King Kong vs. Godzilla is a 1962 Japanese science-fiction kaiju film featuring King Kong and Godzilla, and directed by Ishirō Honda. It is the third film in the Godzilla franchise and Showa series and the first of two-Japanese produced films featuring King Kong. The film was produced and distributed by Toho in Japan, and was distributed by Universal Studios in the United States. The film was released on August 11, 1962 in Japan and on June 26, 1963 in the United States.
Mr. Tako, head of Pacific Pharmaceuticals, is frustrated with the television shows his company is sponsoring and wants something to boost his ratings. When Dr. Makino tells Tako about a 45 meter gorilla he discovered on the small Faro Island, Tako believes that it would be a brilliant idea to use the gorilla to gain publicity. Tako immediately sends two men named Osamu Sakurai and Kinsaburo Furue, to find and bring back the gorilla. Meanwhile, the American submarine Seahawk gets caught in an iceberg. The iceberg collapses, unleashing the 50 meter tall, 100 meter long Godzilla (who, in the Japanese version, had been trapped within since 1955). He then destroys the Seahawk and a nearby military base.
On Faro Island, a giant octopus attacks the native village, but the mysterious Faro gorilla, revealed to be King Kong, arrives and defeats the octopus. Kong then drinks some red berry juice that immediately makes him fall asleep. Osamu and Kinsaburo place Kong on a large raft and begin to transport him back to Japan. Tako arrives on the ship transporting Kong, but a Japan Self-Defense Force ship stops them and orders them to return Kong to Faro Island. Meanwhile, Godzilla arrives in Japan and begins terrorizing the countryside. Kong wakes up and breaks free from the raft. Reaching the mainland, Kong engages Godzilla in a brief battle but retreats after Godzilla nearly burns him alive.
The Japan Self-Defense Force digs a large pit laden with explosives and lures Godzilla into it, but he is unharmed. They next string up a barrier of power lines around the city filled with 1,000,000 volts of electricty (50,000 volts were tried in the first film but failed to turn the monster back), which prove effective against Godzilla. Kong then approches Tokyo and tears through the power lines, feeding off the electricty, which seems to make him stronger. Kong then enters Tokyo and captures Osamu's sister, Fumiko. The Japan Self Defense Force launches capsules full of the Faro Island berry juice and make Kong fall asleep. The Japan Self Defense Force then decides to transport Kong via ballons to Godzilla, in hopes that they will fight each other to their deaths.
The next morning, Kong is dropped next to Godzilla at the summit of Mount Fuji and the two engage in a final battle. Godzilla initially has the advantage and nearly kills Kong, but Kong regains his strength after absorbing electricty from a nearby lightning cloud. The monsters continue their fight and, after tearing through Atami Castle, fall of a cliff together into the pacific ocean. After an underwater battle, only Kong resurfaces and begins to swim towards his island home. There is no sign of Godzilla, but the Japan Self-Defense Force speculates that it's possible that he survived. The Japan Self-Defense Force decides not to pursue Kong but, rather, let him return home.
- Tadao Takashima as Osamu Sakurai
- Kenji Sahara as Kazuo Fujita
- Yu Fujiki as Kinsaburo Furue
- Ichiro Arishima as Mr. Tako
- Mie Hama as Fumiko Sakurai
- Jun Tazaki as General Masami Shinzo
- Akiko Wakabayashi as Tarmie
- Akihiko Hirata as Doctor Shigesawa
- Somesho Matsumoto as Doctor Onuki