King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
November 2, 2022 8:28 AM - Subscribe

Tako, advertising director of Pacific Pharmaceuticals, is frustrated with the low ratings of their sponsored TV program and seeks a more sensationalist approach. He orders his staff off to Faro Island, capturing King Kong to exploit for marketing. As Godzilla re-emerges, a media frenzy generates with Tako looking to capitalize off of the ultimate wrestling match.

There is also a re-edited, identically named American version from the following year that was released outside of Japan and restructured with new footage of American actors centering around a news report plot not present in the original. Eric Carter of United Nation News is joined by Dr. Arnold Johnson as a prehistoric monster emerges from hibernation while a pharmaceutical company seeks publicity with their own monster.

50% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

The 1962 Japanese version is available on YouTube and the Internet Archive. I could not find the US version. Neither version has conventional streaming/digital rental availability. JustWatch listing.

Giant Ape Day continues...
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I was 9 or 10 years old, I somehow found out this would be playing on TV. I invited all my friends over and we took bets on who was going to win. It was a huge deal for us as we'd been arguing all week. I was a solid Godzilla fan, and so I was devastated when King Kong inexplicably powered up by being shocked with electricity and won the fight.

I lost 25 cents and had my heart broken.
posted by Eddie Mars at 11:31 AM on November 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Eddie Mars, I'm right there with you! I didn't lose any money but the black cynicism in my heart grew three sizes that day.
posted by bjrubble at 6:54 PM on November 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I somehow found out this would be playing on TV.

Likewise. My parents had split up a year or two earlier and I was at my dad’s for the weekend. I recall I was dragged along while he got a haircut and I was extremely annoyed that he stood around chatting with the haircutting dude when I knew we were going to miss the start time of this incredibly important movie. Oddly, that is the same place I get my hair cut nearly fifty years later, and I still have a tiny frisson of frustration and anxiety when I am there because of something that WUTV Channel 29 broadcast in the mid-seventies.

I subsequently learned my father had a bit of history with the movie: as a young man himself, he had gone with a friend from school to see a fairly serious movie (I want to say the 1963 Lord of the Flies). After the show, my dad opined it was pretty thoughtful and evocative piece of work. As my old man tells it, his friend dismissed it as indifferent. My father asked him, “You didn’t like that? What’s your idea of a good movie, then?”

The guy reflected a moment and said the best movie he’d ever seen was a toss-up between King Kong vs. Godzilla and Muscle Beach Party.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:37 AM on November 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

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