Charlie

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Charlie
Charlie in Son of Kong
Species Human
Nationality Chinese
Occupation Cook
First appearance Latest appearance
King Kong (1933) Son of Kong
Played by Victor Wong

Charlie is a jovial supporting character aboard the Venture who appears in the 1933 film King Kong and its sequel Son of Kong. He later inspired the character Choy in the 2005 King Kong remake.

Name[edit | edit source]

While he is clearly referred to as Charlie in Son of Kong, he is credited only as "Chinese Cook".

History[edit | edit source]

King Kong (1933)[edit | edit source]

Charlie is first introduced on the deck of the Venture as the ship's cook, peeling potatoes as Ann Darrow makes small talk with him during the voyage. It is later insinuated his cooking is not that great, as another sailer comments that they wish his "soup was as thick as this fog" as the Venture crawls its way towards Skull Island. Later, when the Skull Islanders kidnap Ann, Charlie is the one to stumble across a necklace dropped onboard by one of the kidnappers. He promptly realises what it is and sounds the alarm, before bringing the necklace to Captain Englehorn, who initiates the rescue mission that leads to the discovery of King Kong. As the sailers rush to board their lifeboats to rescue Ann, Charlie, wielding a meat cleaver (a precurser to his role in Son of Kong), asks to come, but is told that it is "no job for a cook", so stays on board.

Son of Kong[edit | edit source]

Charlie was the ship's cook aboard the Venture during the aftermath of the King Kong disaster. Englehorn sent Charlie to give a note to Carl Denham, inviting him aboard. After Denham was smuggled aboard to avoid his court settlements, Charlie heard of his predicament and suggests that "next time you leave big monkey alone". He is promptly laughed at for his impression that there was more than one Kong. Denham then signed on as a sailor, and traveled the world with Charlie and Captain Englehorn. While stopped at the port city of Dakang, Charlie and the crew watched a small circus performance by a travelling show featuring Hilda Petersen: La Belle Helene. Unfortunately, the tent burned down in the night, and Petersen stowed away on board where she was discovered by Charlie, who showed her to the Captain. She was allowed to stay, but shortly after her discovery, Nils Helstrom, a bum skipper they picked up in Dakang promising to lead them to the treasure of Skull Island staged a mutiny that lead in Englehorn, Denham, and Petersen being cast adrift. Charlie opted to join them out of loyalty. However, a Communist crewman by the name of Red then staged a revolution and tossed Helstrom out with them. They rowed to shore where the native Chief shooed them away from the village, and they instead made ground at a rocky incropping. They quickly discovered an ancient temple, which Charlie was scared of due to his belief that "big devil live in there". Charlie, Englehorn, and Helstrom went to look for food when they were charged by a Styracosaurus. It cornered them in a cave, but they were eventually able to escape and made their way back to the temple to meet with Denham and Petersen as an earthquake began to shake the island. Helstrom ran in fear, trying to leave the others to die. However he was eaten by a Sea serpent, and the group was able to escape as Denham went back to get the rest of the treasure. King Kong's son saved Denham's life, and Charlie and the others took him into the boat as the island sank under the water. They were all adrift at sea for an unknown amount of time before they were rescued by a military vessel.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Charlie's role in the 1932 novelization of King Kong is instead filled by Lumpy who, whilst not a cook, fulfills the same role in the story, even down to asking to go ashore to help rescue Ann.
  • Charlie's caricatural portrayal has been proposed as one of a number of racial stereotypes reinforced by the 1933 King Kong and its sequel.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Charlie. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. McMahon, Colin (30 August 2020). Is King Kong Racist?. Colin McMahon.

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