A Japanese scientist has discovered that red berries, that grow only on one South Pacific island, has great medical benefits, but the islanders are reluctant to allow them to be exported. There is also a giant monster on the island. Pacific Pharmaceutical dispatches a team to the island to harvest the berries and and bring back the monster for an advertising gimmick.
A U.S. nuclear submarine crashes into an iceberg in the Arctic Circle. As the seamen attempt to escape a watery grave, they hear a horrific roar and flames race along the inside of the bulkhead. They have released Godzilla. A Japanese outpost in the North Pacific is destroyed by Godzilla.
A team from the pharmaceutical firm arrive at Faro Island to negotiate with the islanders. They are bought off with a transistor radio and a pack of cigarettes. The team hires some natives and mount and expedition to look for the monster. They hear a monstrous roar and flee to the village. A child is sent to retrieve some red berry juice to treat an injured team member. The storage building is attacked by a giant octopus! As the villagers attempt to fight it off and giant ape appears and wrestles with the octopus. It retreats to the ocean. The ape drinks up the berry juice stored in large pottery. He collapses in a drunken stupor. The natives rejoice. The team straps the ape, known as King Kong, to a raft to bring him to Japan. Experts believe Kong and Godzilla are instinctively drawn to each other in a fight to the death.
Kong flails about on the raft. Explosives on the raft are set off in an attempt to kill him, but he manages to escape, and heads to Japan to intercept Godzilla. They meet and toss boulders at each other. Kong is scorched by Godzilla’s nuclear breath and retreats. The Japanese Defense Force attempts to stop Godzilla’s march toward with a giant trench filled with gasoline, which leads him to fall into a pit surrounded by explosives! He picks himself up and continues on. A blockade of high-voltage lines is set up around Tokyo. After being shocked, he moves away. But now, Kong is running toward the city, which is hastily being evacuated. The electrical blockade fails to stop the ape, in fact the electricity seems to make him stronger.
Kong walks around Tokyo unchallenged. He picks up a train car, drops a woman into his hand, throws the car down, and carries her off. He climbs the Japanese Diet building. Missiles with red berry juice are fired above the great ape. He inhales the juice and collapses in a drunken stupor. The woman slips from his hand and she is rescued.
Godzilla is spotted at Mount Fuji, and a team of helicopters carry Kong there. When he is released, Kong slides down the mountain, slamming into Godzilla knocking the lizard off the mountain. When Godzilla returns, Kong ambushes him and grabs his tail. Godzilla brushes him, and forces him to back off with a blast of his nuclear fire. He resumes the battle and the pair grapple some more, with Godzilla managing to knock the ape to the ground. As Godzilla blasts Kong and the nearby countryside, an electrical storm builds up. The lightning rejuvenates Kong, who presses the battle even harder than before. They roll off the mountain into the ocean. Kong rises from the ocean and swims back to Faro Island. Godzilla is nowhere to be seen, but his fate is unclear…
Japanese screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa / English screenplay by Paul Mason and Bruce Howard
directed by Inoshiro Hondo (Japanese – see notes below) and Thomas Montgomery (English)
music by Akira Ifukube (see notes below)
Human Cast: Michael Keith (Eric Carter), Harry Holcombe (Dr. Arnold Johnson), James Yagi (Yutaka Omura), Tadao Takashima (Osamu Sakurai), Kenji Sahaka (Kazuo Fujita), Ichiro Arishima (Mr. Tako)
Monster Cast: King Kong, Godzilla
Notes: Director Ishiro Honda was credited on screen as Inoshiro Hondo in several Godzilla movies when translated into the English language. For the movie’s U.S. release, Akira Ifukube’s original score was replaced by stock music from the Universal Studios library. The original Japanese premiere date was August 11, 1962.
LogBook entry by Robert Parson