Jack Driscoll is a fictional character that appears in both the 1933 and 2005 versions of King Kong. In the 1933 version, Driscoll is the first mate on the Venture, while in the 2005 version he is a playwright.
In King Kong Jack is the first mate aboard the S.S. Venture. He is first seen when a film producer comes aboard to speak with Carl Denham about the film he is shooting. Jack questions Denham and his methods, but does not complain about them. Driscoll is fearful of Kong's Island but does not attempt to run away. When Ann Darrow is kidnapped by King Kong, Jack follows him into the jungle, even after most of the rescue party is killed. Driscoll managed to rescue Ann and escape from Kong's mountain lair. Driscoll is present to witness Kong's capture. Months later in New York City, Jack and Ann Darrow are engaged to be married. The couple is present at Kong's unveiling. Kong escapes and chases Ann down and takes her away. Jack and Carl Denham alert the police, who believe that nothing can be done, until Jack suggests they use airplanes. Jack is seen again entering the Empire State Building to rescue Ann.
Driscoll learned from his grandfather that women did not belong on ships, a lesson he would carry with him the rest of his life, as the moment Ann Darrow steps aboard the Java Queen, a ship he had signed onto as first mate, and is nearly crushed by falling cargo, he screams for her to go below decks. Later at dinner, Jack continues to slander her as a jinx and a woman with no place on a ship, and she, who had brought their dinner in as the cabin boy Ricky was ill, dumped clam chowder on his head. They eventually went ashore on Skull Island, where they were run off by natives. Ann and Jack then decided they were in love, and Ann was kidnapped. Jack then mounted an armed assault on the island and found a cave to follow Ann into the island. He then rescued her from Kong, the monster she had been sacrificed to, and ran back to the shore. Ricky then led Jack to C.B. Denham, who was injured in the jungle. He then incapacitates Kong with gas bombs and he is taken back to New York where Denham puts him in a show. This made Ann fall ill, and Jack got her a doctor, and then Kong kidnapped her and took her to the top of the Empire State Building. Due to the elevators being broken, Jack had to climb the stairs to the observation deck and save Ann.
Driscoll was a celebrated writer, who while in production of his play Isolation, agreed to write a script for his friend Carl Denham's upcoming film. However, with only 15 completed pages, Jack was summoned to the ship Venture, where Carl met him and was shocked to find that Driscoll had only completed 15 pages. He provided his notes and prepared to leave to the rehearsal for Isolation, to which he was three hours late. Carl then offered to pay Jack two thousand dollars for his work, but continued incorrectly writing the check. Realizing that he would be trapped on board if he didn't move fast Jack fled the room to search for the exit. Despite his best efforts, Jack was too late. With no spare rooms, a sailor named Choy showed Jack to the animal cages in the cargo hold, where Captain Englehorn welcomed him aboard. While typing in his cage, Jack was brought dinner by Jimmy, who unbeknownst to Jack, stole his pen, but first mate Benjamin Hayes made him return it before telling Jack how he had found Jimmy years before. Later at breakfast, Jack walked into the galley to see new actress Ann Darrow mistaking Mike the recordist for himself, which he pointed out to Ann. In the cargo hold, he and Denham discussed the story. Denham then informed him that they were going to film on the legendary Skull Island. While Denham was filming on deck, Jack was forced to watch while lead actor Bruce Baxter improvised on set as opposed to reading his dialogue. Later on, Jack had an awkward conversation with Darrow as he tried and failed to make her feel more comfortable as an actress. Despite this, they grew closer as their work continued, culminating with a passionate kiss after Jack showed her a stage comedy he was writing for her. Afterward Jack went to the deck to find a brooding Denham before the ship hit rocks and he went to protect Ann. In the morning, Jack and the rest of the film crew were taken ashore with Denham to start filming. However, despite Jack's advice, Denham made hackneyed attempts at befriending the natives and nearly got them all killed, and Jack was knocked unconscious. He awoke in the galley, with Lumpy taking the table out from under him to throw overboard. While stumbling around the ship, he spotted the necklace of the native that had clubbed him, and went looking for Ann, only to find her room ransacked and her missing. He informed the captain that she had been taken, and was then part of the group that went ashore to rescue her, only to discover that something had taken her into the jungle beyond the wall. A short distance in, the sailors fired wildly into the brush, frightening a Ferrucutus, which began to attack. Jack saved Preston from being trampled, only for the creature to fling him away. Hayes was able to kill the beast, and the crew marched on. They followed the sound of Ann screaming to a boneyard where Jack discovered some of her hair tangled in a necklace on the ground before the group follows Kong's path of destruction. In a narrow valley, Jack tries to get the sailors to keep moving, but Hayes assures Jack they will not give up on Ann, and begins a five minute break. Jack then discovered one of Kong's footprints and went to find Carl to describe the creature. However, they were set upon by a Brontosaurus stampede and Jack helped Carl up before running for his life with the rest. Some sailors and Baxter then abandoned the search, but Jack and the others created rafts to float across a swamp, but they are attacked by a swarm of Scorpio-pedes and a Piranhadon. The latter destroyed Jack's raft, and Jack nearly drowned due to his ammunition, but was able to survive by staying low and only surfacing while protected by tree roots. As the surviving sailors continued through the jungle, Jack thought he heard Ann in the brush, but Lumpy shot at the sound before he could act on his suspicion. Luckily, the sound had only been a Brutornis. The group then marched across a log bridging an enormous chasm, but Hayes told them to stop while he went ahead, where Kong killed him as he bade Jimmy to stay with Jack, who held the boy back as Kong began shaking the log.
- King Kong (1932)
- The Illustrated King Kong (1968)
- King Kong: The Island of the Skull (2005)
- King Kong (2005)
Driscoll worked on the S.S. Wanderer as first mate to Captain Englehorn, and on one night was there to welcome their frequent client Carl Denham's casting agent aboard. They later set sail with Ann Darrow, whose presence perturbed Driscoll, who believed she would be a hindrance during the journey. The next day, while giving orders and throwing his hand back unexpectedly, Driscoll accidentally struck Darrow on her face, much to his immediate regret and embarrassment. Driscoll continued his charade of disliking Ann's presence while harboring a secret fondness of her. They quickly grew closer, and Driscoll admitted to her that he had ran off to the sea to escape going to college. After weeks of travel, and on reaching Skull Mountain Island, Jack admitted to Ann that he loved her, as he begged her not to accompany the crew on their first expedition onto the coast, but Denham insisted he have his leading lady with him. The party eventually came across a native ceremony to a god called Kong, and the villagers offered to trade six of their women for Ann. The sailors refused, and back on the ship Jack, Denham, Englehorn, and Ann discussed what Kong might be. That night, Ann was kidnapped and as soon as this was discovered, Jack and Denham lead a rescue party into the village and past their gigantic wall into Kong's jungle. They followed the trail of debris left from Kong's trek before them until a Stegosaurus came out of the mist and attacked them. They knocked it out with a gas bomb before Denham put two bullets in its heart. They attempted to build a raft to cross a lagoon, but a Brontosaurus attacked them and they lost two crewmen along with all of their guns. Jack lead the party from there, and they watched as Kong fought some Triceratopses on an asphalt flat before the maddened dinosaurs chased them into the jungle after their defeat. As they crossed a ravine on a log to escape the Triceratops, Jack saw Kong approaching from the other side and ducked into a cave on the ravine's cliff face as Kong shook the crew to their deaths in the ravine. Kong then began to grab for Driscoll in his cave, and Jack stabbed his hand multiple times to no avail. He was eventually drawn away by Ann screaming. The only other survivor of the log was Denham on the other side, who went back to gather more men and supplies while Jack pushed on to follow Kong. He tracked them up Skull Mountain, where he waited for an opportunity to rescue Ann. He got his chance when a Pterodactyl descended to grab her away from Kong. The two 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, Jack and Ann 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. Jack joined Denham and the police in their pursuit of the monster, but eventually lost him. Jack them theorized that because of his hermitage in Skull Mountain, Kong would feel safest and thus instinctively go toward the highest point he could find, which would be the Empire State Building. Fortunately, just as they arrive they see Kong beginning to scale the skyscraper with Ann in hand. Denham called in the army planes from an airfield upstate, and the party entered the tower and reached the top, where Jack waited to get onto the roof as soon as he could. Kong jumped off the building to grab a plane, and fell to his death after sustaining heavy injuries. Jack ran to Ann, and the two embraced as Ann cried after her traumatizing experience.
One year before the events of the the 2005 film, Driscoll introduced his friend Carl Denham to a famous playwright at a speakeasy. Denham then commissioned Jack to write a screenplay, which he later started.
Driscoll first met Carl Denham while he was a student at Columbia University, and Carl was preparing to join a film director on a trip to Africa. Years later they met again through Driscoll's family friend George S. Kaufman before they met once more in Germany before finally they met again after they returned to New York, and had been close friends since. Jack at one point agreed to write a screenplay for Carl, but one day his assistant Preston came begging for the completed draft. Due to the untimely nature of the request, Jack went to the Venture to deliver the fifteen completed pages and to explain the situation. However, as he waited for Denham, he became three hours late for the rehearsal of his play Isolation, and Denham was upset at Jack's short draft. He offered to pay Jack for the pages, and stalled him until the ship cast off. Trapped onboard with no available cabins, Jack was shown to the cargo hold by a jovial Chinese sailor named Choy. While selecting a cage to his liking, he was introduced to the skipper. There Jack continued to write the script, secretly excited at the prospect of being on an actual adventure. However, he was less enthusiastic about Ann Darrow, a vaudeville girl Carl had found for his leading lady. However, as the voyage progressed, he came to appreciate her natural comedic talents and acting prowess. His confusing feelings of affection lead to him trying his had at writing a comedy play for Ann to perform, despite their numerous floundering conversations, fueled by their mutually developing romantic feelings. While continuing his script, now titled Cry Havoc, Jack worked up the nerve to show it to Ann, who ended up enjoying it. Their discussion on the nature of writing a believable love story culminated in a kiss. One night, while sharing a pot of sour congealed coffee with Ann, the ship's cook 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, Jack accompanied Denham and the rest of the film crew to the island's rocky shore for filming. However, shortly after beginning, Baxter once more improvised on set and tried to kiss Ann, which made Jack furious. Denham, and even Darrow agreed it was inappropriate, and secretly knew it was because of Jack's feelings for her. Carl then discovered a stairway through some catacombs, leading to a shantytown that put them both on edge. There they were attacked by natives, and Jack was struck in the head with a club, and woke up in Lumpy's galley. He quickly began searching for Ann, and found two dead crewmen and her cabin ransacked with only a monkey skull necklace for a clue. He then sought the Captain and informed him of the kidnapping before helping load the boats for the rescue. When they came ashore Jack ran ahead of the rest of the group, only to find that they were too late. Jack tried to pry the gate open, but Hayes shot an opening in it before deciding to trust Jack with a Tommy gun. When Englehorn gave the crew 24 hours to find her, Jack went into the jungle without hesitation. Jack lead the pack, who eventually fired wildly at the sounds surrounding them, to discover they had killed live dinosaurs. However, Jack soon heard Ann calling him in the distance, and he charged toward the sound. However, they lost the trail, and found themselves in a boneyard, where Jack discovered a bone necklace with some of Ann's hair stuck in it, as Carl examined the path of destruction her captor had made in the jungle. After regrouping, they opted to follow it. While walking in the jungle, Jack realized that Hayes had a military background, and when he asked him about it, Jimmy bubbled about his friend's days in the trenches until it was revealed that he had been denied recognition for his service because of his race, making Jack feel a bit guilty, before he softened and assured him that they would bring Darrow back alive or dead. However, on finding a footprint of Kong, Jack went to find Denham to learn what kind of creature he was, before being caught in a stampede of Brontosaurus. Jack barely survived as a pack of Hunter lizards snaked their way through the crowd. Jack slammed one away with his shoulder, and it was crushed under a Bronto's foot. In order to escape the stampede, they climbed up a steep bank and slipped through cracks in it before arriving at a swamp, where half of the group attempted to give up, but the effort fell through when Lumpy decided to stay. They then made rafts to float across the swamp, and were attacked by a beast that Jack's creative mind dubbed Piranhadon. It destroyed Jack's raft and his ammunition sank him to the bottom of the swamp, where the creature could not see him, and he was helpless to pass this information to another sailor trying to swim to the surface. Jack managed to survive, and swam to the log where Preston was staying afloat, and paddled to shore where the crew rested for a moment before moving on. Continuing through the jungle, Jack heard footsteps off the path, and Lumpy fired into the bush, despite Jack's protests. When the firing stopped, they approached to find a large flightless bird full of holes on the ground. Lumpy put it out of its misery and the crew moved on. They eventually came to a log bridging a deep crevice, where Hayes was killed by Kong. Jack had to hold Jimmy back, which saved his life when the beast shook them off the log, and the two grabbed vines on the walls to keep them from falling. On landing in deep mud at the bottom, Jack managed to survive the fall before helping Jimmy up before being attacked by giant bugs. Jack grabbed a stick and began using it to stave them off before gunfire came from above when Englehorn arrived and saved them. Jack was the only one who opted to continue the search. He followed Kong's trail and climbed slowly up the side of his mountain and through a den of foul-smelling bats he named Terapusmordax before waking Ann. They nearly escaped but Kong awoke and rounded on Jack until the bats attacked Ann and distracted the beast long enough for the two to climb down vines on the cliffside. Kong began to pull the vine back up to him, but Jack grabbed a passing Terapusmordax, and floated the bat down to drop into a river. They went over a small waterfall before coming ashore. They ran back to the wall and shouted to those on the other side as Kong emerged from the jungle behind him, and crossed the bridge as Kong began to assault the gate. Jack did his best to run Ann to the safety of the ship, despite her attempts to run to Kong as the crew tried to capture him.
Ann didn't talk to him on the whole voyage home, where they parted ways. Jack knew it was due to his inability to tell her that he loved her, but such forwardness had never been the Driscoll family's forte. Being unable to stop thinking about her, he left the performance of Cry Havoc and went to Times Square to find her at Kong's theater, only to meet with Preston, who informed him that Ann was not there. However, shortly after Kong was unveiled, things began to go wrong, and the two tried to usher people out of the theater before the beast broke free. Kong recognized Jack as he stood on the balcony, and tried to chase after him, but Jack got away and watched him search the crowd for Ann. Jack then got in a taxi and followed Kong to try and get his attention, and draw him away. Kong chased Jack until to their shared disbelief Ann appeared, and took her away. Jack then found that they had come to the Empire State Building, and Jack began climbing up to rescue Ann. When he arrived at the observation deck, she was running to the top to be with Kong, who let himself fall off the building before Jack approached her, and when she asked why he had come, he was finally able to say how he felt.
While in pre-production for a play he had written entitled Isolation, Jack was also commissioned by his friend Carl Denham to write a screenplay for his upcoming adventure film. Jack however, left Denham's script unfinished and tried to leave the director with his notes before leaving to get to a rehearsal of Isolation. However, while they were talking, Carl's ship, the Venture cast off as per the director's orders: effectively trapping him on board. Despite his having to sleep in an animal cage below decks, over the course of the voyage he grew quite close to the lead actress Ann Darrow over their shared enthusiasm for good storytelling, and this eventually lead to a kiss. When they finally reached Denham's filming location, the mythical Skull Island, Jack went ashore with the rest of the film crew, but they were almost immediately attacked by the natives, and Jack suffered a blow to the back of the head with a club. Captain Englehorn and some sailors came to their rescue, and that night, Englehorn ordered all extraneous weight to go overboard in order to hasten their departure. While doing this, Jack came across a native necklace and went looking for Ann, only to find her cabin empty and two dead men with spears in them. He promptly informed the rest of the crew that Ann had been kidnapped. When they stormed the village, they discovered that Ann had been sent over a massive wall and given to a monster Denham described as an ape. Jack prepared to go in after her, and Englehorn gave the party supplies and 24 hours to return with her before they set sail. While in the jungle, they found one of Kong, the monster's, footprints. Jack went to find Denham for an estimate on its size, but Denham's attempts at filming a herd of Brontosaurus got the group caught in a stampede, brought on by a pack of hunting Venatosaurus. Jack and the others began to run away, but leading actor Bruce Baxter shot at one of the Brontosaurus, causing those behind it to trip on its form, and making themselves easier targets for the carnivores. Jack was sprung upon by one of the dinosaurs, but First Mate Hayes shot it away, saving his life. The survivors, after fighting through the jungles, the party came upon a fallen tree bridging an enormous chasm. Unfortunately, as they began to cross, Kong appeared and shook the log before throwing it into the pit. Jack got down unharmed by sliding down a vine, but they were immediately attacked by Carnictis, Weta-rex, and Arachno-claws. Jack helped the survivors up, and they were rescued by Englehorn, Baxter, and the other sailors. While the rest went back to the village, Jack insisted that Ann was alive, despite Englehorn's suggesting he come back. In the middle of the night, Jack arrived at Kong's lair, and found Ann sleeping in his hand. She awoke, and they prepared to make their escape, but Kong awoke, and with him woke the flock of Terapusmordax hanging from his cave's ceiling. Kong attempted to attack Jack, but quickly shifted his attention to the flying carnivores as Jack and Ann climbed down the cliff. They dropped into the river below after grabbing a Terapusmordax' leg and weighing the beast down to a reasonable height, and arrived at the gate to the village with Kong hot on their tail. However, the crewmen were prepared and much to Jack and Ann's astonishment, captured Kong alive.
Back in New York, Jack watched Kong's Broadway premiere with Carl's assistant Prerston, but noticed that Ann had not been cast, and Preston revealed that she had refused all offers. Jack then noticed that Kong was breaking his chains and fled the theater just before Kong escaped. He entered an abandoned Taxi Cab, and followed the beast to the foot of the Empire State Building, where Ann came out to calm him. Kong then took Ann up to the top of the building, and Jack made his way up to rescue her, and she ran to Kong as he fell from the building following his being shot and wounded by airplanes. Jack arrived to comfort her, as Kong hit the ground.
King Kong (2005)
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- Christopher Golden. King Kong. Pocket Star Books. p. 49. 2005. ISBN: 1416503919.