Mechanical Secrets of Moving Gorillas in “King Kong”, 1933 – Design You Trust — Design Daily Since 2007

Mechanical Secrets of Moving Gorillas in “King Kong”, 1933

Ever wonder how a Hollywood make-up man converts an actor into a terrifyingly realistic gorilla in those fascinating jungle pictures you watch on the silver screen?

A study of these photos will give you an idea of what goes on behind a gorilla face. Mechanics have devised a set of mechanical facial bones and muscles which act as the skeleton for a leather “skin” which make-up men put on.

h/t: vintag.es

A simple set of levers on the mechanism and a strip clamping over the lower teeth enable the actor to open and close his huge gorilla jaws like the real beast of the jungle. A special strap over the eyes gives the beetle browed effect.

Since gorillas have resisted all attempts to train them for use in the movies, film producers have resorted to “synthetic” animals custom-built to fit the picture. One such animal completed recently by Max Factor Studios of Hollywood, California, is made up of an aluminum skeleton with its “bones” filled out with mohair. The body is covered with a tanned leather hide into which thousands of hairs have been knotted by wig craftsmen.

Basic and motionless portions of the gorilla’s skull also are of aluminum, but the working parts in the jaws are made of aluminum, supplemented by steel springs and pinions. Bone teeth and synthetic flesh tongue and mouth lining have a natural appearance. For skin of the gorilla’s head, smooth polished chamois is used, with hair wig-stitched in the proper locale. The “bones” of the cinema gorilla’s hand extensions are of duralumin.

[Fancy_Facebook_Comments_Pro width="650"]
If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Design You Trust Facebook page. You won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Daredevil Motorized Roller Skates From the 1960s
"Extavium" Museum in Potsdam, Germany
Yokai Horrors From The 18th Century Bakemono Zukushi Scroll - The Nightmarish, Curious And Rather Cute Demons Were Created In The Edo Period
Kiss Me, My Fool!: Theda Bara, the Original Vamp, Posing With a Skeleton as Publicity for the Silent Film ‘A Fool There Was’, 1915
Stunning Photos Of The Installation Process For 5G Network Equipment On The Mount Everest
Urban Exploration Photographer Reveals Abandoned Ferrari & MG Sports Car. Bonus: Lamborghini Diablo Goat Edition
The Funniest Vintage-Inspired Comics by Drew Fairweather
God Save the Queen: Amazing Photos of Manchester Punks in the 1980s
"City Of Light": 1939 New York World’s Fair Diorama In The Making
Double: Wheels for your iPad
Harrowing Black And White Photos Show The Horrific Living Conditions In 1940s Glasgow Where Overcrowding Was Rife And Sewage Seeped Into Slums
Robotic Exoskeletons Help The Paralyzed Walk Again
Meet Alicia Framis, The First Woman To Marry A Hologram
This Instagram Account Creates Sinister Parodies of Kid’s Cooks To Ruin Your Childhood Memories
Impressive Vintage Posters Designed by Eric de Coulon
This Russian Guy Left Uni To Make Superhero Masks That Wowed Hollywood
Motion Designer Uses A Video Editing Program To Bring Old Photos To Life
The Wizard of Robots
Beautiful Vintage Color Photos of Holidaymakers at Southend-on-Sea in 1953
Vintage Album Covers From Yugoslavia Are Amazingly Awkward
The Remarkable Alaska's Indigenous People Snow Goggles
Amazing Photos of the Third Generation of the Ford Thunderbird, 1961-1963
The Original British Skinhead Subculture in Photographic Portraits, 1970-1990
Peek into Espionage's Past: A Look at Fascinating Vintage Spy Cameras