King Kong vs. Godzilla

Japan Release: 1962
Running Time:
97 minutes

King Kong vs. Godzilla

Japanese Title

[Kingu Kongu Tai Gojira]

Distributor: Production:


On an expedition to Faro Island, a pharmaceutical company discovers a living god on the island: King Kong. Interested in exploiting the creature for commercial gain, the company plans to ship the creature over to Japan before Kong breaks free and swims off. Meanwhile, Godzilla has awoken from an iceberg and traveled back to Japan, causing havoc across the country. As King Kong makes landfall, the two creature collide in the Japanese countryside. The battle is swift, but not final, as both monsters continue their trek across Japan before meeting for one more final conflict on Mount Fuji...

Live Action Science Fiction KaijuGodzilla

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title

King Kong vs. Godzilla

Initial US Title

King Kong vs. Godzilla
US Distributor: Universal (1963) / Time: 91 Minutes

Alternate Titles

King Kong vs. Godzilla
[Literal translation]

The Return of King Kong

The Triumph of King Kong



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Shinichi Sekizawa, Willis O'Brien, George Worthing Yates
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, John Beck
Music by Akira Ifukube
Stock Music by Sei Ikeno, Hachiro Matsui
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Film Editing by Reiko Kaneko
Production Design by Teruaki Abe, Takeo Kita
Assistant Director Koji Kajita, Koji Hashimoto
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Assistant Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Osamu Sakurai Tadao Takashima
Kazuo Fujita Kenji Sahara
Kinsaburo Furue Yu Fujiki
Mr. Tako Ichiro Arishima
Fumiko Sakurai Mie Hama
Masami Shinzo, General Jun Tazaki
Tamiye Akiko Wakabayashi
Shigezawa, Doctor Akihiko Hirata
Onuki, Doctor Somesho Matsumoto
Chikiro's Mother, Faro Island Native Akemi Negishi
Konno, TTV Translator Senkichi Omura
Obayashi, Mr. Tako's Assistant Sachio Sakai
Obayashi's Assistant Haruya Kato
General's Aide Nadao Kirino
Faro Island Chief Yoshio Kosugi
Ship Captain Shin Otomo
Scientist on Submarine Harold Conway


Box Office

Release Date: August 11th, 1962 (Japan)
Initial Attendance: 11,200,000 (Japan)
Initial Distribution Earning: ¥350,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)
Release Date: July 25th, 1964 (Japan, Re-Issue)
Release Date: March 21st, 1970 (Japan, Second Re-Issue)
Second Re-Issue Attendance: 870,000 (Japan)
Release Date: March 19th, 1977 (Japan, Third Re-Issue)
Third Re-Issue Attendance: 480,000 (Japan)
Attendance Total: 12,550,000 (Japan)

Release Date: June 26th, 1963 (US)
Budget: $12,000 (US)

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 King Kong vs. Godzilla Goodtimes (1998) Order
United States Region 1 King Kong vs. Godzilla Universal (2005) Order
Japan Region 2 King Kong vs. Godzilla Toho (2001)
United States Blu-Ray King Kong vs. Godzilla Universal (2014) Order
United States Blu-ray Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films Criterion (2019) Order
Japan Blu-Ray King Kong vs. Godzilla Toho (2014)

CD Soundtracks

King Kong vs. Godzilla

Background and Trivia

  • Universal submitted the film to the US copyright office on July 2nd, 1963 with the registration number LP0000035483. The movie was submitted under its United States and international title of King Kong vs. Godzilla. The claim, which also mentions RKO General, Inc., was renewed on August 27th, 1991 by Universal.
  • Due to the involvement of RKO, who licensed The Mysterians (1957) for US distribution, the American version of King Kong vs. Godzilla features stock footage segments from the 1957 movie.
  • Director Ishiro Honda injured himself during the location shooting around Mount Fuji. Rushed to the hospital, where he was greeted by his wife, Kimi Honda, and assistant director Koji Hashimoto. Honda returned to work as quickly as he could, his neck bandaged and arm in a sling. This account is mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya allowed the suit actors to do much of their own choreography for their fight sequences. This fact is found in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Actor Yu Fujiki has stated that it cost ¥80,000,000 yen to license King Kong from RKO for the production. This account is noted in the book Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • Ishiro Honda would often sit in on the recording sessions for the soundtracks for his films. He would claim, though, that he knew very little about music. However, during the recording sessions for this film, Akira Ifukube was noting that the Faro Island dance needed a bit more percussion after hearing it. Honda interjected, saying it was perfect the way it was, impressing Ifukube and also giving away his modesty over his musical knowledge. This story is found in the publication Age of the Gods (self-published)
  • At the end of shooting, Toho gave both suit actros Haruo Nakajima and Shoichi Hirose each a ¥50,000 yen bonus. This was at a time when the average monthly salary was ¥20,000 yen. This detail is mentioned in the book Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • To promote the film, Toho issued a bilingual release that included text that was meant to come from Godzilla and King Kong, talking to each other as fighters or wrestlers would before a match. Godzilla was quoted as saying: "seven years has passed since I rose from the bottom of the southern seas and raved about in Japan, leaving destruction behind wherever I crawled. It is most gratifying for me to have the privilege of seeing you again after breaking through an iceberg in the arctic ocean where I was buried. At the thought of my engagement with King Kong from America I feel my blood boil and flesh dance. I am now applying myself to vigorous training day and night to capture the world monster-championship from King Kong." In response King Kong said "I may be the stranger to the younger people here, but have quite a number of fighting adventures to my credit. I will fight to the last ditch in the forthcoming encounter with Mr. Godzilla, for my title is at stake… Hearing that the world-renowned special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya is to act as referee I am going to return to the screen in high spirits." Quoted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • The original deal between Toho and producer John Beck gave Beck distribution rights for the US, Canada, Alaska, Israel and the UK. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Paul Mason and Bruce Howard were hired as writers for the US version of the movie. The two were paid a total $3,500 for five weeks of work, and had the split that amount between themselves. However, the time spent on the writing was longer than anticipated. By the end Howard, due to the extra time, noted in an interview that he made "like $40 a week" but was "very excited about it because it was [his] first feature film assignment." Mentioned in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • The film editor of the American version, German born Peter Zinner, worked previously as a music editor on the American version of Varan (1958) as Varan the Unbelievable. He was paid $12,000 for his work on editing the movie and was told from higher up that they "didn't like the music" and wanted something more "Westernized". Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).


Miles Imhoff [Universal] Star Rating
August 15, 2005