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Film / Creation (1931)

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Creation is an unfinished film from 1931 by Willis O’Brien and Merian C. Cooper. Essentially it’s about a rich family who get stranded with a Chillean submarine crew on an island of prehistoric animals and try to survive on it before the island blows itself up.

The film was scrapped by Cooper himself and producer David O. Selznick, who deemed it too boring and lacking in action. O’Brien and Cooper would later team up on a much more successful project that DID end up getting finished. What film was that? King Kong. In fact a lot of ideas and concepts from this made it into Kong.

Presumed lost, some test footage of the film was discovered to have survived. The screenplay also survived and both were unveiled during the anniversary of King Kong by future remake director Peter Jackson. The test footage can be seen here but the really fun part is the script which can be seen read aloud here in all it’s cheesy glory.


Creation contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Trapped on an island that’s literally exploding all around you with your kids isn’t exactly a pretty way to go.
  • Artistic License – History: Well duh.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Thornton Armitage.
  • Badass Mustache: In the concept art, it seems a lot of the time Hallet has a mustache even though in the finished test footage he doesn’t have one.
  • Captain Obvious: The screenplay points out the blatantly obvious in a lot of places.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Hallet, to the point the script flat out describes him as “arrogant and useless”.
  • Gainax Ending: The island blows up taking all the prehistoric life with it yet our protagonists survive.
  • Invincible Hero: Steve. He’s always right, knows more about the wildlife and survival then anyone else, gets the girl, always escapes death and in the concept art is drawn as looking dashing and handsome.
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  • Kid Hero: Billy though he’s more of a side character.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Elaine Armitage’s scenes all revovle around Steve and Hallet.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: We have our typical dinosaurs with T-Rex, Brontosaurus and Triceratops. Understandable given that a lot of the dinosaur species we know today weren’t discovered yet.

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