Awesome Music: Akira Ifukube's second score for the Godzilla franchise is easily one of his best. While the replacement music featured in the American version isn't really all that bad, it still doesn't come anywhere close to the level of goodness of Ifukube's score.
Broken Base: Oh so very much. There are those who enjoy the Japanese version while viewing the English version as a bastardization, while those who grew up with the English version still have some nostalgia for it.
Considering the convoluted, sketchy way the film came into being, there are also hardcore Willis O'Brien fans who see the film entirely as a disappointing, missed opportunity.
There's also a major dispute of the final victor of the climax despite Toho confirmed that King Kong is the victor.
Memetic Mutation: King Kong as an alcoholic has been making rounds of him being a drinker thanks to the scene after defeating a giant octopus, to the point of every incarnation of King Kong is apparently him having a withdrawal.
The Octopus is a divisive one. For the most part, the filmmakers used a real octopus and placed it in the center of a model setup, creating a surprisingly convincing scene, but the green screening of the humans interacting with it aren't as good.
Several shots of King Kong's rampage in Tokyo with people in them have the people looking like blue ghosts.
True Art Is Angsty: Averted. Despite being one of the most lighthearted of the series, it's also one of the most popular.
Values Dissonance: After arriving on Faro island, Sakurai gives cigarettes to all of the natives. Back in the 1960's, people had a few years before it was realised just how hazardous smoking was to a person's health. Sakurai even says, "It's okay. They're all smoking."
Awesome Music: This probably mixes a whole lot with nostalgia filter but while Ifukube's music is excellent as usual the American version seems to match the music better with action. There are moments in the Japanese version that are loud when quiet would be better and quiet when something more dynamic would be useful.
The cue (possibly from a random Hans Salter western) that plays during the re-edited Burial Operation sequence is undeniably awesome and could easily accent the original theme if mixed in.
Narm Charm: Furue Tako's Large Ham performance, Eric Carter's deadpan stare and Dr. Johnson's hokey explanations from a children's dinosaur book are hard not to giggle at, even if one might despise the U.S. version. Also the dubbing for the submarine cast range from better to so bad it's good, compared to the original actors who were just bad.