Carl Denham

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RKO Pictures (formerly RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.)Slash.pngUniversal Pictures Character
Carl Denham in King Kong (2005)
Carl Denham
Species Nationality
Human American
Occupation Relationships
Film Producer/Director Hilda Petersen (Love interest)SoK
Unnamed wifeK:KoSI,
Vincent Denham (Son)K:KoSI 
Played by
Robert ArmstrongKK33-SoK, Jack BlackKK05
First Appearance
King Kong (1933)
It wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty, killed the beast. „ 

— Denham on seeing the body of Kong (King Kong)

Carl Denham is a fictional film producer who appeared in the original 1933 King Kong, Son of Kong, and the 2005 King Kong remake.


King Kong (1933)

In King Kong, Denham wass a famous maker of "moving pictures" known for filming wild animals in exotic places. Many questioned his sanity due to his dedication to film. Denham's role in the film began when a movie producer boarded the S.S. Venture to inform Denham that he had not found an actress to be in his new film. This prompted Denham to go into New York City to find a girl for the role. Denham found Ann Darrow in the grip of an angry shopkeeper who believed that she intended to steal fruit from his stand. Denham bought Darrow dinner and hired her for the film. While aboard the Venture, Denham filmed some scenes of Darrow. Denham disproved of the burgeoning romance between Darrow and the sailor Jack Driscoll while filming. On Skull Island, Denham tried to film the native sacrifice ceremony, only to be found by the native chief. Darrow was later kidnapped and given to the god Kong. Denham and a group of others tracked Kong through the jungle in an attempt to rescue Darrow, which to the deaths of every party member but Driscoll and Denham himself. Denham returned to alert Captain Englehorn of the situation, and was seen again after Driscoll and Ann had escaped. Denham, the Venture's crew, and a brace of natives tried to keep Kong inside the ancient wall of the island, but Kong still escaped. As everyone fled toward the shore, Denham threw a gas bomb at Kong, subduing him for the time being. Months later, Denham had gained a show in New York City with Kong as the star, but on opening night Kong mistook cameras for weapons (and an attack on Ann Darrow), and escaped. Denham and Driscoll went to the local police to think of a way to subdue Kong. Denham wass seen again at the end of the film pushing through crowds to get to Kong's body.

Son of Kong

In Son of Kong, Denham was shown to be hiding out at a friend's house from lawsuits against him for the destruction of New York City. Denham revealed that he was full of regret for what he did to Kong. He was summoned back to the Venture by the ship's cook Charlie (credited as Chinese Chef). On board the ship, Denham was made aware that he had been given the option to testify in his defense in the United States Supreme Court. At this time, Denham decided to travel with the Venture. The Venture took to port on an island called Dakang about a thousand miles away from Kong's Island. On Dakang, Denham went to see a show where he met the ex-ballet dancer Hilda Petersen, who was now working in her father's small sideshow. After departing from Dakang, it was discovered that Hilda had stowed away on board. Later on in the voyage, a mutiny was staged, which sent Denham, Captain Englehorn, Charlie, and Hilda to Kong's Island in a lifeboat. On the Island, He almost immediately discovered Kiko and recognizes that he is the son of King Kong. Kiko then got into a few predicaments, and Denham and Hilda aided him, thus earning the juvenile Kong's trust. When Denham opened the temple that the party had set up camp near, and took the necklace with large diamonds that was inside, the Island began to sink into the ocean. Kiko lifted Denham up above the water, saving his life. After Denham and the rest of the party were rescued, Denham questioned weather Kiko knew he was saving his life. Hilda assured Denham that he did, and they discuss their plans for when they return to the city.

King Kong (2005)

Carl Denham was a failing film producer and mild conman. He was shown to be unscrupulous, as he engaged in drinking alcohol during prohibition, lying to actors, stealing equipment, and writing checks for money he did not have. He cared for nothing but making a profit. In order to pursue his next big project, filming the mythic Skull Island, he stole cameras and essentially kidnapped the writer Jack Driscoll to write the script. On Skull Island, Denham encountered a native child whom he attempted to give chocolate as a sign of peace, but ended up getting the party attacked, and costing the life of his sound editor. When he suffered losses of friends and co-workers during his expedition, he simply drank and claimed that the proceeds of the film would go to the deceased's family, but as he said this twice about two different people, it is clear that he had no intention of giving any proceeds away. After his camera broke, and all hope of making millions of dollars seems lost, he became determined to capture Kong alive. He seemed to care nothing for human losses sustained to do so. It was Denham that smashed the last bottle of chloroform onto Kong's face, which subdued him and allowed him to be captured. When Denham returned to New York, he put Kong into a stage show as "The Eighth Wonder of the World". He seemed to not be affected at all by what he saw on Skull Island. He edited the story of their adventure to put Bruce Baxter into the central role. He only became concerned with Kong when he escaped and wrecked the theater. After Kong was killed, Denham approached the body, claimed that "It was beauty, killed the beast" and walked away into the crowd.


Kong: King of Skull Island

To be added.

King Kong: The Island of the Skull

In the continuity of the 2005 film, Carl dreamed of adventure from a young age. When living in his middle-American home he often worried that by the time he got into the professional world there would be nothing left to discover. In order to document these amazing discoveries, Carl became a film producer. In 1932, one year before his trip to Skull Island, Denham booked the S.S. Venture to the Bafin Islands in pursuit of a mythical giant Orca named "killer". In the icy seas, Denham decided again and again that he would settle for less and less than "killer", even deciding to shift his focus to regular orcas before the vessel's Captain turned the boat back to New York. Along the way, they lay anchor in a rocky outcropping near what they assumed to be an Inuit village, which Denham took his crew to film. However, in between them and the Inuit was a herd of Leopard Seas. Wanting footage of the seals, Denham sent his cameraman across the herd, but as he took the shot, the seals went into attack position, and left him badly wounded. They were able to get him to a hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but his leg had to be amputated. the damage caused to his friend made Carl seek to get him back to New York by changing the film to reflect locations on the journey there. After arriving in New York, Denham arranged to meet with his friend Jack Driscoll. When they met, Carl revealed to him that his backers were pushing for a rewrite of his film so that it was set in the jungle, and asked the writer to provide a script for his film because he had footage, but no story. Driscoll agreed to write, despite not having much time to do so. He was quickly summoned by his financial backers, who insisted that he start filming on a set, rather than on location. Carl demanded a 15% increase in funds to procure animals for the set, but settled for 10, which he planned to use to pay Captain Englehorn for another voyage to shoot on location.


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