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Know It All
August 17, 2013, 05:00 AM

King Kong is 50 feet tall. He is from Skull Island.

***

The 1933 movie “King Kong” was a huge success that saved its film company, RKO Radio Pictures, from bankruptcy. In its first week, the movie earned $100,000. Movie admission at the time cost 15 cents.

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Actress Fay Wray (1907-2004) appeared in over 100 movies in the 1920s and ’30s, but she is most famous for her role as Ann Darrow in “King Kong.” She is the unwitting love interest of the big ape that gets abducted atop of the Empire State Building.

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Thanks to the famous “King Kong” scene, the Empire State Building and Fay Wray will always be remembered together. Wray was the guest of honor at the 60th birthday celebration of the Empire State Building in 1991. When Wray died in 2004, the Empire State Building dimmed its spire lights in her honor.

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The last mainstream silent movie made by a major studio in the United States was “The Four Feathers” (1929). Richard Arlen (1898-1976) and Fay Wray starred in the film.

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Native Americans regarded eagle feathers as sacred. Eagles represented strength and courage. Warrior’s brave deeds were rewarded with the presentation of an eagle feather, to be worn in a headdress.

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Ostrich feathers were in high fashion in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century, worn in ladies hats. The demand for the feathers was so high that ostriches were hunted and killed almost to extinction.

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Goose feathers were the most common feather used for quill pens. The feathers from the outer left wings were best because the feathers curved away when used by a right-handed writer.

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The word for pen in French is plume. Nom de plume means pen name, a pseudonym used by authors.

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There are many French expressions sprinkled into our everyday vocabulary. Do you know the French terms for the following? Appetizer, meeting, dead-end street, early movie, with ice cream, high fashion. See answer at end.

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Euro Disney, Disney’s first park in Europe, opened in Paris in 1992. During the first two years in operation, the park suffered financially. In 1994, the park’s name was changed to Disneyland Paris, the finances were restructured and the park was expanded. The park showed its first profit in November 1995.

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Tokyo Disneyland is the busiest theme park in the world, with over 17 million visitors per year.

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The top three most visited theme parks in the United States, are Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla. with 14 million visitors annually, Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. with 12.7 million visitors and Epcot in Orlando, Fla. with 8.6 million visitors.

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Count Dracula is from Transylvania, which is a region of eastern Europe now in Romania.

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Bram Stoker (1847-1912) based his character Count Dracula, from his 1897 horror novel, on an actual person. Vlad III Dracula (1431-1476), known as Vlad the Impaler, was born in Transylvania and was the Prince of Wallachia. Vlad was widely known for his cruelty, which included impaling his enemies.

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Answer: Appetizer: Hors d’oeuvre, meeting: Rendez-vous, dead-end street: Cul-de-sac, early movie: Matinee, with ice cream: a la mode, high fashion: Haute couture.

Know It All is by Kerry McArdle. It runs in the weekend and Wednesday editions of the Daily Journal. Questions? Comments? E-mail knowitall@smdailyjournal.com or call 344-5200 x114.

 

 

Tags: feathers, movie, state, building, million,


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