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Ann Darrow is a fictional character from the 1933 movie King Kong and its 2005 remake. She is a wonderful and beautiful actress with whom the giant ape King Kong falls in love. In the original film, Ann is played by Fay Wray; in the 2005 remake, she is played by Naomi Watts; in an unauthorized 1998 animated musical film, The Mighty Kong, she is voiced by Jodi Benson. The 1976 remake features an analogous character named "Dwan" (played by Jessica Lange). The character of Ann Darrow never appears in any other films or television productions of King Kong, yet has been seen in the King Kong Comic books.

1933 movie

In the 1933 film, Ann Darrow is an unemployed actress reduced to homelessness by the Great Depression. Rescued from the streets by filmmaker Carl Denham, she travels with him to Skull Island aboard the tramp steamer S.S. Venture and meets a love interest in the ship's first mate, Jack Driscoll. Once on the island, she is captured by natives who subsequently offer her as a sacrifice to Kong, whom they worship as a god. Despite Ann's sheer terror, Kong adopts her and takes her to his home inside a massive cavern atop Skull Mountain. She is rescued from the cavern by Driscoll and his comrades, only to be ruthlessly pursued back to the native village by an enraged Kong, who will stop at nothing to get her back. An intense battle ensues, culminating in the destruction of much of the village and ultimately, the gigantic ape's live capture.

Seeing an incredibly profitable opportunity, Denham transports Kong to New York Citymarker, with the intent of putting him on display for paying crowds as "King Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World". Unfortunately on opening night, Kong escapes and goes on a rampage through downtown Manhattanmarker, once again capturing Ann.

In the film's finale, King Kong carries the terrified Ann to the very top of the Empire State Buildingmarker, where he is engaged by a squadron of military fighter planes. Kong is finally killed, falling to the streets below and Ann is reunited with Jack Driscoll.

In this original version, the filmmakers included a brief near-nude scene in which Kong removes Fay Wray's outer clothing and tickles her almost totally bare legs; this scene was famously censored and went unrestored, along with many other censorship cuts, until the film's theatrical re-release in the early 1970s.

2005 movie

In the 2005 remake, her character is given more detail: she is a struggling vaudeville performer and bonds with Kong by entertaining him with her comic acting and displays of juggling skill; in addition, she eventually comes to sympathize with Kong, gaining the great ape's trust and understanding. She feels a kind of brotherly love for Kong, unlike the character in the original, who is terrified of him and spends the entire time screaming and fainting while in his clutches. When the two are trapped atop the skyscraper at the climax, she tries desperately to prevent him from being killed, much like Dwan in the 1976 version, but to no avail. After Kong's death, she embraces Jack Driscoll, who is trying to get to her the entire time.

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