Godzilla and King Kong's 59-year history

The two titans' first big-screen clash in 1962 was the surprise result of a copyright issue

A still from Godzilla Vs Kong. The monsters first fought in 1962 after a big-screen match-up between Kong and Frankenstein's monster was scuttled, at which point film studio Toho offered Godzilla as a replacement.
A still from Godzilla Vs Kong. The monsters first fought in 1962 after a big-screen match-up between Kong and Frankenstein's monster was scuttled, at which point film studio Toho offered Godzilla as a replacement.PHOTO: WARNER BROS

In 1962, the Japanese film studio Toho released King Kong Vs Godzilla, an ambitious monster movie that pitted two of the most popular creatures in cinema history against each other in supposedly mortal combat.

The movie boasted a drunken Kong, cringeworthy brownface (Japanese actors darkened their faces to play South Pacific "natives") and a battle with a giant octopus - played by real octopuses.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2021, with the headline 'Godzilla and King Kong's 59-year history'. Subscribe