|Ishirou Honda Director||previously directed Varan the Unbelievable|
Two of the most iconic monsters in film face off in this 1962 film.
A popular urban legend says that Godzilla won in the Japanese version of the film. King Kong wins in all version of the film.
King Kong vs. Godzilla's story picks up where Godzilla Raids Again left off.
|John Beck||story "King Kong vs. Prometheus" (uncredited)|
|Bruce Howard||american version|
|Paul Mason||american version|
|Willis H. O'Brien||story "King Kong vs. Frankenstein" (uncredited)|
|George Worthing Yates||story "King Kong vs. Prometheus"|
|Tadao Takashima||Osamu Sakurai|
|Kenji Sahara||Kazuo Fujita|
|Yû Fujiki||Kinsaburo Furue|
|Jun Tazaki||General Masami Shinzo|
|Akihiko Hirata||Dr. Shigezawa|
|Mie Hama||Fumiko Sakurai|
|Akemi Negishi||Chikiro's Mother (Dancing Girl)|
|Senshô Matsumoto||Prime Minister|
|Sachio Sakai||Obayashi (Mr. Tako's assistant)|
|See Full Credits|
The third Godzilla movie filmed, King Kong vs. Godzilla is the first time either Godzilla or King Kong appeared in color or in wide screen. Originally released in Japan in 1962, an edit version was released by Universal in 1963. This movie is a direct sequel to Godzilla Raids Again.
King Kong vs. Godzilla traces it's roots back to Willis O'Brien, the original animator for the move King Kong. O'Brien came up with the idea of King Kong fighting a giant version of Frankenstein's monster, and created concept art and a screenplay treatment for a movie called "King Kong vs. Frankenstein". The title was later changed to "King Kong vs. Prometheus" when the screen play was fleshed out by George Yates ("The Modern Prometheus" being another name for the Frankenstein monster). Producer John Beck was brought in to help find the script a home.
However, the costs of stop-motion made the project prohibitively expensive, forcing Beck to shop the script overseas. Toho expressed interest in the film, wanting to do a King Kong film, but wanted to replace Frankenstein with Godzilla, seeing it as a way to celebrate their 30th year of production. The dealings were done behind O'Brien's back, and he never got credit for the product. King Kong was given billing over Godzilla due to Kong's popularity in both the US and Japan, as well as the fact that Godzilla was still considered a villain character at the time.
A news broadcast, anchored by United Nations reporter Eric Carter, discusses the news of the day. Using the International Communications Satellite, he talks to Rodrigo Infanta to discuss a series of earthquakes that have rocked Chile. He then continues to a story based out of the Bering Sea: the Japanese fishing fleet has reported the break-up of icebergs. Carter explains that this is caused by a normally cold ocean current has increased in temperature. A nuclear submarine, Sea Hawk, has been dispatched with a team of scientists to research the reasoning. He also notes that a Nobel Prize winning Japanese Scientists, Akira Makino, has discovered a berry that could advanced medicine: it provides a non-habit forming narcotic effect. However, the berry only grows on one primitive island, and that the natives are unwilling to give up the berries, as they use the juice from the berries to placate a large creature on the island. While Dr. Makino will not comment on the creature, his employers, the Pacific Pharmaceutical Company, claims that the creature does exist, and that his size is because of the berries.
Dr. Makino talks to small group of men, including the president of the Pacific Pharmaceutical Company, Tako, and two assistants, Sakurai and Furue . telling them he has called the berries "soma", and that while preliminary testing with the berries is promising, the natives still refuse to give up more than a handful, and that the island name was Farou. The other two men are skeptical, even though Makino says he believes the monster does exist. Despite this, Tako orders them to go to Farou Island and find the monster, as the monster will give the company great publicity.
Sakurai visits his sister, Fumiko, and her boyfriend, Fujita. Fujita gives Sakurai a demonstration of a new type of threat that is stronger than steel. Shortly after, Fujita notes a story in a newspaper about a submarine.
Eric Carter, back at the UN newsroom, contacts the Sea Hawk, and with another reporter in Japan, track the Sea Hawk as it approaches it's destination. The crew of the Sea Hawk notes amazingly warm waters for the Arctic Ocean. They find an iceberg emitting a light, which one of scientists notes looks like the light generated by a nuclear reactor. Geiger counters begin to get a reading, but the Sea Hawk continues to advance. The submarine collides with an iceberg, which damages it's own reactor, and begins to leak radioactive material into the ocean. The submarine sends out a mayday as the ship begins to flood. A helicopter is sent out to find the damaged vessel. The helicopter crew witness Godzilla breaking out of the iceberg.
Dr. Kenji Shigezawa, Japanese Minister of Defense, tells a group of reports that Godzilla is approaching Japan, but he is confident that the military can stop Godzilla, and that other strategies are being drawn up. When asked if the atomic bomb will be deployed against Godzilla, Shigezawa they will as a last resort, saying that if they do not stop Godzilla, that he will destroy Japan.
Large groups of tanks and artillery units are deployed to the coast, and attack Godzilla as he comes ashore near a military base. However, the tanks prove no match for the monster, and the base is quickly destroyed. The UN news broadcast reports that evacuation plans are being drawn up. Mr. Tako, watching the broadcast, declares that he is sick of Godzilla, and again repeats his desire for a monster of his own.
Sakurai and Furue arrive at Farou Island, where the natives are are crushing the berries into juice. The natives quickly capture the two men and their translator, Konno, are brought before the village chief. The chief demands that they leave the island. Sakurai uses gifts to convince the chief to let them stay, but the chief warns them that the god may come down while they are there. A thunderstorm breaks, and the villagers begin to worship their idol. Sakurai is convinced that the natives believe the storms to be this mysterious god of theirs, until a roar fills the air.
A friend of Fumiko, Tamiye, brings her news that the plane Fujita was on has crashed, and that there are only 29 survivors. Tamiye suggest that Fumiko go to Hokkadio, where the plane had crashed, to see if Fujita is among the survivors. She agrees. However, the UN news broadcasts warns that Hokkadio is believed to be the next target of Godzilla. The broadcast interviews a scientist, who attempts Godzilla's origins, and gives a theory as to why Godzilla keeps returning to Japan.
Back at Farou Island, Sakurai and Furue travel to the island interior with Konno and several natives, seeking to find the source of the roaring they heard the night before. While they do hear the roaring again, they are forced to retreat back to the village by another thunderstorm and a landslide. That night, the natives are still worshiping, hoping to appease the angry god.
An outlying hut of the village is attacked by a giant octopus, who is seeking the berry juice the villagers have made. Sakurai and Furue join the villagers in trying to fight off the octopus, but the monster seems immune to every weapon they try to use against it. The roaring from before is heard, and the villagers scatter in fear. King Kong appears, and fights the giant octopus. After a short battle, Kong drives the octopus off. The battle over, Kong drinks the remaining berry juice. The narcotic effects of the juice, combined with the song of the natives, cause the giant ape of fall asleep. With the monster asleep, Sakurai and Furue are able to capture Kong.
King Kong is floated back to Japan on a great wooden raft dragged by the ship. Mr. Tako helicopters out and meets Sakurai and Furue and congratulates the two men. Tako is thrilled with Kong, and Sakurai explains that as a security measure, the raft carrying Kong has been wired with dynamite. The ship is intercepted by a Japanese Navy vessel, and they are ordered to return Kong to Farou Island.
Fujitai returns home. It turns out he missed the plane because his boss kept him late. He is approached by Tamiye, who informs him that Fumiko has taken an express train to Hokkadio to look for him. Fujita leaves, trying to catch up with the train. It is reported that Godzilla has risen and that it is clear his next target is Hokkadio. Godzilla is attracted by the lights of the train that Fumiko is on. The train is evacuated, and the passengers picked up by trucks, but the trucks are forced to leave before all the passengers can be loaded. Fujita arrives and finds Fumiko as Godzilla destroys the train. The two manage to escape in Fujita's jeep.
The next day, King Kong begins to awake on his raft. The captain orders the cable that is dragging the raft cut. They also try to set off the dynamite but the denotater doesn't work. Furue and Sakurai use rifles to denotate the dynamite, but while it destroys the raft, it fails to kill Kong. King Kong quickly makes landfall, and moves to intercept Godzilla, who is approaching Tokyo. Furue, Sakurai, and Tako follow Kong by car, Tako still trying to use the ape monster as publicity by having his mean shoot pictures of the fight between the two monsters.
Kong and Godzilla clash in a wilderness area outside of Tokyo. The initial battle between the two is short, with Godzilla forcing King Kong to retreat by hitting him with his atomic breath.
The military sets a trap for Godzilla: a large pit is dug, and is filled with explosives and gasoline. Godzilla approaches the pit by night, and the military ignites the gasoline in the pit, using the fire to attract the monster into the trap. Godzilla falls into the hole, and the military detonates the explosives within it. However, Godzilla quickly climbs out of the trap, unharmed.
Around Tokyo, a series of high tension wires are raised around Tokyo, repeating a defense that was used against the first Godzilla attack. The wires will be charged with more than a million volts of electricity. Dr. Shigazawa inspects the high tension blockade, and is on-site when Godzilla approaches it. The voltage in the lines prove to be enough to keep Godzilla from cross the wires. However, King Kong has reached Tokyo, and he manages to break through the high tension wires, seemingly feeding on the electricity. The press mob Dr. Shigazawa, who states that while there is an atomic bomb standing by, it will not be deployed until Tokyo is evacuated.
Fujita and Yumiko attempt to flee Tokyo by train, but are separated when the door closes before Fujita can enter the train. The train leaves, but is attacked by Kong. King Kong lifts the car that Fumiko is in, shakes her out of it, and carries her off. Sakurai, Fujita, and Tako arrives at the main army camp, and gets them to agree to hold fire on Kong until he puts down Fumiko. Sakurai and Tako come up with a plan to put Kong to sleep using a rockets filled with the juice of the Soma berries. As the rockets are fired, a recording of the native's song is played as well. The plan works, and King Kong falls asleep. Fujita is able to rush up to the sleeping monster and rescue Fumiko.
As Godzilla approaches Mount Fuji, a desperate plan is laid: using Fujita's high-strength wire, King Kong will be airlifted to Godzilla's location via giant balloons, where the two monsters will hopefully destroy each other. The plan works, and a trio of helicopters tow the sleeping Kong to Mount Fuji.
The battle begins. Kong is obviously stronger than he was in the first fight, thanks to the electricity he absorbed in Tokyo, and manages to hold his own against Godzilla, using his agility and intelligence. However, Godzilla still the stronger. He knocks Kong unconscious, and uses his tail and atomic breath in an attempt to finish Kong. However, a thunderstorm moves in, and Kong is struck by lightning. Kong is rejuvenated, and now inflicts an electric shock on Godzilla whenever he touches him. The battle rages on as the two opponents grapple with each other, rolling through a town and destroying it, as a well as Atami Castle. Finally, the two monsters, grappling with each other, roll into the ocean, where the battle continues underwater, where the battle is so pitched it causes an earthquake.
King Kong rises from the depths, and he swims out to see, presumably returning to Farou Island. No sign is seen of Godzilla.
The film was originally planned to be shot in Sri Lanka, but budget cuts forced the filming to be done in Japan. Toho also payed RKO $200,000 dollars for the rights to King Kong.
The American version was edited by Beck and two writers, Paul Mason and Bruce Howard, and editor Peter Zinner. They added in the characters related to UN Newscasts, as well as music from older films. It reportedly cost around $15,000 dollars to edit the movie, which was sold to Universal for reported $200,000.
During it's theatrical run in Japan, King Kong vs. Godzilla sold over 11 million tickets and make 3,500,000 yen.
|Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man|
|Godzilla Raids Again|
|Varan the Unbelievable|
|Mothra vs. Godzilla|
|Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster|
|Frankenstein Conquers the World|
|War of the Gargantuas|
|Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster|
|King Kong Escapes|
|Son of Godzilla|
|Destroy All Monsters|
|All Monsters Attack|
|Yog: Monster from Space|
|Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster|
|Godzilla vs. Gigan|
|See All »|