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King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 26 June 1963 (USA)
Trailer
1:05 | Trailer

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A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director:

Ishirô Honda

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadao Takashima Tadao Takashima ... Osamu Sakurai
Kenji Sahara Kenji Sahara ... Kazuo Fujita
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Kinsaburo Furue
Ichirô Arishima Ichirô Arishima ... Mr. Tako
Jun Tazaki Jun Tazaki ... General Masami Shinzo
Akihiko Hirata ... Dr. Shigezawa
Mie Hama ... Fumiko Sakurai
Akiko Wakabayashi ... Tamiye
Akemi Negishi ... Chikiro's Mother (Dancing Girl)
Yoshio Kosugi Yoshio Kosugi ... Farou Island Chief
Yoshifumi Tajima Yoshifumi Tajima ... Captain of Fujita's Ship - Japanese version only
Ikio Sawamura Ikio Sawamura ... Witch Doctor
Someshô Matsumoto Someshô Matsumoto ... Dr. Onuki
Kô Mishima Kô Mishima ... Official
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Obayashi (Mr. Tako's assistant)
Edit

Storyline

Mr. Tako, the chairman of a pharmaceutical company, learns the roma tomato-sized berries that grow on Farou Island are a miracle cure, and that the natives worship a god called King Kong who has allegedly grown to giant size from eating the berries. What better way to promote the product, Tako figures, than to bring the creature back to Japan? He leads an expedition with Sakurai and Furue to get the berries and the monster. Meanwhile, some American pilots discover the chunk of the glacier Godzilla was sealed in back in 1955. Sakurai's sister's boyfriend Kazuo is busy trying to sell an invisible but super-strong wire, which of course no one wants until Kong escapes... Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most colossal conflict the screen has ever known! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

26 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Kong vs. Godzilla See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,725,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1970 Toho Champion Festival)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Japan theatrical release)| Mono (Westrex Sound) (US version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though one of the more popular and successful films in the Godzilla series, its drastic American re-edit was met with near universal scorn by Western movie critics. Most of them slammed the Japanese rubber suit effects and took offense at Japan's re-imagining of the famous American movie monster King Kong as a comical character. Ironically, most of them didn't realize the film had originated in America and the version they critiqued was edited by Americans. The film's original version was a satirical comedy about the Japanese media business, but the social topics didn't survive the American edit, hence why so many viewers were confused by the movie's tone. See more »

Goofs

During the natives' fight with the giant octopus, you can see the shadows of the torches and spears on the backdrop. See more »

Quotes

[King Kong has just encountered Godzilla]
Osamu Sakurai: Oh, I'll bet Kong has no chance.
Mr. Tako: I'll toss you... Heads for King Kong.
[he flips the coin]
Mr. Tako: Tails...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits for the U.S. version, actor Kenji Sahara is listed as "Keji Sahaka." See more »

Alternate Versions

There was also a problem with printing, as matte lines are much more visible in the USA print than the Japanese. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XVI (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Greatest Toho Film Ever!
3 October 2008 | by jerekraSee all my reviews

There are a lot of great films in the Toho Series. Rodan, Godzilla King of the Monsters, Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster, and Frankenstein Conquers The World to name a few. However, in my opinion, King Kong vs Godzilla is both the greatest Godzilla film and Toho Film ever made.

A submarine is doing an expedition in the arctic. It is destroyed by Godzilla who emerges from a Glacier. Godzilla then heads towards Japan, according to a television reporter acting like a fish that is heading back to its old waters. A man in charge of a television channel, sends a group to Farrow Island hoping to bring back a supposed monster that lives on the Island. He does this to gain better publicity. On the island a giant octopus attacks the group and a native tribe but a giant monster, King Kong, comes and dispatches the octopus. Kong is then taken on a raft back to Japan. Kong fights Godzilla and is forced to retreat mainly due to the fact that Godzilla's radioactive fire is to much for him. Japan then uses Electrical cords to surround Japan, it works on Godzilla but not with Kong. Kong is put to sleep and taken to Mount Fuji to fight Godzilla with the hope that they will both die.

Godzilla and King Kong fighting against each other. A perfect idea. At the time this film was made though, both monsters were not legendary film monsters. King Kong was a bigger star and had been around since 1933. This was the first Godzilla film to be in color and it started Godzilla on a stretch where he would become the most popular movie monster. This film helped develop Godzilla, it was his first film in a while and it helped start him off on the stretch that I just mentioned.

This is not the same King Kong from the original classic King Kong. If it was then Godzilla could merely step on him. This is Toho's version of King Kong. Not a bad version I must say. Kong gets in a lot of good action, fighting a giant Octopus, smashing through electrical cords, and of course going against Godzilla. In this film electricity makes Kong stronger, an interesting ability to make him stand a better chance against Godzilla. I always liked Godzilla better than King Kong but Kong is a great monster also.

Godzilla is great in this film. Not only is he in color for the first time but he also once again is a villain. Awesome! The Godzilla in this film looks really good, probably third behind the Godzilla from Godzilla King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs Mothra. Godzilla is bulky has an evil looking head and just looks like nothing can stop him. Except electricity apparently. That is one thing that always confused me, Electricity did not stop him at all in Godzilla King of the Monsters so why did it work this time? Probably because in this film they state that Godzilla has the brain the size of a cherry. I think this is the only film where Godzilla's brain size is talked about, but I do not think that Godzilla's intelligence is the same in every film.

The story is pretty easy to follow. Mr Sato needs a giant monster to give him better ratings since he is sick of Godzilla. So an expedition to Farrow Island Island takes place to find another monster. I guess you can always find Kong on Islands in the middle of nowhere. Once Kong is taken back to Japan the film gets really interesting as there are two giant monsters around. Also the whole tension leading up to the battle between the two is great.

Acting is awesome. Not much more to add. I would just like to say that I love how on the boat one of Sato's men calls Sato a 'dumb bell" and states how "King Kong could kill us all and you wouldn't care. Publicity is all you want!" It is funny because it is true.

The monster fight at the end is awesome. Really is the best monster fight I have seen. Both get their moments, but I really can see that clearly Godzilla has the upper hand. So I guess Kong is portrayed more as the hero than Godzilla is. BUt that is OK, I love when Godzilla is a villain.

One thing I would like to add. THere has been a long running rumor that the ending is different in the Japanese Version than in the American Version. All I can say without giving too much away is that you should check where bits of information you heard comes from and not believe everything you hear.

Also, I really hope they do not re make this film. I know that sounds bad, but I have seen so many re makes as failures and this is the type of film that could be re made. Just let this film stand by itself.

A great film. Godzilla against King Kong. GO see it, it is a classic.


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