I saw this at Christmas time, about 1971. it was an amazing experience to watch, not having any idea what I was getting into. I may have known something about King Kong, but I don't recall now. that was almost 40 years ago.
the movie frightened me back then, especially when it appears Godzilla is chasing down the woman from the train. it's such a great Godzilla suit, one of the most reptilian of all of them, and very menacing (especially if you are six years old).
|tanks are useless against him!|
the Japanese version is a better movie, overall, but had it not been for the US cut, I might not be the giant monster fan I am today. there's a lot of humor in the movie, both versions, which really helps make the characters likable and distinct. I'm not sure if people even like any kind of humor in movies these days.
recently I got a fan made cut of the movie, which restores much of Akira Ifukube's music to the US version. it's really something, and helps the movie tremendously.
one of the good things about the needless and mostly useless remake of King Kong was the release of this movie on DVD. previously it had only been seen in a pan and scan version, and now it looks better than Toho's DVD. sadly, the really cool and sensational trailer is not included on the disc, but that's OK, we all know where to find it.
and for the record- every kid in 1971 knew who the winner was in this movie. and it wasn't Godzilla.