John Beck

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John Beck
John Beck in 1950
Born October 24, 1909
Pomona, California, United States
Died July 18, 1993 (aged 83)[1]
Occupation Producer
First work One Touch of Venus (1948)
Notable work Harvey (1950)

John Beck was an American film producer who helped facilitate the making of the 1962 Toho film King Kong vs. Godzilla and produced its heavily-altered American version.


Outside of King Kong vs. Godzilla, Beck's greatest claims to fame are producing the 1950 James Stewart film Harvey and his involvement in the 1946 merger between Universal Pictures and International Pictures.[1]

In 1961, stop-motion animator Willis O'Brien contacted Beck with a screenplay treatment called King Kong vs. Frankenstein along with self-drawn concept art, which they made a handshake deal to work on together.[2] Beck recruited prolific sci-fi screenwriter George Worthing Yates to write the script, which became King Kong vs. Prometheus, and pitched it unsuccessfully to several American studios; Beck would not contact O'Brien any further after that. He found a buyer in Toho, who wanted to substitute Godzilla for Frankenstein and otherwise start from scratch. Released in 1962, King Kong vs. Godzilla became a mammoth hit in Japan, convincing Toho to continue producing Godzilla films at a rapid clip. Beck, having secured the rights to the film in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Israel, sold them to Universal for $200,000.[3] He also produced an English-language version of the film, which was extensively recut and featured new scenes in a United Nations newsroom directed by Thomas Montgomery. After learning of King Kong vs. Godzilla being made, O'Brien contemplated suing Beck for intent to defraud, but did not have enough money for a protracted legal battle and died of a heart attack in his home shortly thereafter. Beck himself died of cancer at the age of 83 on July 18, 1993.[1]

Selected filmography



This is a list of references for John Beck. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Obituaries (27 July 1993). "John Beck; Producer Made 'Harvey' and 'The Singing Nun'". Los Angeles Times.
  2. Morton 2005, p. 121.
  3. Ryfle 1998, pp. 87-89.



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