A newspaper and television station funded by a pharmaceutical company want a sensation, which happens to be the discovery of King Kong on an island. He is captured and brought to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles Godzilla.

Directors:

Ishirô Honda (as Inoshiro Honda), Tom Montgomery (as Thomas Montgomery)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keith ... Eric Carter
Harry Holcombe ... Dr. Johnson
James Yagi ... Yutaka Omura
Tadao Takashima ... Osamu Sakurai
Kenji Sahara ... Kazuo Fujita (as Keji Sahaka)
Ichirô Arishima ... Mr. Tako
Yû Fujiki Yû Fujiki ... Kinsaburo Furue
Byron Morrow ... Dr. Arnold Johnson
Jun Tazaki Jun Tazaki ... General Masami Shinzo
Akihiko Hirata ... Dr. Shigezawa
Mie Hama ... Fumiko Sakurai
Yoshifumi Tajima Yoshifumi Tajima ... Captain of Fujita's Ship - Japanese version only
Akiko Wakabayashi ... Tamiye
Akemi Negishi ... Chikiro's Mother (Dancing Girl)
Yoshio Kosugi Yoshio Kosugi ... Farou Island Chief
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Storyline

(Re-edited US Version) Eric Cater, a reporter for the United Nations, reports on a submarine which collides with an iceberg and frees Godzilla. The news of this soon leads to Mr. Tako, the chairman of a pharmaceutical company, to seek a monster of his own to generate publicity. He sends out an expedition to Farou Island where they discover the god of the island in the form of King Kong. The giant ape is capture and returned to Japan, upon which it escapes and heads off on a collision course straight towards Godzilla. The two rivals soon clash in a giant climatic battle. Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mighty King Kong! Mighty Godzilla! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toho re-edit the original version of the film for their Champion Festival. The problem was that they used the original camera negative which meant that for video releases, they had to source a 16 mm print of inferior. When they released the film on Blu-Ray, they used this version from Universal to supplement most of the footage, though their are shots where the image quality noticeably drops in quality. However in 2015, Toho discovered a 35 mm print of the original film and gave it a full 4K restoration. It is the second Godzilla film to receive a 4K restoration, however they did not provide Criterion with did master, meaning that they had to make do with the prior restoration. See more »

Goofs

In the scenes aboard the submarine Seahawk, the captain is wearing white gloves. This is part of the dress uniform for the Imperial Navy but not the U.S. Navy. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

One scene that was deleted from the American version is the scene on board the ship taking Kazuo to Hokkaido to test his wire. It is during that scene that the ship receives the notice to be on the lookout for the stranded submarine. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Giant Monster Fights (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) ***
15 February 2005 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

Any insults and accusations hurled against this beloved movie will fall on deaf ears with me. Admittedly, I am somewhat biased in favor of this entertaining monster romp because it was a regular television staple all during my childhood while I was growing up. It's one of the most enjoyable giant monster movies Toho Studios ever made, and it's certainly one of the best Godzilla films of all. It can be silly, it can be jokey, and it's also a hell of a lot of fun.

I have seen both the U.S. Version and the Japanese Version, and I'll have to confess that while this review will be based on the proper Asian edition, I also have a nostalgic fondness for the American Cut, which actually benefits from some added jokes ("When you and the monster meet, be sure to tell him all about your corn problems!") and the exciting Universal stock music which compliments much of the action.

Godzilla was still a bad guy at this point in time, and I'm among the group who considers his costume here my personal favorite (it was very much like the Aurora model kit, or maybe it was the other way around). It's not very original to bash the obvious awful King Kong suit, so I'll say that while it's definitely kind of ragged, I actually think it's appealing in its unusual weirdness. Kong is more or less painted as the heroic one of these two, and I have to tell you that I absolutely love that native song of worship which is chanted at him by the island dwellers who dance and pray on his home turf. I appreciate it even more when it's used as the title credits music in the Toho version.

The story is silly and simple, but it works. Godzilla is back in town after awakening from the iceberg he froze in at the conclusion of GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN, and so a frustrated pharmaceutical advertiser decides to send a couple of his zany cronies to King Kong's Island to capture and bring back his own monster to give Godzilla some competition. Humor is very well used here, and it works well alongside the usual rampages and city stompings.

The touted "battle of the giants" has been unfairly maligned as looking too much like a "wrestling match," but I don't see how else these creatures are supposed to tangle with one another unless they opted to stare each other down for ten minutes. Not much fun there, I'm afraid! Their climactic fight is well worth the wait and fulfills all expectations. *** out of ****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

King Kong vs Godzilla

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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