King Kong vs Godzilla

6 Apr

In 1933, the American movie King Kong was released. It’s about a movie director in Depression-era America who takes a crew to a place called “Skull Island” to film a movie.

They quickly realize that “Skull Island” is no ordinary island. It’s full of giant pre-historic predators.
One night, the native people kidnap the American actress and offer her as a sacrifice to “Kong“, the giant ape.

The rest of the American film crew rescue the actress and the director decides to take Kong back to New York City because a huge ape will make him more money than his movie could.

The movie’s most famous scene is when the misunderstood King Kong is forced to climb the Empire State Building and fight for his life.

The original King Kong

The original King Kong

King Kong was remade twice. The first remake was in 1976. In this version, it’s an oil company that discover Kong, and instead of climbing the Empire State Building, King Kong climbs to the top of the World Trade Center in New York City.


Then in 2005, a remake of the original 1933 King Kong story was done.


King Kong is an American pop-culture legend.

The Japanese equivalent is ゴジラ (Godzilla).

The first ゴジラ (Godzilla) movie was released in 1954.
ゴジラ (Godzilla) was supposed to be the result of radioactive nuclear testing. The creature was originally a threat to society…but to expand the audience to include families and children, some ゴジラ (Godzilla) films portray him as the hero.

Promo poster from the first 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla) movie, 1954.

Promo poster from the first 「ゴジラ」 (Godzilla) movie, 1954.

ゴジラ (Godzilla)’s name should technically be spelled as “Gojira” in English because that’s the correct pronunciation of his name.
The name ゴジラ (Gojira (Godzilla)) is a mix of the words 「リラ」 (gorilla) and 「クジラ」 (Kujira (whale)).

There have been many ゴジラ (Godzilla) movies released in Japan. The most recent was on the 50th anniversary of the first ゴジラ (Godzilla) movie…in 2004, 「ゴジラ ファイナル・ウォーズ」 (Godzilla: Final Wars) was released. (It won’t be the “final” ゴジラ (Godzilla) movie though…there is a plan to make a new ゴジラ (Godzilla) movie on the 60th anniversary of the original—in 2014).

「ゴジラ ファイナル・ウォーズ」 (Godzilla: Final Wars) movie poster, 2004.

「ゴジラ ファイナル・ウォーズ」 (Godzilla: Final Wars) movie poster, 2004.

ゴジラ (Godzilla) is a pop-culture icon even in America. I used to enjoy watching ゴジラ (Godzilla) movies dubbed in English when I was a kid.
In fact, a survey was done in the 1980’s of the general American public to name “famous Japanese people”…ゴジラ (Godzilla) was one of the most common answers! (Another common one was “Bruce Lee”…whose not even Japanese)!

So, it was inevitable that America would release a Hollywood version of ゴジラ (Godzilla).
The trailers for the 1998 U.S. movie looked exciting! But the trailers are all you need to watch…the movie was generally a disappointment.

Poster for the US version of "Godzilla", 1998.

Poster for the US version of "Godzilla", 1998.

Here’s the trailer from the 1998 US movie “Godzilla” from YouTube:

So, it makes sense that these two iconic monsters met in battle.
In 1962, Japan released 「キングコング対ゴジラ」 (“King Kong vs Godzilla“).

Poster for 「キングコング対ゴジラ」 ("King Kong vs Godzilla"), 1962

Poster for 「キングコング対ゴジラ」 ("King Kong vs Godzilla"), 1962

There’s an urban legend that in the Japanese version of this movie Godzilla beats King Kong, and in the English-dubbed version King Kong wins. But it’s not true…the ending is the same in both versions: King Kong is the only monster to emerge from their underwater battle.

Here’s a trailer from the 1962 movie 「キングコング対ゴジラ」 (“King Kong vs Godzilla“):

18 Responses to “King Kong vs Godzilla”

  1. Rudy Rubio September 27, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    I think they should just leave classics alone!!!!!!!!!


    • tokyo5 September 27, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Don’t you like any of the King Kong or Godzilla sequels or remakes?


  2. haley November 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    there is no way king kong could ever defeat the mightest and all powerfull godzilla you people are lame


    • tokyo5 November 5, 2010 at 12:58 am #

      >there is no way king kong could ever defeat the mightest and all powerfull godzilla

      I think King Kong did win in the “King Kong vs Godzilla” movie.

      >you people are lame

      I find it amusing when people insult other people who disagree with them.

      By the way, you’ll notice that I deleted the other twelve comments that you left on this post because they were unbelievably offensive.
      I have never deleted a visitor’s comments before even when they were rude…but yours were way out of line.
      So, if you want to continue to comment on my blog, no problem…unless you continue to write comments that are obnoxious.


  3. nerd November 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    i believe that in king kong vs godzilla, at the end of the movie, godzilla disappeared w/o a trace. so i have to declare the battle a tie. furthermore, i think the creators of the movie purposely made us think that king kong won so that we won’t criticize them for saying that their monster is better than our monster. i believe that godzilla is WAY better than king kong. so if they make a remake of this movie, i think they shud have godzilla as the winner.


    • tokyo5 November 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

      I have heard some people say that it was a tie…but I think most people feel that King Kong was the winner in both versions of the movie.

      I wonder if either Hollywood or Japan would do another remake of King Kong vs Godzilla.
      Hollywood didn’t have much success with either the 1998 remake of Godzilla nor the 2005 remake of King Kong…so I doubt they’d try again (but who knows!).

      Godzilla movies still do fairly well in Japan though…so maybe there will be another Japanese version one day.


  4. monster7of9 May 4, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Take a listen to the first of three Godzilla podcasts


    • tokyo5 May 4, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

      I listened to it.

      Thanks. It was fun.


  5. Eric April 7, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    Yes I saw it on PBS when I was a kid.


    • tokyo5 April 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm #

      I don’t recall seeing any movies like that when I used to look at PBS!?


      • jim December 6, 2010 at 7:40 am #

        its king kong escapes


      • tokyo5 December 7, 2010 at 12:49 am #

        >its king kong escapes

        Thanks. I didn’t know about “King Kong Escapes“.

        Have you watched it?


  6. Eric April 7, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    Godzilla VS King Kong was awesome. If I remember correctly in the sequel the bad guys made a Mecha Kong. No Godzilla though.


    • tokyo5 April 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm #

      I didn’t know there was a sequel to “King Kong vs Godzilla“!
      Have you see it?


  7. heri koesnadi April 7, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    japan has other monster legend like kyuubi, hokou, sokou, right?


    • tokyo5 April 7, 2009 at 2:06 am #

      There are many old Japanese “monsters” and “creatures“.

      But Godzilla is an internationally famous icon. (Like Frankenstein, Dracula, King Kong, etc from the West).


  8. Tornadoes28 April 7, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    The American version from 1998 was crap.


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