swinging hand barred escape. If he could cut the tendons at the wrist or elbow, he might gain at least a few precious moments.

Crouching lower, making himself as small as possible he gripped his knife and watched for an opening.


NARRATOR: Meanwhile Ann is in the power of the huge ape, and Driscoll and Denham's efforts to rescue her seem definitely thwarted.

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


This is the National Broadcasting Company.