comm king kong

comm king kong - Owen 1 Casey Owen Dr Clifford Manlove Comm...

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Owen 1 Casey Owen Dr. Clifford Manlove Comm 150S:002 December 17, 2007 America’s Golden Movie: A Racist Metaphor? “It's money and adventure and fame! It's the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o'clock tomorrow morning,” (King). It was a groundbreaking, earth-shattering tale in cinematic form, which is now a wonderfully classic storyline. The world was forever changed in April of 1933 when Merian C. Cooper’s film, King Kong , was released. A big hit at the time, King Kong is now one of the most recognizable movie icons in history. The story of a giant ape, stolen from his native land and brought to New York City, captured America’s hearts and continues to do so to this day. Many have questioned what it is about King Kong that has us entranced. Perhaps it is the original and innovative plotline in which a filmmaker, Carl Denham, and his crew travel to an island to shoot a movie. There, they encounter an uncivilized, native tribe. This brings up one of the most interesting and magnetic themes of the film, “the savage verses the civilized.” What may surprise some, is that there are underlying racist tones within this theme. I believe that a cultural study of this topic is needed in order to better understand its origin and meaning. Cultural studies actually “regard movies more as popular art or a cultural artifact, rather than a traditional art form,” (Barsam 328). This means that the stated theme is a reflection of both the film’s historical period and culture. These two elements will help to explain how the racism made its way into the movie and why it either went unnoticed or was accepted by the nation’s viewers.
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Owen 2 Created and set in the 1930s, King Kong , was a result of the time period. Even though such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan were on their way out, America was still a very racist nation (Finkelman). A great deal of the country’s African Americans lived in rural areas, working on farms owned by white men. Poverty and horrible living conditions were their way of life. With segregation still in practice, and considerably worse in the South, many African Americans migrated to the Northern cities during the Great Depression (Finkelman). This caused further escalation of the tension between races. Their lives were incredibly difficult during this time of coping with the Depression and simultaneously fighting to gain equality. This fight became increasingly difficult with the explosion of the entertainment industry. Many acts, plays, and
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This note was uploaded on 10/27/2008 for the course COMM 215 taught by Professor Mccormickcatheri during the Fall '07 term at Penn State.

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comm king kong - Owen 1 Casey Owen Dr Clifford Manlove Comm...

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