Ann Darrow

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Ann Darrow
Ann Darrow in King Kong (2005)
Ann Darrow in King Kong (1933)
Ann Darrow in The Mighty Kong
Species Human
Nationality American
Occupation Actress
Related to Jack Driscoll (Love interest)
First appearance Latest appearance
King Kong (1933) King Kong (2005)
Played by Fay WrayKK33, Jodi BensonTMK,
Naomi WattsKK05

Ann Darrow is an actress and one of the main characters in the 1933 and 2005 versions of King Kong, as well as the 1998 animated musical, The Mighty Kong.

History

King Kong (1933)

Ann Darrow was an out-of-work actress in New York during the Great Depression. Once night a shopkeeper catches her trying to steal an apple, only for director Carl Denham to defuse the situation by paying for it. Denham bought Ann dinner at a local cafe and signed her on for the starring role in his next film. On the S.S. Venture, Ann met first mate Jack Driscoll, who initially wanted nothing to do with her, claiming that women had no place on ships, but later developed romantic feelings for her. Denham kept the plot of his film secret from Ann and the crew, only revealing they would be traveling to a little-known island and that the theme was "Beauty and the Beast," with Beast ultimately dying because of his love for Beauty. His camera test with Ann suggested that Beast was no mere man. Once they arrived on Kong's Island, the islanders took an interest in her, offering to trade six of their women for her. The crew naturally refuses, only for the islanders to abduct Ann from the Venture later that night. In an elaborate ceremony, they sacrificed her to their god, who lived behind the massive wall surrounding their village: Kong. Instead of eating her, Kong protected Ann from the many threats on the island: a Meat-Eater, an Elasmosaurus, and a Pteranodon. Driscoll and Denham led a rescue party into the jungle, but between a Brontosaurus attack and Kong soon found themselves the only survivors. Jack ultimately rescued Ann during Kong's battle with the Pteranodon. They fled back to the village with Kong in hot pursuit. Denham knocked Kong out with a gas bomb and transported him back to New York. Ann was present at Kong's unveiling before a sold-out crowd; as photographers took photos of her, Kong became enraged and broke out of his chains. Ann and her new fiancee Jack Driscoll fled again, but Kong soon found them. After knocking out Driscoll, Kong took Ann to the top of the Empire State Building. He set her down to duel a squadron of Curtiss F8C Helldivers, ultimately falling to his death. From the ground, Denham theorized why Kong wouldn't back down: "It was Beauty killed the Beast."

The Mighty Kong

Ann worked as an extra in films before falling on hard times and attempting to steal an apple. She was caught in the act but saved by C.B. Denham, who talked her into signing on as his lead actress in a film, which ann agreed to with the hopes of becoming a movie star. She made her way to the Java Queen, C.B.'s ship, where she met the cabin boy Ricky and his monkey Chips. They go onto the ship, where they are nearly crushed by falling cargo, which makes the first mate Jack Driscoll scream at them to go below decks. Ann then begins to doubt her plight for fame, but Ricky reminds her that she has nothing to lose by trying. Ricky later fell ill, and Ann took over his duties and delivered dinner to the Captain. Denham and Driscoll were dining with him, and did not recognize Darrow under her rain gear, and Driscoll repeatedly insulted her for being a woman and a jinx. She then dumped clam chowder on his head. After six weeks at sea, they arrived at Skull Island, where C.B. upset the natives, and they were chased back to the ship, where she and Driscoll decided they were in love. She was then kidnapped by natives, and she was taken up a volcano, where she was taken by Kong. Kong took her to his volcano lair, where he doused her in a waterfall and threw her in a pond before drying her off with his breath. They were then attacked by dinosaurs and a snake, so Kong put her down, and Driscoll took her back to the shore, where Kong was incapacitated with gas bombs and taken back to New York, where Ann starred in a show with him. Ann felt pity for the captive ape, but he escaped upon perceiving Ann was in danger. Ann hid, but watched as he fell from the Empire State Building after a failed attempt to capture Kong alive, but he survived.

King Kong (2005)

Ann "Annie" Darrow was a Vaudeville actress in New York until the day she arrived to find her theater closed down. She tried to get the performers back together, but her stage partner Manny encouraged her to try out for a part in a play by her favorite writer Jack Driscoll. Ann tried to get an audition, but Mr. Weston, the producer had already cast someone else, and redirected her to a burlesque theater. On arriving, Ann considered going in, but thought better of it and walked away, eventually trying to steal an apple from a fruit stand and being saved from the stand owner by Carl Denham who bought her dinner and proposed that she join his movie crew filming in the far east. She was initially hesitant, but agreed when she heard that Driscoll was writing the screenplay. At the docks, Captain Englehorn made her nervous with the implication that there would be a great risk involved in making the picture, but all the same she got on board. Excited to meet Mr. Driscoll, Ann practiced greetings in her mirror before donning one of the film costumes and going to breakfast. There Carl introduced her to the film crew, and she mistook the sound recordist for Driscoll, much to her embarrassment. While filming on deck, Ann was forced to improvise when Bruce Baxter went off script. She apologized to Driscoll, who praised her performance. Over the course of the voyage she and Driscoll grew closer, and one night in his cabin he showed her a stage comedy he was writing for her, and the two shared a passionate kiss. In the night, Ann went on deck to find the ship lost in deep fog. As it headed for rocks, Jack came to steady her, and in the morning the film crew set out to the shores of Skull Island. Ann was afraid and looked to Jack for comfort before they were attacked by natives and Ann's screaming prompted something in the jungle to roar back at her. They made it back to the ship, where a sleepless Ann was kidnapped by vengeful islanders. She was taken ashore where she was yelled at by an old woman before she was bound to an altar and lowered over the pit beyond the wall. There, she watched in awe as Kong emerged from the jungle and took her away. He carried her to an overlook where he began to shake her violently as she noticed piles of bones wearing ceremonial necklaces identical to her own. She then took her own off and stabbed Kong's finger with it to escape. However, Kong picked her back up and continued his journey. He dropped her in an ancient courtyard where she feigned sleep before trying to crawl away while his back was turned. She nearly made it, but Kong's massive forearms boxed her it. He roared and began to look at her expectantly, to which she performed a pratfall to the ape's confusion and amusement. She began to do all kinds of tricks until she couldn't go on. Then he began to push her over, and she soon pushed his fingers away and refused to allow it to continue. Kong then became enraged, but calmed down after being hit by a falling rock, and left her alone. While running through the jungle, Ann stopped to drink water flowing off a rock when she heard gunshots. She ran toward them only to find a Fortodon feasting on the corpse of a Ligocristus. She backed away, only to find another Foetodon on the other side of a tree. She ran into a log to hide, and was investigated by two Megapedes before she ran out the other side and was spotted by a Vastatosaurus rex.

Books

King Kong (1932)

Artwork of Ann from The Illustrated King Kong

Ann's parents died when she was young and she lived with an uncle who took her inheritance and treated her poorly. She escaped to New York, and became a former small role actress living in poverty since the studio she worked at had closed down. She was then found being wrongfully accused of stealing an apple by Carl Denham, who took her to dinner and enticed her to join his film cast. They sailed on the Wanderer, where she was treated with uncertainty by the first mate Jack Driscoll, who the next day accidentally slapped her across the face by gesticulating too vigorously without knowing Ann was right behind him. He apologized and tried to make up for it, and in the weeks that followed they became fast friends. It was Denham who pointed out Ann's effect on the behavior of the cook's monkey Ignatz, which made him compare them to Beauty and the Beast, which he later revealed was the theme of his film. In the following six weeks of the voyage, Ann and Driscoll grew quite close, and when Denham insisted Ann go ashore with them on Skull Mountain Island, he admitted that he loved her. On the island, the group came upon a native ceremony, which halted at their approach and lead to the natives' offering to trade six of their women for Ann, whom they referred to as the "Woman of Gold", to make her Kong's bride. They politely decline but offer to negotiate the next day. While discussing what Kong is with Driscoll, Denham, and Englehorn, Ann scoffed at the idea that Kong was a dinosaur living behind the wall, and guesses that Kong is the chief himself, but Englehorn believes that the girl in the ceremony was too frightened for that to be the case. Ann later spoke with the ship's cook Lumpy about Kong, and he assured her that Kong was likely just an idol of wood or mud in the jungle, and that all of his "brides" probably ended up in the shaman's secret harem. Ann was left alone after Lumpy was forced to chase down Ignatz, and during this time, the natives kidnapped Ann. She was passed from party to party through the brush and into the village, all the while being too scared to move. They took her to an altar, where the gargantuan ape-god Kong took her into the jungle. She was unconscious for most of her journey, but first awoke in the crook of a tree as a Giant Snake crawled up the trunk and a Meat-Eater hopped out of the jungle. Kong came running to her aid after she screamed, but the tree was knocked down in the ensuing skirmish, pining her down. At Kong's lair in Skull Mountain, Kong began to rip off her clothing as she screamed at the monster's hideousness. However, at that point, Driscoll arrived to rescue her just as a Pterodactyl descended to grab her away from Kong. They narrowly escape, with Kong on their tail by jumping into a spring and floating back toward the wall, sustaining minor injuries along the way. After returning to the village, where Denham and the sailors were just preparing to go looking for them, Kong caught up and began to tear the village apart in search of Ann, but Jack was able to get her safely to the ship, while Denham used gas bombs to knock Kong out. Back in New York City, Ann and Jack were to make an appearance onstage when Denham revealed Kong to the world, but on seeing Ann Kong grew restless. Ann nervously stood onstage with Jack, but the photo shoot made Kong think Ann was in danger, and he broke free of his bonds. At this time, Jack and Ann were safely in Jack's hotel room across the street, but when Jack's back was turned, the anxious Ann was grabbed from the room by the ape's gargantuan hand. Once again, Ann fell unconscious as Kong took her on his rampage across the city and to the top of the Empire State Building. After Kong had leaped off the building to take down an airplane to protect Ann, Jack ran to her and the two embraced.

Kong: King of Skull Island

Some time after the events of Merian C. Cooper's King Kong, Ann married Jack Driscoll, and in 1957 they were awaiting the birth of their first grandchild.

King Kong: The Island of the Skull

In the continuity of the 2005 film, Ann had long been interested in acting on the screen, and moved to New York to follow her dream. In 1932, Ann went in for an interview with a casting agent that landed her a spot in a show at Steel Pier in Atlantic City riding diving horses. When she arrived, however, she found that the position had already been filled. She was then given a job in the Diving bell instead, and was moved into an apartment with two other pier workers. After weeks of working the diving bell, Ann struck a deal with one of her roommates's boyfriends in which he could talk to the Pier owner about promoting Ann to horse diver if she could come to his club on Fridays. Ann agreed, and at the end of the day, Mr. Nadler, the pier owner came to give her the promotion. She quickly received dive training, as she already knew how to ride thanks to summers spent on her grandfather's farm. She then took a practice dive and prepared for her first show. After working with the diving horses for a few weeks, she choose a horse that was often accused of being ornery named Belle. That evening, she accompanied her roommates to the club, which quickly made Ann uncomfortable. She took one of her friends into the bathroom to discuss faking an illness to leave early, but the club was invaded by mobsters. From the cover of the ladies room, Ann noticed that one of her friends had gone down, and she traveled through the veil of gun smoke to help her out. After the escape, Ann went back to work, and quickly discovered that her horse was sick. Despite Ann insisting that a veterinarian take a look at it, Nadler still had the horse dive. Up on the diving platform, The horse urinated and slipped. the two fell through the air and into the water. Ann was unharmed, but the horse broke its leg, and had to be put down. She then quit the job, and received a telegraph from her friend Manny in New York that a new show had opened and that he had got them a job in it.

King Kong: The Junior Novel

Ann was a down on her luck Vaudeville actress who signed on with Carl Denham to film a movie overseas. She was treated well by the cast, in contrast to her lukewarm reception in her vaudeville days.

King Kong (2005)

After her Vaudeville-girl mother abandoned her at the age of thirteen, Ann joined the Vaudeville scene, and saw all performers as her family. With encouragement from her friend and fellow performer Manny, and nothing left to lose, Ann sent an audition resume to the producer of the play Isolation by Jack Driscoll. Opting to buy food instead of paying rent, she found herself hopeless when her letter is returned unopened. Refusing to let life beat her down again, she tracked down the producer, who revealed the play had already been cast, and out of guilt or compassion, he directed her to a burlesque theater for work. Ann, however, felt angry, and stormed away from the theater against her protesting stomach, when she passed by an apple stand, from which she tried to steal, and when she was caught she attempted to face it with dignity, reasoning that the stall owner's four dollar income was well more than her own, before Carl Denham paid her way out of the situation and bought her dinner. Ann ate ravenously while trying to remain composed as he asked her to take a role in his film. Ann planned to refuse before she learned that Jack Driscoll was writing the story, and she set sail on the Venture that night. After being taken aboard the ship with an ominous implication of great risk from Captain Englehorn, and a psychological evaluation from the ship's cook Lumpy, Ann was lead to her cabin by Denham's assistant Preston, and Denham himself brought her a bottle of Johnny Walker. To Ann's surprise, Jack Driscoll was aboard the ship, and was using her typewriter to finish the script. However, she felt as though Denham just wanted her to spend the whole trip in her cabin, and so she made a point to meet everyone she could. As filming began, Ann and Driscoll were often at odds, but over time came to find that this awkwardness was based on their growing mutual affection. One night, Jack came to her with a play he had written for her titled Cry Havoc, which ended up being a comedy, much to Ann's surprise and delight. Their ensuing conversation ended with the two kissing. The next night, as the sailors gathered on the deck to sing and play instruments, Ann saw the boy Jimmy staring at her. He tried to turn away, but Ann had him dance with her. In this moment she felt as at home as she had when she was on stage.

However, the next night she overheard Denham and Preston exchanging heated words about him putting the crew in danger. One night, while sharing a pot of sour congealed coffee with Jack, Lumpy informed the two that they were being left in Rangoon, causing the two to seek out Denham to clear up the confusion. However, the ship hit a reef off of the coast of Skull Island, and the couple held each other close until a roll of the ship tore them away. In the morning, Denham collected her and the rest of the crew to go and film on the island. On the way there, they passed over a sunken idol, whose face startled Ann from under the water, causing her to take Driscoll's hand. On shore, Baxter once again improvised a romantic scene, and tried to kiss her. Jack and Denham were furious, and Ann contented herself to examine an idol while the boys argued. However, Denham began filming again and asked her to scream. Ann complied in a release of all the fear and tension that the journey had brought just before something in the jungle screamed back. As they made their way into a shantytown built in the surrounding catacombs, Ann screamed again as natives attacked the group. An angry female shaman was furious with Ann, and believed that her screams were to summon the beast to them. Two men died before Englehorn arrived to rescue them. Shaken to her core from the experience, Ann waved away the sailors to sit in her cabin alone. The images haunted her until a native came and kidnapped her. She was dragged through the waves with her captor as they were pulled ashore with a crude rope. Fearing what would happen to her, she was too weak to free herself. However, they arrived back at the village where the old crone threw putrid liquid on her to anoint her, and she was draped with bone jewelry by young girls. She was thein tied to bamboo poles and suspended out over the other side of the wall where the gigantic gorilla Kong took her, and she was too numb to scream. As she was taken into the jungle, she heard the gunshots of the crew coming to rescue her, knowing they were too late. Kong nearly suffocated her in his grip as he took her down an obviously well-known path for him to a carved cliff in the jungle strewn with the bones of previous sacrifices. Kong lifted her into the moonlight to examine her, and she saw that he was much older than she realized. He then began to shake her violently, but she was able to slip free from his grip and run toward the sounds of gunshots in the jungle, but did not get far before he recaptured her. She knew he had spared her life where he had killed others, and suspected that neither of them really knew what was going to happen next. He took her to an ancient courtyard, where he left her untended as she feigned sleep, allowing her a chance to escape. She failed and was recaptured by Kong, who became curious when she fell to the ground, so he performed her old vaudeville routine until her battered body couldn't go on. Kong grew confused, and looked at Ann in a way that made her feel that he finally saw her as more than an object, and ran into the jungle, leaving her behind, and worried for her safety going forward. Running scared through the jungles, Ann finally saw a plume of smoke on the horizon and began running toward it, knowing that it meant the village was close, however she soon found herself pursued by two eight foot tall predators. She eventually was able to hide in a hollow beneath a tree, but she then watched as something much larger ate her hunter. She tried to run away, but was pursued by the gargantuan predator that she dubbed V-rex. As she ran, Kong arrived to rescue her, and held Ann in his hands and feet while fighting them off before a dinosaur finally got its mouth on Ann. She was unharmed, but was wedged in between its teeth. Kong then forced its jaws open to free her, and then broke them before roaring in triumph. Afraid to lose him again, Ann followed Kong as he began to walk off, and eventually he slowed down to allow her to keep pace. However, he eventually picked her up and as they traveled he fell into a chasm, where he saw a statue of another giant gorilla. Kong regarded it as a threat, but Ann was able to show him that it was like him, which made him grow somber and carry her more caringly on the way to his lair. There she saw the skeleton of another giant gorilla, and she understood that Kong had not always been alone, but had been for a very long time. She tried to cheer him up with acrobatics, but instead simply sat with him to admire the sunset, where she saw the Venture at the village maybe three miles away. Asleep in his hand, Darrow was awoken by Jack, who came to try and rescue her. However, Kong awoke and roared at Jack while Ann was nearly carried away by giant bats before Kong attacked them. She and Jack then climbed off the cliff on a vine before grabbing hold of a bat and dropping into a river from a safe distance. Ann felt conflicted. She wanted to go home, but also felt remorse for abandoning Kong, whom she had come to rely on. She and Jack ran through the jungles as Kong pursued them, and made it through the gate just before Kong began to destroy it. The sailors hurried her to the ship as they tried to capture Kong. Ann felt betrayed as the sailors couldn't meet her eyes as she tried to run to the beast, but Jack hurried her to the ship on Englehorn's orders.

She didn't speak much to anyone for the entire voyage, and did her best to cut ties with the crew members and refused to appear onstage with the captive Kong, and instead took a job as a backup dancer for tapdancer Charlie Almond. Feeling emotionally detached from the competition for attention in the dancing world, Ann walked offstage mid number, and knowing that Kong's debut was scheduled for that night, she saw carnage in the streets and made her way towards Times Square to find him and stop the rampage. When she found him, she allowed him to pick her up as he took off into the night. He climbed over buildings as the military shot at him, and when he came to the Empire State Building, he transferred her to his shoulder, and she held onto his hair. At the observation deck, they sat down and Kong put his hand on his heart and gestured out to the rising sun, the same gesture Ann had made on the mountain to signify beauty. Ann got the message just before Kong came between her and approaching planes. Kong then left her there to draw their fire away, but Ann climbed up the ladder to the top, which started to break away. Kong saved her before she fell, and stowed her in the upper observation deck before she ran up the stairs to see him as he began to slip off. He held her in his hand for a moment before falling off of the building. Jack then came up to her, to her and she asked why he did it, and he finally said the words she had been waiting for: I love you.

Kong Reborn

Years after her return from Skull Island, Ann spent time with Carl Denham's young grandson Jack Denham, to whom she recounted tales of her adventures. To him she described the feeling of travelling with Kong as being less like a flea on a huge beast, than being carried by a ginormous man who saw her as his lover.

Comics

King Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World

After repeated attempts to be cast in a play called Isolation, which she knew forwards and backwards, Ann was unfortunately passed over, much to her dismay. That night, Ann attempted to steal an apple from a fruit vendor out of desperation, but is caught. However, a man named Carl Denham buys her way out of the situation, and invited her to join his film cast over dinner. Ann immedeately took the job when she heard that Jack Driscoll, the author of Isolation, was writing the script. While filming on board, Ann and Driscoll grew quite close and eventually kissed one another. When they reached their destination, the uncharted Skull Island, Ann went ashore with the rest of the film crew, only to be attacked by the natives. Captain Englehorn managed to scare them off, but that night Ann was kidnapped from her cabin and tied up and given as a live sacrifice to the giant ape-god Kong. In the beasts' giant palm, Ann succumbed to her supposed fate and lost consciousness. She awoke on the floor of Kong's lair among the skeletons of the sacrifices that had come before her. She watched as Kong examined a gigantic ape's skull, and sneaked away while he was distracted. However, he quickly heard her and chased her down. During the brief pursuit, Ann fell down, much to Kong's amusement. She then proceeded to perform more pratfalls to amuse the ape, until she grew tired and offended him by stopping, and he left her alone. Later, she found herself being pursued by a Vastatosaurus rex that was quickly tackled by Kong, who had come to save her. Ann tried to run to safety, but more V-rexes came out of the jungle to aid their comrade. Kong did his best to keep Ann away from their snapping jaws, and eventually fought them over a cliff where he finally killed the last one by snapping its jaw. Ann then came to understand that while Kong was ferocious, when she was with him, she was safe, and together they watched the sun rise over the jungle. That night, Jack woke Ann in Kong's lair in an attempt to rescue her. However, not only did Kong awake to stop him, but the Terapusmordax that were sleeping on the cave ceiling. Ann bade Jack to run in an attempt to save him from Kong's wrath, but the Terapusmordax began to carry her away. Kong tore them out of the sky to protect her, as Ann and Jack began to climb down the cliff on vines before grabbing a Terapusmordax and riding the falling flier into a river below. Ann quickly realized that Kong was coming after them, and they ran across the bridge and through the gate with him hot on their heels. When they passed though the gate, the sailors sprang a trap for Kong, and tried to knock him out with gas bombs and a net, while Ann tried desperately to go to him.

In New York, Denham put Kong in a Broadway show, but Ann refused to appear in it. However, when Kong inevitably escaped and began to search for Ann, she approached him on the street, and he gently picked her up and carried her up the Empire State Building as the sun rose. However, several Navy Biplanes began to attack, and Kong left Ann in safety to try to defend her, but he was wounded. Ann climbed up to him, and he gave her one last look before allowing himself to fall to the street below. Ann watched in shock as Jack came to comfort her.

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