Saturday, November 16, 2019
King Kong Vs. Godzilla 1962!
What a pair! The evolution of the giant monster movie is amazing to study, but always you know the two biggest beasts on the beat are King Kong and Godzilla, the latter having been inspired to some extent by the former.
These titans clashed in the third of Toho's blazingly entertaining Godzilla flicks and apparently was the most popular of the lot despite the movie's odd tone. I've only ever seen the movie in the American version, and like many others was under the misunderstanding that the Japanese variation ended differently with Big-G on top.
Of course that's not true. In both versions of the movie the epic contest ends with Kong swimming to home and Godzilla beneath the waves, gone but not forgotten. I finally at last got to see the Japanese version when I picked up the delightful new Blu-Ray set of the Showa movies from Criterion. The Japanese version is superior in my estimation for the simple reason the comedy is suppressed and evident night scenes obscure in many scenes the tattered weaknesses of the Kong suit. The original music helps immensely to give the film an epic scope.
While there is comedy in the show, there is less a feel of out and out farce, a greater sense of threat from these two mighty monsters. As it should be.