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King Kong Escapes (1967)

This live-action tie-in to the animated TV series King Kong (1966) was also produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in conjunction with the Japanese Toho Studios.

Conniving scientist Dr Who (Eisei Amamoto) is in league with a foreign government – represented by Madame Piranha (Mie Hama) – to mine a substance called ‘Element X’ (which makes the production of nuclear weapons fast and easy) from the North Pole.

To mine the harmful and radioactive element, Dr Who (no relation!) has stolen plans from Commander Carl Nelson (Rhodes Reason) for a giant robot, based on the legendary giant gorilla King Kong.

Meanwhile, Carl Nelson travels in his submarine the Explorer, to Mondo Island in the South Pacific where he, Lt. Commander Nomura (Akira Takarada) and Lt. Susan Watson (Linda Miller) encounter the real Kong.

The giant gorilla saves the team from a giant Gorosaurus dinosaur and takes an instant liking to Susan. When the trio attempts to leave the island, Kong pursues them and traps the submarine until Susan convinces the gorilla to release them.

Meanwhile, Dr Who – having built the robot Kong (which he dubs Mechani-Kong) and found it unsuitable for mining – decides he must capture the real King Kong to work in his mine. To gain Kong’s cooperation, he captures Susan, Nomura and Nelson and takes them to his facility in the Arctic.

Kong is put to work mining Element X but eventually breaks free and heads for Tokyo, pursued by Mechani-Kong, who plans to return him to Dr Who.

The two giants battle it out on top of the 1100 foot high Tokyo Tower.

Commander Carl Nelson
Rhodes Reason
Madame Piranha
Mie Hama (Madame X)
Lieutenant Susan Watson
Linda Miller
Lieutenant Commander Jiro Nomura
Akira Takarada
Dr Who
Hideyo ‘Eisei’ Amamoto
King Kong (Kingukongu)
Haruo Nakajima
Mechani-Kong (Mekanikongu)/Gorosaurus
Yû Sekita

Director
Inoshiro Honda