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June 5th, 2018, 10:39 am #21

countplastica wrote: And what's the climax? Kong climbing Big Ben seems redundant given both Gorgo and Konga, and England did not (afaik) have much in the way of skyscrapers at the time.  How would Hammer have wrapped it up?
The Post Office Tower? Opened 1965.

(And was officially classified as 'Top Secret' due to it's coms importance. Referred to only as 'Location 23' in official documents. Good job no-one could see it!)

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kcor
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kcor
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June 5th, 2018, 12:21 pm #22

Ted Newsom wrote: [...]  No, they were not going to get Cary Grant... or Burt Lancaster, or by the 1960s, Stanley Baker. But they might get, say, Stewart Granger, George Maharis, or Mike Connors. [...]
As my brain is a drooling fan-encrusted thing, with no marketing realities in it, its foley department supplied a disagreeing "bing" noise when I saw Granger's name listed with 1965 Maharis and 1965 Connors.
But as I can't think of a perfect-perfect casting for Granger in the KK story as I know it I will not agonize over this.
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Ted Newsom
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June 5th, 2018, 12:58 pm #23

I'm not suggesting any of those three would be considered for a King Kong movie, in any role. I'm talking about the box office value vs. the asking price.  Nor was I suggesting Burt Lancaster play the gorilla.  So turn your binger on Mute.

A Granger-on-the-slide is probably the economic and box office equal of a post-Route-66-what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-this-fruitfly? Maharis or a yeah-but-he's-a-TV-actor Connors.  Not in THIS movie, but any other.

(As opposed to, say, a Rick Jason or a Mark Damon, both of whom you could get for a sandwich, and neither of which would sell one more ticket.)
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Dennman
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June 5th, 2018, 4:02 pm #24

Had Hammer done a remake of KING KONG, I have a feeling I'd probably watch it far more often than I do the '76 and '05 versions.
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kcor
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June 5th, 2018, 4:37 pm #25

As a man with a mute binger, I see Newsom's market price argument and raise him a Justin Tarr.

By which I mean I can feature his example is justified by the facts.

I sure like Stewart Granger, though.

Denman has a good point, I watch Hammer's Dracs, Franks and Mummies more often than anyone's from 1970 on.
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Kelg
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June 5th, 2018, 4:54 pm #26

The FX would be Hammer's difficulty. A story so dependent on FX sequences and a performance requirement for the animated star.
The one thing I do not associate with Hammer is much appreciation of (non-makeup based) FX used for storytelling (although Carreras did allow for the giant sea creature fight in THE LOST CONTINENT so maybe he did understand the issues).
Jim Danforth suggested Hammer wasn't happy to turn over so much control to Harryhausen for their dinosaur film (RH was willing to employ a motion blur process he invented to enhance the effects  but Hammer or their financing wouldn't go for the additional time/cost required).

Danforth detailed a couple of  clashes with Hammer over dinosaur choices for WDRTE. Hammer voted down a bipedal tyrannosaur-type creature (even though Danforth had an armature ready to go)  because Aida Young felt an upright dinosaur reminded one of homosexuality.
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Ted Newsom
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June 5th, 2018, 6:37 pm #27

Harryhausen was approached by Hammer. Carreras said, if we're going to do it, we'll get the best.  I expect the lure of actually doing KONG would get the old boy interested.  

Yes, Jim had an odd reaction to his Allosaurus model from Aida Young. "Oh, we don't want that sort in our picture. Everyone knows they walk like poofters."  But "that sort" -- bipedal carnivores -- had been used twice in MILLION YEARS, once an allosaurus, the other time, a much larger ceratosaurus.(vs. the Triceratops).  I would expect Aida Young's odd "everyone knows" attitude would have been overruled by both Carreras and Harryhausen.

I don't know what would've happened if Aida Young had been line producer on BRIDES OF DRACULA.
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bromstaker
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June 5th, 2018, 6:59 pm #28

My Hammer King Kong cast circa 1967:
Ann: Veronica Carlson
Denham: Edward De Souza
Driscoll: Rod Taylor
Englehorn: Michael Ripper  
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Wich2
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June 5th, 2018, 11:38 pm #29

kcor wrote: I watch Hammer's Dracs, Franks and Mummies more often than anyone's from 1970 on.
Too be fair, there aren't that many of those Big Three from any other studios in that era!
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Godziwolf
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June 6th, 2018, 2:16 pm #30

Ted Newsom wrote: Michael Carreras knew that if Hammer was to become something other than a little cottage in the English film industry, they had to shoot higher than low budget horror films. If you look at the films he actually produced, as opposed to the early Gothics where he was executive producer (not a hands-on position), they're not Anthony HInds material, they're more "adventurous" with regard to casting, locations, and so on.  TASTE OF FEAR and MANIAC shot in France.  SAVAGE GUNS was one of the first westerns shot in Spain.  And more to the point, ONE MILLION YEARS BC used the Canary Islands-- pretty much a match for the Red Rock Canyon locations of the original film.  He often used American actors for practical box office purposes, but also because it livened things up.  Fred Clark as the William Castle showman in MUMMY'S TOMB.  Basehart in SAVAGE GUNS.  

Remaking KING KONG was his idea. That's not subject matter which would interest Tony Hinds anyway.  So with an eye on the world market, the only sensible thing to do is to use world-class names, or at least actors who might have some cache beyond "Oh, he was cool in that monster movie." All that, but keeping in mind what a "Hammer Film" budget could afford.  No, they were not going to get Cary Grant... or Burt Lancaster, or by the 1960s, Stanley Baker. But they might get, say, Stewart Granger, George Maharis, or Mike Connors.

As for setting it in New York-- where else? Much of it may have ended up being shot on an Elstree or Pinewood backlot, but that's where KING KONG happens.  Just because Hammer made SHE doesn't mean they had to shoot the trek to the lost kingdom in Black Park and use Oakley Court as Ayesha's palace.

So, my casting, c. 1964-66:

Ann Darrow:  Raquel Welch (Did a good job before; will get international notice)
Jack Driscoll: Oliver Reed (not too pricey yet, and owes them a big favor)
Carl Denham: Forrest Tucker (getting a re-born career with F-TROOP, did fine in BREAK IN THE CIRCLE and SNOWMAN; can be blustery and amusing, and downright nasty.)
Cpt. Englehorn: Andrew Keir

Beyond that... the mid-level actors of your choice. Percy Herbert, Michael Ripper, Vic Maddern, Burt Kwouk, Eddie Powell, etc etc.
Kerwin Matthews, maybe?

Carreras returned to him a couple of times in the 60s.
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Ted Newsom
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June 6th, 2018, 3:02 pm #31

True enough.  That was at Colombia's insistence, I should guess. He was under contract, use him, it's part of the deal. I'd still lean toward Oliver Reed.  I'd buy him over Matthews as a big, taciturn first mate.  Reed was on his way up, Matthews was floating down, too.  Floating being the operative word. Something light in the loafers about ol' Kerwin, and a little too pretty. To the latter, likewise John Richardson.  I'd think about Bill Travers, Kieron Moore, Edward Judd on the Brit side for Driscoll, Jock Mahoney, Peter Breck, Stuart Whitman. Philip Carey, Don Murray from the States. Physically right, known but not too pricey. Hey, Chuck Connors wants to get into features. Mike Connors, too.

No, they're not all genre guys, nor Hammer alums necessarily. I'm just trying to cast a movie that people will want to see.  
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blufeld
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June 6th, 2018, 4:45 pm #32

Rod Taylor as Driscoll.  He was a star (on his way down, but not there yet), was a hero, probably been affordable, and something about him that made him likable.  Yvette Mimeaux as Ann.  Peter Falk as Denham.  Arthur Honeycutt as Capt, Englehorn.
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Ted Newsom
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June 6th, 2018, 5:08 pm #33

Sounds good. Falk was a little young then, but good. He was scheduled to play Denham in the Universal version in 1977.
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Wich2
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June 6th, 2018, 7:46 pm #34

I do think they'f have stayed with the Empire State ending; too iconic to cut. But -

- would they have gone as All-American with the cast?

Had they ever done that before?
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Godziwolf
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June 6th, 2018, 8:11 pm #35

Ted Newsom wrote: True enough.  That was at Colombia's insistence, I should guess. He was under contract, use him, it's part of the deal. I'd still lean toward Oliver Reed.  I'd buy him over Matthews as a big, taciturn first mate.  Reed was on his way up, Matthews was floating down, too.  Floating being the operative word. Something light in the loafers about ol' Kerwin, and a little too pretty. To the latter, likewise John Richardson.  I'd think about Bill Travers, Kieron Moore, Edward Judd on the Brit side for Driscoll, Jock Mahoney, Peter Breck, Stuart Whitman. Philip Carey, Don Murray from the States. Physically right, known but not too pricey. Hey, Chuck Connors wants to get into features. Mike Connors, too.

No, they're not all genre guys, nor Hammer alums necessarily. I'm just trying to cast a movie that people will want to see. 
I think we both put Reed in our version, just disagree about in which role.

I like Reed more as Denham than Driscoll. Reed has a greasy unctuousness that seems more like the fast-talking impresario Denham. Matthews, by contrast, is more the clean-cut straight-arrow Driscoll who spends his life surrounded by seamen and arguing that women don't belong on ships. Also, Matthews has a ton of experience acting in south seas locations against greenscreen claymation, which is a skill needed in a Kong film.

Ann could be nearly anyone in the Hammer studio with a blonde wig and a good set of... lungs.

Where I struggle is trying to get both Lee and Cushing in. Especially if Reed is Denham. Either could be Englehorn. But Lee could be Denham, especially if Reed is kicked into an ethnic role. Sort of like his Brigand of Kandahar get up, or with his walrus:

You could then put Cushing into the Englehorn role.

Nigel Green would have been fun to stick somewhere, too. He was on a real tear in this period.

I do really like Madeline Smith in the Ann role, if it's done in the 70s. Then again, I like her in pretty much any role. She can play Kong if she wants.
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Godziwolf
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June 6th, 2018, 8:15 pm #36

countplastica wrote: And what's the climax? Kong climbing Big Ben seems redundant given both Gorgo and Konga, and England did not (afaik) have much in the way of skyscrapers at the time.  How would Hammer have wrapped it up?
It would have to be the Empress State Building, wouldn't it?
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Ted Newsom
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June 6th, 2018, 8:22 pm #37

Silly to hire an all-American cast. Would probably run afoul of the Eady Plan rules for rebates. Local talent rates are far cheaper, and you'd have to ship everyone over to shoot then send them back to the US.  Other than with Hammer, faking it is not exactly unknown. Various TV episodes do fine with a couple stock shots, some generic city locations and a back lot. Others hire actors who casting agents (mistakenly) think can do a believable American accent (A KING IN NEW YORK, FIEND WITHOUT A FACE, GOLDFINGER).  In this case, best just to hire Brits as Brits.
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Kelg
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June 6th, 2018, 8:24 pm #38

Godziwolf wrote:


Nigel Green would have been fun to stick somewhere, too.
Maybe Briggs or Weston
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MovieMatt
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June 13th, 2018, 6:58 pm #39

Ray Harryhausen would do the animation effects. While Aurthur Hayward does the sculpting for the creatures.  Worst case scenario, Roger Dicken.  If Ray is busy with other projects, there is always Jim Danforth and David Allen.  
Did you know that the special effects team behind GORGO was going to do it with David Prowse in an ape-suit as King Kong.  In fact, here is a video about it. 
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