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Poster for the film.

A 1962 film directed Ishiro Honda

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  • Jul 15, 2010


The year was uh well em well I don't remember but when I was a little kid I remember turning on the TV one afternoon and to my surprise my favorite monster of all time Godzilla was about to come on. He was going to do battle with everyone's favorite over sized ape King Kong and I could not have been happier, after all Godzilla was my all time favorite. Naturally Kong had no chance in my mind but I imagined that the battle would be legendary, as a kid I was not disappointed with the film until the ending. Of course I would learn later that a different version of the film, the original version of the film was out there. Of course either way I loved and still do love this film, in my eyes it will forever be a classic regardless of shortcomings on the filmmakers part. To this day when I watch this movie, either version, I still watch it like I was that little kid with awe in my eyes. I do own both versions the American version on DVD and the original Japanese version on VHS, when I go through all my old VHS tapes I will always watch the original release. This was the third appearance in a film I believe for both monsters and it was the first time they were seen in color and in widescreen.

The film went through a lot of changes before the final product and even cut out the original guy that wanted to make this movie. From what I can gather a guy named Willis O'Brien who did animation on the original Kong film came up with an idea to do a new King Kong feature. His idea would involve a giant Frankenstein's monster going up against Kong, that got no were due to rights for the creature although it went threw name changes with the same concept. Around this time Willis comes into contact with a producer named John Beck who went on to produce the final product. After putting the script out there to studios around the world eventually a production company in Japan called Toho agreed to do the film. Except they wanted to do a Kong film that would pit their monster Godzilla against the famous ape, it was here that Willis was cut out due to Beck doing this behind his back while George Worthing Yates came in as a writer at this point. Once the cast, crew, and locations were ready [for both versions] they went to work.

The movie is really up until one point two completely different stories going on at the same time that come together pretty easily and for this type of film believably. The first is the Kong story that is told by the Japanese as a Mr. Tako played by Ichirô Arishima is upset with how everything is turning out with his TV show, so after hearing about Kong from a doctor he decided that the best thing to do is capture the beast and use him for publicity. So off are two of his employees named Sakurai and Kinsaburo to an island where the ape is supposed to be and they are greeted not so friendly like by the natives. The natives of the island it turns out worships Kong and are not happy with these people being here, until they bust out the radio and cigarettes to show the natives. At around the same time all of this is happening a U.S submarine is out in icy waters and comes across something it did not want to, a giant reptile named Godzilla. Of course Godzilla is off to Tokyo and in between Godzilla traveling and stomping right threw the Japanese military, we are back on the island were not only does King Kong appear but he actually gets into it with a giant octopus. After that little ordeal is complete he drinks some stuff and passes out to the soothing music of the natives, and so he is off captured by his publicity hungry captures.

It is some were around here that the two stories started to come together as a plan was hatched to let the monsters go at it by the U.N., things don't work out so well. As Godzilla destroys everything in his path terrorizing the local folk at every turn as were Kong is just making his way towards Godzilla. When these two giants first came together to clash I remember sitting there thinking "aww man this is going to be legendary", I was not disappointed as Godzilla gave it to Kong and literally had the King running away. It was right then and there I knew this film was a classic. Of course from that point it is all about Godzilla on the loose and Kong on the run [away from Godzilla], so the humans of the U.N. devise a plan that would put Kong back in the ring with Godzilla [how they got him there I will speak on later]. So the final battle is on and once again Godzilla is whopping up on "King" Kong {let it be known that if this was a different film I would be for Kong, but I will go against any one going up against Godzilla} with Kong getting in a shot or two once in a while but nothing that really hurts his opponent. At some point Kong tries some rolling maneuver to get past Godzilla and he knocks him self out after hitting his head on a bolder. Then a miracle happens, an electrical storm happens just long enough to shock Kong and give him the strength to continue, earlier the humans made it public knowledge that electricity was bad for Godzilla but good for Kong [yeah]. It helps for a moment and Kong actually gets in a few seconds of some nice ground and pound Ortiz style, but other then that he still takes more then he gives. Then they hit the water with Godzilla on top, and after a little bit Kong is seen in the distance leaving [in my opinion running again like earlier]. It is here that most of the controversy is talked about, but I assure you there are more differences and some odd things.

Before we get to that I must say that the writing by Bruce Howard and Paul Mason did a decent job with their English rewrite, and the new American director Thomas Montgomery seems to have changed things around a little for the additional scenes added to the American release. Over all for what it is they did good jobs but the original Japanese film is better in my opinion, director Ishirô Honda did a good job taking the series in a new direction as did writer Shinichi Sekizawa and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka. But this is the American version and for what it is it is good, loved it growing up as an adult I can now see the flaws but still. All of the actors did decent to good jobs in their respective roles for the most part but you can't always expect Oscar worthy performances all the time. They wanted to change a lot of the comedic aspects of the movie; I say they didn't do a good job because it is still funny in other ways. I have to say that the actors that played Sakurai and Kinsaburo were brilliant and make a wonderful comedic on screen team, there scenes on the island were Kong is worshipped are priceless.

Now on to the odd things I talked about earlier, Godzilla got changed around a little for this film since they wanted him to not look so scary. They chopped off his ears and gave him one less toe, also his fins, body, and head were modified to make him look more like a reptile. Another weird thing is that even though these two were never apparently heard of by these people as soon as they see them they know the creatures by name. Also when was it decided that King Kong could draw power from electricity; I guess that it was a convenience so they could come up with a way for him to even stand a chance. But put that all aside and think about this, how are these two even in the same league. Godzilla is way too big and powerful and awesome to even consider Kong a threat, really think about it. In the Kong films Kong was way bigger then the people of course but he was no were near taller then the buildings, in fact if memory serves me right he had to climb them to get to the top and is taken out by airplanes. Godzilla on the other hand was always taller then the buildings in his films and just knocked them all down, plus he ate plans for breakfast. With that said that brings us to the legendary duel endings, an American and Japanese take each. Depending on who you believe this is either true or false, pick one and go with it one or the other. In the original Japanese version after Kong is seen running away in the back ground we hear Godzilla roar as does Kong when "the end" appears. In the American version Kong is the only one heard roaring, what else could that mean. Some people say that this is just a myth and that in the Japanese version was just the two monsters doing a curtain call like final bow, but what does that mean for the American version only Kong is taking a final bow. I like to think that the myth is true and that John Beck wanted Kong to win, and that in the Japanese version Godzilla was the winner. Sure it is very possible that the Japanese filmmakers meant it as a final bow, but that means that Beck wanted American audiences to view Kong as the victor in his version any way. Still it makes more sense in the Japanese version hat Godzilla won, another thing you should think about.

1. Godzilla beats on Kong way more then Kong dishes out

2. Kong is energized by electricity and they fall in the ocean a little later, water and electricity don't mix well

3. When they fall into the ocean it is clearly seen that Godzilla is on top while Kong is on the bottom taking most of the fall.

3. Earlier when Kong realized that he could not defeat Godzilla he turns and runs, now if Godzilla was on top going into the water and was winning the majority of the fight it is more then logical to think Kong is seen fleeing the scene. Add in the end were we hear Godzilla roar and then Kong respond, they did the same thing in the first fight when Kong ran.

Now with all that out of the way I can still say that American version or not Godzilla is off the chains and I love this film to the this day, I know Godzilla won so I still watch it like I was a kid.

Also did I mention that KING KONG HAD TO CLIMB A BUILDING TO FEND OFF AIRPLANES, GODZILLA WAS ALREADY TALLER THAN THE BUILDINGS. What ever happened to the size factor, then again maybe I am taking something fictional way to serious, I don't know.


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July 28, 2010
I always wrote off Kong's sudden increase in size to a severa thyroid problem. After seeing how different GOJIRA is from GODZILLA it's very easy to believe in different ending for different audiences, especially since they involve so little work to make them come out different. Nice walk down memory lane, alex.
July 15, 2010
Dude.....this is a favorite of mine for sure! The scenes I will never forget in this cult classic are the trees being shoved down "Zilla's throat and the elbow drop by King Kong! LOL! Truly wonderous what you can do with an ape suit and a rubber dinosaur one LOL! Nice work, man!
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About this movie


The two super monster legends King Kong and Godzilla duke it out for the King of the Monsters crown!
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Director: Ishiro Honda
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: August 11, 1962
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Toho
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