16

In King Kong (2005) when Carl is asking Ann to play the lead in his film, he asks her

Carl Denham: Anyway, Ann. You wouldn't happen to be a size 4 by any chance? [Ann stands to leave] No, no. Oh God, no! You've got me all wrong. Ann, please! I'm not that type of person at all.

Ann Darrow: What type of person are you?

Why does she get offended? What does "size 4" mean in this context?

22

By asking for her weight, it implies that he is interested in her body which makes her uncomfortable. Earlier in the film, we know she is struggling for her work. She is recommended to go to the burlesque club in the script:

Weston: Look - I know times are tough. You want my advice? Use what you got. You’re not bad looking - a girl like you doesn’t have to starve.

HOPE flickers in ANN’S EYES as WESTON fishes into his POCKET for a PEN and BUSINESS CARD. He scribbles down an address.

As she reaches the burlesque club, she realises what it is and is disgusted:

CLOSE ON: ANN ... standing in the MIDDLE of the SIDEWALK. She is unaware of DENHAM watching her. ANN stares grimly at the BURLESQUE HOARDINGS, the FLYER clutched in her hands, a small knot of anger forming in her stomach.

CLOSE ON: DENHAM’s HAND lets go of the DOOR. His eyes lock on ANN through the sea of PEDESTRIANS.

ANN angrily CRUMPLES the FLYER, drops it in the GUTTER and walks away from the THEATRE.

She leaves and steals an apple given how hungry she is. Denham sees this, pays for it to avoid her getting into trouble and offers her a hot meal. This is obviously exactly what she wants - then he asks about her size.

Understandably, she is concerned that he is effectively bribing her with food in return for something (such as work at the burlesque club). As her feelings earlier showed, she is deeply angry at the idea of working here and so begins to storm off.

He then calms her by reassuring her he is casting for a role in a film, not trying to make her dance or do anything else she would feel uncomfortable with.

  • 3
    Doesn't he just want to cast her in the film because she can fit into the clothes of the other actress that left the film? – steelersquirrel Feb 22 '16 at 15:29
  • 1
    @steelerfan: If I recall, yes. But she obviously doesn't know that initially and so a near-argument ensues. – Andrew Martin Feb 22 '16 at 15:31
  • Right. I was just trying to remember if that is why he initially approached her :) – steelersquirrel Feb 22 '16 at 15:42
5

Size 4 means Extra Small, below is the full chart of woman size from tactics.com :

enter image description here

Asking woman's size is obviously for the reason of this reaction and even calling her size 4 (means "smaller assets") is also offensive.

  • 4
    It's not offensive. Some thin skinned people may be offended, but that doesn't mean asking for size is offensive. – Davor Feb 22 '16 at 12:04
  • 9
    People can and will find literally anything offensive! – Pyritie Feb 22 '16 at 12:39
  • 3
    I am thin and it does feel offensive to be called thin. Not always but depends on the word used. – Ankit Sharma Feb 22 '16 at 12:43
  • 4
    You're more likely to cause offense by calling a woman size 20 (or any number larger than 10, really) than a size 4. – aroth Feb 22 '16 at 14:08
  • 1
    @davor yes, asking a woman what her size is is seen as offensive by a large percentage of women. (Pun not intended). Is it reasonable to be offended, maybe, but if many people are offended by it, it's offensive. That's how offensive works. – cde Feb 23 '16 at 1:14
0

In the context of the scene, it seems to me that the question's context is different from the other answerers' interpretations: the actress who was going to play that part backed out after they bought her wardrobe, so if she were the same size, it would save them money. He thinks so little of her, or expects to pay her so little, that this small fact is significant to him.

At least, that's what it meant to me when I saw it. Only a little of it is stated, but to me, it was all implied.

  • 2
    I agree with this, but the question asks why she reacted, not why he behaved in that way. – Andrew Martin Mar 4 '16 at 0:13
  • She reacted badly because she understood this context, which is demeaning to her. Her reaction is to being demeaned. (Sorry, I thought that was obvious.) – Jeffiekins Mar 4 '16 at 15:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .