» » Gojira (1954)

Gojira (1954) Online

Gojira (1954) Online
Original Title :
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Year :
Directror :
Ishirô Honda
Cast :
Takashi Shimura,Akihiko Hirata,Akira Takarada
Writer :
Takeo Murata,Ishirô Honda
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 36min
Rating :

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Gojira (1954) Online

When seventeen vessels blow-up and sink nearby Odo Island, Professor Kyohei Yamane, his daughter Emiko Yamane and the marine Hideto Ogata head to the island to investigate. Soon they witness a giant monster called Gojira by the locals destroying the spot. Meanwhile Emiko meets her boyfriend, the secluded scientist Serizawa, and he makes she promise to keep a secret about his research with oxygen. She agrees and he discloses the lethal weapon Oxygen Destroyer that he had developed. When Gojira threatens Tokyo and other Japanese cities and the army and the navy are incapable to stop the monster, Emiko discloses Serizawa's secret to her lover Ogata. Now they want to convince Serizawa to use the Oxygen Destroyer to stop Gojira. {locallinks-homepage}
Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Takarada Akira Takarada - Hideto Ogata
Momoko Kôchi Momoko Kôchi - Emiko Yamane
Akihiko Hirata Akihiko Hirata - Daisuke Serizawa-hakase
Takashi Shimura Takashi Shimura - Kyohei Yamane-hakase
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami - Professor Tanabe
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai - Newspaper Reporter Hagiwara
Toranosuke Ogawa Toranosuke Ogawa - President of Company
Ren Yamamoto Ren Yamamoto - Masaji Sieji
Hiroshi Hayashi Hiroshi Hayashi - Chairman of Diet Committee
Seijirô Onda Seijirô Onda - Parliamentarian Oyama
Tsuruko Mano Tsuruko Mano - Mrs. Sieji
Takeo Oikawa Takeo Oikawa - Chief of Emergency Headquarters
Toyoaki Suzuki Toyoaki Suzuki - Shinkichi Sieji
Kokuten Kôdô Kokuten Kôdô - The Old Fisherman (as Kuninori Kôdô)
Tadashi Okabe Tadashi Okabe - Prof. Tanabe's Assistant

The sound department tried numerous animal roars for Godzilla but felt they were unsuitable for an animal of such immense size. Akira Ifukube came up with Godzilla's roars by rubbing a coarse, resin-coated leather glove up and down the strings of a contrabass (double bass), and reverberated the recorded sound. Also, Godzilla's thunderous footsteps were made by beating a kettle drum with a knotted rope.

The simultaneous production of this film and Семь самураев (1954) nearly forced Tôhô Kabushiki Kaisha into bankruptcy.

The electrical towers that Godzilla melts with his radioactive breath were actually made of wax. The special effects crew melted them by blowing hot air on them, as well as shining hot studio lights on them for the white-hot effect.

One of the most famous legends regarding the production of this film has Ishirô Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya on the observation deck of what was then one of Tokyo's skyscrapers. They were planning Godzilla's path of destruction. Other visitors on the deck became concerned when portions of their conversation were overheard. The pair was stopped by authorities and questioned.

Because of the complexity of the production, the entire film was storyboarded. This is believed to be the very first time this was done for a Japanese film.

George Lucas cites this film's miniatures as an inspiration for his effects in the Star Wars films.

Stop motion animation in the style of Кинг Конг (1933) was rejected because of the time it would take and the subsequent cost. Also, according to special effects director, Eiji Tsuburaya, there was simply no one in Japan who was skilled and experienced in doing that kind of stop motion animation.

During Godzilla's rampage through downtown Tokyo, one of the buildings he destroys is the Toho Theater. In fact, some fans who were watching the film in that theater actually thought the theater was being attacked and tried to run out of the theater.

SERIES TRADEMARK: In the Japanese version, right after Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura) makes his first appearance (at the conference for the Oto Island survivors), he is embarrassed to notice that his tie was loose, and tucks it back into his jacket. This scene, perhaps one of the film's only bits of comedy relief, has become a pop-culture reference to Godzilla fans in Japan. The film Годзилла: Миллениум (1999), pays tribute to this predicament when the character Shiro Miyasaka (played by Shirô Sano) straightens his loose tie back into his jacket at a military briefing.

There was a common misconception that the name "Godzilla" was Americanized by its US distributors from Gojira. The name Godzilla was actually the idea of Tôhô and its international sales division. "Godzilla" or "Go-dzi-la" is the proper pronunciation of "Gojira" in its native Japanese and Gojira (1954) was described by Tôhô as "Godzilla" in their 1955 English language sales catalogue, a full year before finding an American distributor. The film even played briefly in Japanese-American owned theaters in Los Angeles and New York that year under the title of "Godzilla", before being picked up by Transworld and released in an Americanized version featuring Raymond Burr that following year as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956). Tôhô has since been the sole owners of the name Godzilla.

Originally when Gojira (Godzilla) makes his first appearance, there was supposed to be a bloody cow in his mouth. After reviewing the test shots, Masao Tamai, the cinematographer, felt it was far too graphic and convinced director Ishirô Honda to re-film the sequence without the cow.

The movie's opening scene was inspired by the Lucky Dragon incident, where the fishing boat known as the Lucky Dragon strayed too close to what was named the most powerful nuclear test ever and was contaminated with radiation. A crew on board a fishing boat, going about their normal day, suddenly a bright flash of light catches their attention, and they are soon bombarded with radioactivity. The only difference is that the boat catches fire and sinks in the movie. Also, if you look closely at the life preserver, you will see the marking "No. 5". This was a reference to the ship Lucky Dragon No. 5, which was one of the inspirations for the film.

In 2004, for his 50th anniversary, Godzilla was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Was the most expensive Japanese movie ever made at the time of its release.

When Gojira (1954) was first released in Japan, the press had universally panned the film, saying, "Why is Japan bothering to make special effects movies? Special effects are only in the realm of American filmmaking." (This explained why the few Japanese special effects fantasies made before 1954 were mostly forgotten.) But nevertheless, "Gojira" became a huge box-office success, and put the "tokusatsu" (Japanese term for "special effects") medium on the map.

Tomoyuki Tanaka got the idea for the film while returning from Indonesia. He was looking down at the water and began imagining what was really below the surface.

The name Gojira is a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira). The monster was so named because his original design was that of a gorilla-whale monster, which is recounted by people who worked on the film. 'Shigeru Kayama' (who was hired by Tomoyuki Tanaka to write the original story) recounted in a book of memoirs he published in Japan, that Tanaka told him the creature would be a sea monster that was "a cross between a whale and a gorilla". After producer Tanaka saw the American monster film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), he got the idea to turn Godzilla into a dinosaur monster. Despite the physical change the name of the monster was kept. There has always been a legend that Godzilla was named after a hulking man nicknamed Gorilla-Whale who worked at Tôhô, but this is untrue. Not only is there no evidence of this man even existing, but the various stories about him kept changing through the years (he worked as a stagehand, he worked as a PR man, etc.). According to Kimi Honda, wife of Ishirô Honda, the Gorilla-Whale man was just an inside joke between her husband and various others on the Tôhô lot - specifically producer Tanaka.

Since no film like this had ever been made in Japan, they had never attempted a suit like the one needed for Godzilla. Much of the attention on the first version was on visual design. They had neglected to consider the requirements of the performer inside. Some of the poured latex was very inflexible. This factor in the 6 1/2- foot tall and over 200-pound suit made it almost impossible to move. A new suit had to be constructed that would be somewhat lighter and more flexible at the appropriate points.

It was not uncommon for a cup of Haruo Nakajima's sweat to be drained from the Gojira suit.

One of the original Godzilla designs was a monster with a head shaped like a mushroom, intended to recall images of mushroom clouds. A sketch of this design can be seen on the special edition "Gojira: The Original Japanese Masterpiece" DVD, and on the 2009 Gojira (1954) Blu-Ray release.

The film received a Japanese Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, but lost to Семь самураев (1954). However, the film did win the award for Best Visual Effects. It is the only Godzilla movie to receive a nomination for Best Picture.

The building whose clock tower Godzilla tears off is the Wako department store. It was completed in 1932 in the Ginza district and still stands today, clock tower intact.

In one of the early script drafts, Doctor Yemane was written as a very dark and sinister character. In fact, one of the original ideas was to have Yemane sneak into the control room that controlled the electrical towers and sabotage the attempt to electrocute Gojira (Godzilla).

One of the potential names for Godzilla was Anguirus. The name was discarded but used in the second Godzilla film, Gojira no gyakushû (1955) as the name of the monster that Godzilla fights.

The scenes of Godzilla underwater were filmed "dry for wet" with an aquarium (complete with fish) placed between the camera and the monster-suited Haruo Nakajima. Actual underwater footage of divers was combined with additional "dry for wet" footage of Ogata and Serizawa.

During filming in September of 1954, rain contaminated by a Soviet nuclear test began falling in northern Japan, contaminating vegetables and well water. This may have inspired the scene where Professor Tanabe (Fuyuki Murakami) warned the Oto Island villagers not to drink water from the well.

Because the entire film was storyboarded, additional sketch artists had to be hired for the production. Also, since the actual look of Gojira hadn't been decided upon, the creature's appearance varied throughout the storyboard, depending on who did the individual sketch.

In 2004, Rialto Pictures released the original Japanese version of Gojira (1954) in the U.S. for the first time since 1955. The release included a new print in the original Japanese with new English subtitles.

Originally there was a flashback scene filmed showing Emiko and Serizawa as teenagers that was to explain their relationship. However, it was deleted because it was felt that it slowed down the film.

The idea for Gojira (aka Godzilla) was spawned after producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was forced to cancel a planned Japan-Indonesia co-production called Eiko kage-ni (Behind the Glory). The story was inspired by a real-life nuclear accident in which a Japanese fishing boat ventured too close to an American nuclear test and was contaminated.

The Godzilla suit used for the film was so hot inside that the actor passed out.

Haruo Nakajima could walk about thirty feet in the original costume, which weighed over 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Later costumes were a little lighter but all of the costumes were very heavy. It was also very hot inside the costume. All of the costumes after the first one were easy to work with, as they were made to fit Nakajima, whereas the one that had been built for Godzilla had not been made for his body size.

The scenes of the troops going to the coast to face Gojira were actual Japanese Defense Force troops. They were on maneuvers when Honda shot the footage of them.

Special Effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya originally wanted Godzilla to be a giant octopus. He would later get his wish of having one though in the movies Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (1962), a deleted scene in Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon (1965), and Furankenshutain no kaijû: Sanda tai Gaira (1966), where the octopus would meet his end. It was even given the name Oodako. The octopus also made an appearance in the TV series Urutora Q (1965), and was up for consideration to be Godzilla's opponent in Годзилла: Финальные войны (2004).

Some of the designs for the Godzilla suit were similar save for the texture of the monster's skin. One Godzilla's skin was very warty, while another was more like that of an alligator. The final design, giving Godzilla his familiar rocky hide, was meant to suggest that the nuclear bomb blasts which awakened him had burned him.

There were three cables coming out of the back of the costume. Two were for the operation of the eyes, and one was for the operation of the mouth. Kaimai Eizo was responsible for the movement of the eyes and the mouth. Batteries were installed in the Godzilla costume that was made for Gojira no gyakushû (1955). They were for the operation of the eyes and the mouth. The batteries made the costume even heavier than the one that had been constructed for the first Gojira (1954) film.

One of the first Japanese movies to make it to Korea, after the rivalry between the two neighboring countries.

Famous American stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen harbored a resentment for Godzilla, because it was heavily inspired by the classic monster movie The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (for which he had animated the monster) and because he saw suitmation as an unimaginative and unconvincing special effect technique.

Godzilla's general design was partially based on the work of Czech painter Zdenek Burian, specifically his outdated, early 20th century reconstruction of the dinosaur Iguanodon. Godzilla's posture, the way he holds his hands and to a degree his skin texture were taken directly from Burian's artwork. Interestingly, the dinosaurs in Burian's pieces also have folds in their skin, much like Godzilla due to him being a rubber suit.

The Godzilla suit was 6feet 5in and had a weight of 220lbs.

In the Japanese language version of the original Gojira, when the characters refer to the oxygen destroyer, the Japanese actors say the English words "oxygen destroyer."

Although some earlier Japanese movies (most notably Расёмон (1950)) have made it to a few foreign markets and were met with positive reception, Godzilla was actually the first Japanese film to receive widespread notoriety practically all across the world. It gained a huge pop-cultural status and opened the gates for later Japanese media products to spread over the globe. This success can partially be attributed to the movie's American recut, Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), which was its most widely distributed version.

This movie has thirty sequels.

Knowing that this was going to be a very expensive production, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka tried to build it on a solid foundation by hiring Shigeru Kayama, one of Japan's foremost writers of thrillers of the early 1950s to write the story upon which the later screenplay would be based.

One of Godzilla's unusual traits are his mammalian ears. Although the original script never described the monster's appearance in detail, it included a scene in which Godzilla hears the bell of a clock tower with his large ears, and distracted, he tears it asunder. Later movies made during 1962-1975 would do away with Godzilla's ears to make him look more reptilian, though they would reappear in many further movies made since 1984.

There were supposed to be more scenes filmed on Odo Island. One was to have Dr. Yemane, Emiko and Ogata visit the graves of those that died during the typhoon when Gojira (Godzilla) came ashore. That scene was to have helped to establish the previous relationship between the Yemani's and Shinkichi's family. Another scene was to have been filmed on the beach and in that one Emiko and Ogata become frightened when the get their first glimpse of Gojira (Godzilla) as they see his tail splashing in the water.

Akira Takarada was originally cast as Dr. Serizawa and Akihiko Hirata was to play Ogata. It was reportedly director Ishirô Honda who felt that Hirata was more suited for the darker tragic hero of Serizawa. Honda had the actors switch roles.

The workload on the special effects department for this film, as well as the other productions underway at Toho, resulted in a shortage of necessary personnel. Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya was able to get his son, Hajime Tsuburaya, his first job in the industry as a camera assistant.

Godzilla's basic design was created by combining traits from a Tyrannosaurus (general shape), Iguanodon (arms and stance) and Stegosaurus (plates). The staff at Toho used old magazine pictures for reference. We now know that none of these dinosaurs walked upright in real life.

This film's release was such a success that it has been estimated that 11% of the entire Japanese population went to see it during its first run.

This was Akira Takarada's first starring role after appearing mainly in small supporting roles.

When Ogata has to cancel his date with Emiko, the flyer reveals that they had planned to attend a show by the Budapest String Quartet. This was an actual event, as the Quartet really did perform in Japan in 1954.

The fishing boat's distress call is received on a radio set labeled "500 kc/s " (kilocycles/second. ) This frequency, 500 kHz , was the Morse code-based International Distress Frequency for most of the 20th Century. It was replaced by the Global Maritime Distress Safety System in 1988.

Haruo Nakajima: A man inside the electric room (just before director Ishirô Honda pulls the electric switch). He also appears as one of Hagiwara's fellow reporters in the newspaper office.

Ishirô Honda: The man in the electric room who pulls the switch, activating the 300,000-volt tower lines to electrocute Godzilla.

The movie's scenes of destruction and human panic effectively replicate the appearance and feel of real life news-film scenes of war time devastation that would have been painfully familiar to audiences in the 1950s and 1960s, providing these scenes with a resonance and verisimilitude that modern viewers will not experience. The best way to experience that replication is to watch actual news-reel films of World War II devastation in Europe and Japan before watching the film.

There was another ending considered for the film: a scene with Emiko and Ogata (presumably after they had gotten married) flying over Tokyo Bay in a helicopter and throwing a floral wreath in the water in memoriam of Serizawa. However, that ending was scrapped because Honda felt that they had already paid tribute to Serizawa after he sacrificed himself to destroy Godzilla.

To audiences who could still remember World War II's toll on civilians and soldiers, Godzilla's movements would have been recognizable as eerily similar to the movements of a burnt and traumatized soldier or civilian undergoing a severe episode of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, wandering in a confused daze rather than consciously causing devastation. This casts a tragic, sympathetic, even victimized light on Godzilla that sets him apart from the majority of cinema giant monsters or kaiju eiga.

The delivery mechanism for the "oxygen destroyer" bears a very striking resemblance to the inner workings of the "implosion design" of the atom bomb that was used on Nagasaki. Both weapons contained two metallic hemispheres that were the heart of the device. I am not certain this design specification had been declassified by the time Godzilla was filmed. If not, it would be an amazing coincidence!

User reviews



The original, Japanese version of "Gojira" is the best giant monster film I've ever seen. Some fans get carried away and call it one of the best movies ever made; I wouldn't go quite that far, but it's damn good.

This film is quite different from the 20+ sequels that followed. Here, Godzilla is not so much a creature as he is a walking incarnation of the atomic bomb. His death ray, which became a rather amusing cartoon laser blast in later films, is here depicted as a sort of radioactive mist that sets its victims on fire. These "radioactive horror" images still resonate today - and imagine the impact they must've had on Japanese audiences fifty years ago.

From a production standpoint, the film holds up well. Godzilla's costume is much more convincing than the silly monkey suits that featured in the 60s and 70s Toho films, and due to the grayscale photography, the model cityscapes look convincing in most shots - or at least respectable. Ifkube's music score is stirring (you know it has to be good, as they kept recycling it in later movies), and director Honda makes great use of camera angles and imaginative special effects to give Godzilla a genuine aura of menace.

For once, the human characters don't let the side down. There's a compelling love triangle, and a dramatic sacrifice made at the end of the film that adds enormously to its emotional impact. The American version ("Godzilla: King of the Monsters") cut out much of the character development, and is thus clearly inferior; but never fear, Rialto is apparently releasing "Gojira," in all its original glory, sometime this year (2004).

In the later Godzilla films, the destruction he causes is almost incidental. Here, it's the whole point - he's a force of nature. Impressive.


Finally, I had the pleasure of finally seeing the original Japanese version of this classic and I have to say that it is much better than the "Raymond Burr" version. This film pretty much makes one think about what we are doing to mother Earth with all the pollution and war going on. Perhaps the thing that made this film great was that not only did it have great effects, but it also had a great story that made a great social commentary on what could have happened if the arms race continued to go unchecked. Besides the story about Gojira, you also had a pretty decent love story. Akihiko Hirata, does a good job of playing Serizawa, who is really the tragic figure in this film who must decide whether or not to use his weapon, which potentially was more dangerous than the monster itself. This film is definitely one of the all time classics and fortunately the original version will be released on DVD in September 2006.


This one started it all: the first and original Godzilla (Gojira) movie, and also serves as the beginning to a long line of sci-fi and monster (kaiju in Japan) movies from Toho Studios. We have a story where Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and sink. An expedition of law enforcement officials and lead scientist Dr. Yamane (Takeshi Shimura) head to nearby Odo Island to investigate. There, a legendary mythical creature called Gojira, alleged to be responsible for the ship disasters, make his first appearance and begins a rampage on hapless Tokyo, threatening all of mankind.

This dramatic film with its thrills and horror has all the monster movie elements: a fire-breathing creature, toppling buildings, wall of flames, fleeing and screaming citizens, storms and seas, tanks and the army and frantic scientists and government officials - trying to figure out how to defeat the horror they see before them.

The love triangle between the character leads blends in very well with the monster plot. Godzilla, making his first attack on Tokyo, created haunting scenes of death and destruction and poignant moments of dismalness in the aftermath of his wake. Director Ishiro Honda did his finest and composer Akira Ifukube scored one of his best film music masterpieces. A compelling story by Shigeru Kayama, marvelous screenplay by Takeo Murata and superb special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Actors Takeshi Shimura, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi and Akihiko Hirata gave outstanding performances. And, Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka and Ryosaku Takasugi did a terrific and realistic job on portraying Godzilla.

It is clever that the grave consequences of atomic bomb testings are depicted in this film, which sends a vital message to the real world. This is a creative way to explain Godzilla's origins.

Every element in this movie are throughly connected, leaving no room for loose ends and plot holes. While the plot's pace is steady, all the on-scream drama and action will grab the audience's attention.

Above all, this film is not just a "monster-on-the-loose" movie. It's a true classic, one that stands out above many sci-fi movies in cinema history. A great movie to begin a long and successful (in most cases) line of Godzilla and other monster/sci-fi films from Toho Studios.

Grade A


So this is where it all started!

Of course, as Godzilla is my all-time favorite character, I admit to being raised on the heavily edited US version starring Raymond Burr. But when viewing this film in its original form, it not only looks more like a Golden Age Toho fantasy as we all know it, but it's a very powerful masterpiece, as it stands in the history of world cinema. Here in 2004, 50 years ago today after its release, American audiences finally get to see the film in its entirety, thanks to its long-awaited subtitled theatrical release by Rialto Pictures.

Technically, Japanese monster movies began with the now-lost 1934 period fantasy, KING KONG HAS ARRIVED IN EDO (EDO NI ARAWARETA KINGU KONGU), which was obviously produced upon the success of the 1933 American classic, KING KONG. But it was GODZILLA (or GOJIRA as the Japanese call him) that truly made it over. Clearly inspired by the success of the 1953 hit, THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (released to Japan by Daiei early the same year), with a bit of KONG thrown in, Toho set out to make their own monster movie, not knowing that they would create a phenomenon that would last to this day!

What more can I say? This movie pretty much set the standard for Japanese monster movies as we all know! Watching the Japanese version is an amazing experience, and a hauntingly epic one!

The special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, as low-tech as they were, had minor flaws (notably visible wires and missiles shooting against a background), but even for a first try in the monster genre, they still looked spectacular, as is the photography! Even though the effects work improved in future films, this is still the landmark of things to come.

The music by Akira Ifukube is memorable. From his stirring main title music, to Godzilla's destructive, ponderous theme music, to the poignant ending. Again, Ifukube's work for this film sets the standard for his work in the fantasy film genre.

The main cast is top-notch, as you'd expect. Akira Takarada (20 at the time) stars as salvage officer Hideto Ogata, the main character. Veteran actor Takashi Shimura plays Dr. Kyouhei Yamane, the eccentric paleontologist, who serves as the Godzilla-expert. Momoko Kouchi plays Yamane's daughter Emiko, who's in love with Ogata. But the best character by far (and my all-time favorite human character in a Godzilla film) is the tormented, eyepatch-clad scientist Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, played by Akihiko Hirata. When watching the Japanese version, other supporting characters share the spotlight, especially the newspaper reporter Hagiwara (Sachio Sakai), radiologist Tanabe (Fuyuki Murakami), the Ooto Island fisherman Masaji (Ren Yamamoto) and his younger brother Shinkichi (Toyoaki Suzuki). They just come off as mere background characters in the US version, but if you watch the Japanese original, you'll be totally surprised. Their performances were really dazzling, just like you'd expect from actors in a Toho fantasy film. Some of these actors would appear in future Godzilla films, as well as other SPFX fantasies from Toho.

Compared to other incarnations, this film (as well as GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN) had the creepiest Godzilla ever, and that was just the way he was supposed to be! Almost like a black silhouette with bright, white staring eyes. Godzilla was not just a mere animal, he was basically a modern god! A raging, destructive demon with the power of the hydrogen bomb that affected him. Although Godzilla is inspired by the Rhedosaurus from BEAST, he was a completely different entity. He was virtually indestructible, and had an awesome power - a white-hot atomic breath! Godzilla became the archetype for many Japanese giant monsters to follow.

But exactly what is Godzilla? As explained in this film (it's explained better in the Japanese version), he's a huge amphibious bipedal dinosaur that lives in caverns under the sea, feeding off of smaller sea animals. He was feared as a "god" on Ooto Island, and many young virgin women were sacrificed to him to appease his hunger. Hydrogen bomb tests affected his habitat, giving him unbelievable radioactive power & strength (and a towering size of 50 meters, 164 feet). And a sleeping giant was awakened . . .

Makes you think more about those nuclear tests, doesn't it?

Lastly, while the Japanese original played out more smoothly, the American version starring Raymond Burr (of PERRY MASON fame) as the visiting American reporter Steve Martin (not to be confused with the famous comedian!) is still very effective. The epic scale of the original still manages to shine through what the US producers could allow, and Burr (who was hired for a whole day for filming the added scenes) still did a serviceable job. American fans of the original version can at least be thankful for this US version, without which America could not accept Godzilla.

As for the movie's story, I'd rather not go into it in detail. If you haven't seen it, please do so! Be it the original Japanese version (which I recommend the most, especially subtitled), or the edited US version!

Here's to 50 years of a classic movie, and a classic character I will love forever!


Essentially a Japanese remake of Hollywood's 1953 classic 'The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms', 'Gojira' took the same formula and became so much more than simple giant-monster entertainment.

Both films told stories about a pre-historic creature released/mutated by atomic testing. 'The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' followed the appearance of a dinosaur released by an atomic blast. This dinosaur proceeded to destroy some stuff, turned up in New York, and destroyed New York too. Fun, but that was it, and not much more (I'm not saying its a bad film).

On the other hand, 'Gojira' used the same idea, and had a great impact in Japan. Gojira represented a real threat, a danger that Japanese of the time knew all too well. The message behind 'Gojira' was warning of the dangers of nuclear testing and nuclear weapons. Conversely, the message of 'The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' is one for aspiring comic-book writers: exposure to radiation is a cheap but easy way to explain your character's freaky superpowers.

'Gojira' starts off with several boats going missing. One old man claims that Godzilla has returned, and in surprisingly un-Godzilla movie like fashion, no one believes him. I can understand this, Japan wasn't accustomed to giant-monster attacks yet. Anyway, Japan asks an imminent paleontologist, Dr. Yamane, to investigate the disappearances around Ohto Island. He discovers a two-million year old shellfish and lots of radiation. Oh, and a dinosaur the locals have dubbed Gojira. Back in Japan, Dr. Yamane is convinced that Gojira has been released by atomic testing, and that it should be isolated and studied. Obviously, no one else shares his view, and they all look for a way to destroy Gojira.

The key to Gojira's destruction lies in the hands of Dr. Serizawa. You can tell he is mad scientist because of his eye-patch. He is arranged to be married to Emiko Yamane, but she is in love with Hideto Ogata, a naval officer. Meanwhile, Gojira is turning Tokyo into a fiery crater.

Story-wise, its pretty similar to any irradiated monster movie of the 1950s. However, what all the other movies lack is the gripping images of destruction. Gojira is depicted as an evil force of nature - instead of wanting to see cities get crushed, we see Tokyo in Gojira's wake: it resembles a nuclear wasteland, and then we are treated to hospital scenes where medical staff try their best to deal with the scores of Gojira's victims. I can only imagine how terrifying scenes like those would have been so soon after World War Two. These are scenes we don't to see, in contrast to the sheer joy of watching two giant monsters have at each other in a big metropolis with no apparent consequences (see: nearly every other Godzilla movie ever made, for starters) Interestingly enough, Godzilla was only 50 metres tall in this, and he left radioactive fallout wherever he went. Somewhere along the along the line in the following movies, he got significantly taller, and lost the radioactive fallout. I guess it was a good career move seeing as he wanted to become a super-hero later on.

Great film, worthy of a 10/10


Gojira (not Godzilla, King of the Monsters, with Raymond Burr), stands as one of the best monster movies...and one of Japan's finest and most allegory pieces of cinema. The original version of the movie has a lot of anti-nuclear sentiment that the US editors dropped from the Raymond Burr version. A woman on a subway noting that is seemed like she survived Nagaski only to die from Godzilla is an offhand but telling comment on Japan's unique view of the use of nuclear weapons.

The story itself is makes a bit more sense than the patchwork used with Raymond Burr (though that version is also quite good for the genre that it helps perpetuate). The effects are (I think) still great...the grainy, documentary feel of the movie makes it seem a lot more real.


It's been fifty years since Ishiro Honda and the gang at Toho made the first Godzilla movie, and looking back on it, it's plain to see why this film has become more than just a cult sensation. It's mix of raw human emotion, fantastical story, and menacing precautionary messages help to deliver one of the silver screens greatest films. Akira Ifkube's foreboding score adds just the right amount of dark edge to Honda's masterpiece,as does Akihiko Hirata's performance as jaded scientist, Dr. Daisuke Serizawa. The suitmation and set designs used in this classic are superb as well, giving a certain level of realism missing from many later monster films. And, of course, veteran actor Takashi Shimura exceeds all expectations as Dr. Yamane.

Looking back on this film, taken in it's entirety and without the added American scenes, Godzilla (Gojira) truly is a film that will last the ages.


Along with the 1933-version of "King Kong", this original Japanese release of "Gojira" is THE most essential giant monster movie ever and one the very few horror movies that every film lover in general has to see at least once. Why? Because, it's so much more than just silly drive-in cinema with a cheap looking monster! This is dark and apocalyptic Sci-Fi with a nearly allegorical rant about nuclear warfare and the honest fear for new types of weaponry. But I really don't feel like going into the deeper meaning behind "Gojira", as it primarily is an adrenalin rushing and overpowering action classic that doesn't need intellectual defense at all. One of the many reasons why I love this film so much (and same goes for "King Kong") is that we don't have to wait a dreadfully long time and/or endure a large amount of tedious speeches before we see the monster we want to see! Godzilla makes his highly memorable first appearance after approximately 20 minutes (by stretching his neck over a cliff!) and, from then on, this is deliciously hectic and paranoid monster-madness! The little bugger is presumably the result of too much H-bomb radiation and lives in the depths of the ocean, near the island of Odo. But now he's heading for Tokyo with his unnameable strength, fiery breath and – oh yeah – insatiable appetite for destruction! Particularly this extended sequence in which Godzilla blasts his way through the Japanese capital, crushing buildings and setting monuments on fire, is very impressive and legendary. The actor-in-monster-costume works a lot better than any form of computer engineered effects and the carefully imitated Tokyo sets are truly enchanting. The absolute best aspect about this production is its powerful score, which makes Godzilla even more threatening. Great stuff!

This milestone simultaneously meant the go-ahead for an innumerable amount of quickly shot sequels ("Son of Gozilla", "Godzilla vs. Mothra"), spin-offs ("Godzilla VS. King Kong"), remakes ("Godzilla 1984", the hi-tech American version) and of course an overload of pathetic imitations ("Reptilicus", "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet"). I still have to see all the direct sequels but don't really know what to expect from them. I guess that even if they're only half as good as this original, I'll be very satisfied.


When one thinks of all the schlock that has come out of Japan when it comes to monster movies, many which use the Godzilla figure, one forgets that this was a pretty darn good movie. I remember as a child, watching it on late night television, in 1960. It was New Year's Eve and the adults were out doing whatever it is they did. The presence of Raymond Burr gave me a sense of comfort (Perry Mason was a staple at our house). I realize he was added for American audiences. It didn't matter to me. Unlike so many of its successors, this was nicely paced, didn't bank on Godzilla being a matinée idol (some of the films are so stupid where the thing becomes a friend to Tokyo, a form of defense). This film has the terror of "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms." The sets were much better. The battle scenes truer than the cheaper things that came later. The monster was a force. I have always enjoyed that scene where one goes over a hill or a rise just before a beach, and on the other side is the monster. The scenes of him wading into the harbor. This is a striking presentation for the early days of monster movies. Of course, it's all based on radiation and the nuclear threat. This stuff enlarges things and makes them rampage. I hope to purchase the Japanese remastered version from 2004. I'd like to see it the way it was intended to be seen.


When seventeen vessels blow-up and sink nearby Odo Island, Professor Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura), his daughter Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kôchi), and the marine officer Hideto Ogata (Akira Takarada) head to the island to investigate. Soon they witness a giant monster called Gojira by the locals destroying the spot. Meanwhile Emiko meets her boyfriend, the secluded scientist Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata), and he makes she promise to keep a secret about his research with oxygen. She agrees and he discloses the lethal weapon Oxygen Destroyer that he had developed. When Gojira threatens Tokyo and other Japanese cities and the army and the navy are incapable to stop the monster, Emiko discloses Serizawa´s secret to her lover Ogata. Now they want to convince Serizawa to use the Oxygen Destroyer to stop Gojira.

"Gojira" (1954) is a surprisingly good Godzilla film, with well-developed story, screenplay and characters. Despite the dated effects and the behavior of Emiko, the plot is engaging and holds the attention of the viewer to the last scene. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Godzilla"


Ever since I was a child, the Godzilla character was one of my favorites. I have seen many Godzilla films but today I have been privileged to have seen where it all began. Godzilla did not begin as a character in a kid's movie. This movie, I must say is NOT for young children. It is very much a mature film, an allegory for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a movie, it is a very dark and tragic one, with numerous references to Japan's suffering during the Second World War. The acting was top-notch as were the special effects (for the time). The music seemed to underscore the ominous nature of the film. I can only imagine what the reaction of the Japanese people was when they first saw this movie 64 years ago. The rest of the world should watch this to see what nuclear power can really do and to see what Japan went through during World War II.

9/10. The first and the best (and should have been the only) Godzilla movie that has ever been released.


America had to wait fifty years to see the original version of Gojira in all its terrifying glory. This is not a user-friendly, action romp giant-monster film. This is the story of an unstoppable, destructive force unleashed on a city, its aftermath, and the impossibly hard choices people must make in response.

Of course, nearly every U.S. giant-monster fan has seen the recut-for-Americans version of this classic, with Raymond Burr sharing scenes with the backs of various anonymous heads standing in for members of the Japanese cast. And while we all feel affection for that version, the truth is, compared to the original, "our" version loses much of its impact, and stands revealed as an act of vandalism which sadly underestimates the tolerance of the American audience.

Truly a cut above every other kaiju ever made, this is the one to see. Trust me, you won't miss Raymond Burr a bit.


***User-reviewer Emideon ("A legacy not dependant on platitudes, but well earned", Emideon from Los Angeles, U.S.A., 13 July 2008) has an interesting commentary that he says began as a reply to Roger Ebert. Also, Brian Washington ("Why in God's Green Earth Isn't This Version Shown More?", Brian Washington ([email protected]) from Los Angeles, California, 28 October 2003) adds insight to the film's anti-militarism message.***

Godzilla ("Gojira", 1954, Japan, Ishiro Honda's), concerning the return of everyone's favorite amphibian monster, is very dark and emotionally complex. It is not the escapist, "B-movie" as suggested by the advertising for it. Ishiro Honda is said to have been inspired by a memorable visit to Hiroshima. The film's allegorical connection to the atomic bombs dropped by the US is barely concealed. ("Godzilla" frequently refers to the H-bomb "testing" being conducted by the US in the Pacific. However, before the monster makes its appearance we see an investigation being conducted of a radioactive crater. It seems obvious that the crater refers to Hiroshima/Nagasaki. The trauma-filled hospital scenes also contribute to this idea.)

One can continue drawing historical parallels. When the enraged Godzilla destroys Tokyo, Japan and leaves what remains of it aflame (all of which is awfully good fun), this resembles the WWII fire-bombing of the same city (again by the US). The fire-bombing of Tokyo in the film appears to be commenting on the horror of waging war against the civilians of an enemy country. Perhaps the electrified fence that the Japanese erect in order to electrocute Godzilla (haha, like that idea had a chance) symbolizes the critical US embargo of Japan in place before the attack on Pearl Harbor. (The Japanese perspective is that Pearl Harbor was attacked because the economic embargo was killing it economically. The fence-as-embargo idea makes sense if Godzilla now represents the Japanese breaking free of their confinement.)

The cast is solid, with many regulars of Yasujirô Ozu's films aboard. There is a nice love triangle between Emiko (Momoko Kôchi), her beloved salvage officer Hideto (Akira Takarada) and the brilliant scientist Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata), Emiko's arranged-fiancé who she will reject. Serizawa is an emotional center; he simultaneously loses at love, is the only person who figures out how to stop Godzilla and also introduces the guilt associated with introducing a new super-weapon to the world. (Years later, the original Star Trek coins the term, "Doomsday Machine".)

Gojira is terrifying at first but as we observe first the accepted monster-expert Professor Tanabe (Fuyuki Murakami) and then Serizawa grappling with the guilt associated with its extermination, Godzilla becomes more sympathetic. Godzilla offers the film's greatest pleasures when it survives (and destroys) the electrified fence, survives repeated tank fire, survives machine gun fire and then retaliates by destroying no small number of obviously miniature trains, buildings and other structures that are supposed to be Tokyo. (Godzilla's vaporizing, death-ray vision is a very effective addition to an already formidable skill set, which includes the ability to destroy buildings with a single wag of his tail.) When fleeing humans appear in the same frame as the relentless, virtually inextinguishable beast, this is movie magic.

Reviewers are split about Akira Ifukube's music; I like it. However, the most distinguishing characteristic of the production is the direction. Ishiro Honda's Black and White imagery ranges between somber and gloomy. Nearly every scene with humans feels claustrophobic and conveys the feeling of a suffocating weight holding everyone down. This is true even at the film's conclusion when Serizawa has removed the threat posed by Godzilla, as the characters are all hanging their heads and looking down at the sea.

Godzilla is a superb monster movie that raises healthy moral concerns. Cinephiles should dash over to the revival theater that is showing it, dodging giant, lizard-like feet from above.


To criticise the original Godzilla would just be plain silly in my view. Yes everything looks so fake and yes the buildings are models and yes it's a guy in a suit but you know, so what? These are the special effects for the time and just as I complain about the latest Hollywood blockbuster these days and how in some other films the special effects are terrible, Godzilla's may look a little rough now but the un-real elements in this film do not detract from its experience nor do they ever take centre stage above the narrative or the themes within. Godzilla is a focused film; a film that is structured around an idea that is bold and outgoing whilst simultaneously making a statement about the world at the time of production. Godzilla retains a certain charm and a certain quality that never makes it uninteresting and surely that means it can only be labelled as a success.

We've all seen the American remake and all had our opinions on it. I may have liked it as a child as a fast moving, good looking epic but thinking back, it makes the mistakes toward the end that its Japanese original and inspiration does not and that is allowing the special effects to take control of your picture. By the time what's-his-name and who's-it are in that subway station fending off Godzilla's young in a blatant attempt to recreate the kitchen scene out of Spielberg's Jurassic Park, you've accepted the film has gone down a certain disappointing route. But here I feel the scenes involving the special effects are really just the result of good film-making prior to it all happening. There is the introduction of the monster; the keeping the monster away from the screen; the presenting of the monster but not as a destructive creature; the dialogue building the monster up off-screen and then the carnage that is what Godzilla is capable of now that he's reached that level of destruction.

I feel that despite the film being considerably large for its time, the people that made it probably never envisaged it becoming as successful as it did. The film has spawned sequels, prequels, spin-offs and even a remake forty years after the initial production. Hollywood were perhaps familiar with the concept of this big-budget, special effects extravaganza involving a giant monster following 1933's King Kong and were perhaps more used to this genre by the time they'd seen Gojira. But if the rumour that people were running from the cinemas following King Kong are true then I wonder what Ishirô Honda and Shigeru Kayama exactly had in mind before this was released. I think the emphasis was always on delivering a film with an intriguing story and one with some sort of eerie message at its centre, much unlike today's extravaganzas and perhaps a lot less than 1933's King Kong although the message nearer the end could echo along the lines of: 'Just what exactly consists of entertainment these days?'

But it's not Honda and Kayama's fault this is as big as it is today and it's not their fault I saw this on a DVD disc free with a newspaper, complete with huge build up from a preceding television advert, right here in the year 2008. Godzilla may be a film that is a guy in a suit tearing down models of dodgy looking buildings whilst breathing some sort of fire rendering him more ancient, mythical dragon than deep sea lizard but it works in its own way. The film is a folklore story from ancient times, re-surfacing (no pun intended) into modern times through, what the characters deem to be, the lack of attention and acknowledgement to times gone by. It could be true that the legend that is Gojira is angry at the lack of sacrifice or food or whatever it was and he has come to wreck and nasty revenge or it could be a statement on Japan's ever growing modernity that, by now we all know, is the best in the world when it comes to stereo systems, gadgets and gizmos. I don't think the producers were threatening people with a giant lizard that will come from the sea and destroy us but the ruined Tokyo shots are probably metaphors for the falling apart of society if Japan itself looses focus of who they actually are and buckles under the immense pressures of 20th Century modernising.

Then there are the plot elements that declare Godzilla the result of nuclear testing. World War Two had ended a mere nine years ago, ironically in the Pacific with the dropping of Big and Little Boy, respectively. Look what the nuclear blasts have done to us; look at the moral decision we now face: we must rebuild and get going again, but at what cost? No, a lizard won't come from the deep and destroy everything again but if we fall behind then Japan will never once again be a great nation. These are the questions and ideas I think Gojira raises given its timeframe. Then there is the lack of international support offered when Godzilla goes nuts, another statement on Japan's global position and relationship with other world powers following the war? Perhaps. The real-life images of Tokyo decimated from bombing adds to the reality Japan faced and the use of the special effects is smart: it's always model attacking model, not model attacking 'real' like America usually do it today and sometimes in 1933's King Kong. One of the reasons I thought Jackson's was better is because his is CGI fighting CGI. Gojira may borrow from Hollywood's story-telling regarding the morale choice and the 2nd Revelation but the film remains an entertaining and fascinating one all the same.


For those who are mildly interested in this movie, you must understand the seriousness of this movie. More than a movie about a guy in a rubber suit breaking toy buildings, Gojira is a very serious consideration about the horrors of nuclear war.

A few items to watch for include:

The first scenes of Tokyo after having been leveled by Gojira (Godzilla) almost mirror the photographs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings.

The images of the injured people in the hospitals again, mirror the photographs of "survivors" of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Look for references to the American nuclear tests on the Bikini atolls (they are abundant).

Finally, keep in mind that Gojira is a symbol of nuclear war. The reason that tanks, planes and heavy artillery don't stop it is because once a nuclear bomb is dropped, nothing can stop the devastation. The only way to avoid it is to not be there in the first place.

Gojira (Godzilla, King of the Monsters) is a definite must-see for anyone interested in film-making at its best.


Director of special effects for this movie Eiji Tsuburaya, (he was the first of his kind in Japan) once commented in an interview that ever since he saw King Kong, he wanted to make a movie just like it. He got his chance in this movie made 20 years later. Tsuburaya commented on the hardship he encountered when he tried to make the first Godzilla suit when right kinds of foam and rubber materials were not yet abundantly available in Japan at the time. He mentioned that he even used concrete to make part of the suit. Eiji Tsuburaya is also the inventor of the blue screen technique which later evolved into today's green screen technique. Modern movie owes Tsuburaya a lot for his pioneering works. Many people mistakenly credit Inoshiro Honda for the fantastic action scenes in this movie but it was Tsuburaya who did the work. Tsuburaya later went on to invent other characters such as "Rodan" and the original "Ultraman" series which is still popular today.

I was raised on the American version of this movie starring Raymond Burr and didn't even know that another "original" version of this movie existed until recently (thanks to IMDb). I ordered the video from Japan and got to see it for the first time as it was created. After seeing this movie, I can now tell the discontinuity in the American version of Godzilla where Dr. Yamane mentions about Godzilla (in Japanese) before it shows up.

This was the first Godzilla movie and it still holds up after 50 years, and what's even more remarkable is the fact that it's still the most realistic rendition of the monster. The production value have never been matched in this genre until the release of "Gamera 1999, Revenge of Iris" in my opinion.

I give it a "9" because acting of Momoko Kochi and other actors are bit spotty, but Kochi made good later by studying hard to become a good stage actress in Shakespearian play, and became one of the best actress in Japan. Kochi also appears in her final role before her death in 1995's "Godzilla vs Destroiya" reprising her role as Emiko Yamane.


Well, this is the one that started it all. This is by far the most serious(and one of the best) of the Godzilla movies. Spoiler Alert: There will be spoilers ahead. A fishing ship mysteriously disappears, and then another one. Eventually, after several sightings, a giant, radioactive monster rises from Tokyo Bay and levels Tokyo. The monster is eventually killed by the Oxygen Destroyer, a weapon created by Dr. Serizawa. This movie succeeds in being entertaining and delivering a very serious message.The scenes where Godzilla is destroying Tokyo are very entertaining ( i couldn't take my eyes off of the screen) and very sad(at one point, there is a family in the wreckage of Tokyo, and the mother says something like"Hold on, children. We'll be with father soon."). Plus, we've also got the whole 'love triangle' thing going on, but it ends very sadly, with Dr. Serizawa ( he loved Emiko, but she loved Ogata) killing himself when he kills Godzilla with the 'oxygen destroyer'. Overall, Uber thumbs-up. Sure, some of the dialog is cheesy, and some of the special effects are... interesting, but it was made in 1954. A true classic.


Now I'll talk about Gojira, the Japanese uncut version of Godzilla: King of Monsters which is still pretty good after all these years. It's mostly an allegory against nuclear war and Godzilla is a symbol of what might happen out of nuclear fallout. It takes place in 1954 less than a decade after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A boat goes missing and when the search leads up to Godzilla and it's amazing to see and hear Godzilla's roar for the first time.

All the Japanese treat this disaster like a real event as well and all the people dying the hospital when he attacks the city are disturbing. Godzilla also looks scary in black and white and it really makes the mood sad. Also when you get the part about the oxygen destroyer, you'll be shocked. This movie also made it in the criterion collection as well and has gotten the Blu-ray treatment too. Give this start of the giant monster movies, or kaiju movies, a watch when you can.


I truly enjoy this film. I grew up watching every Kaiju film I could, and have always enjoyed this film particularly. The American release starring Raymond Burr, under the title "Godzilla, King of Monsters", was all I had seen for many years. The original Japanese version is far superior. The original is nearly twenty minutes longer, and has a much more complex storyline. The love triangle is explored more fully, and more is explained about Gojira's appearance. This is a stand alone film, all the others in the original series are sequels to the second film "Godzilla Raids Again", aka "Gigantis, The Fire Monster". The second series starting with "Godzilla 1985" ("Gojira Returns" in Japanese), until "Godzilla vs. Destroyah" in 1996, are sequels to the first film.


First we had King Kong (1933), one of the most important and first large monster films, than we had giant insects... the point in which you thought that all large monster films are gonna die... but, no worries, Japanese are always there to save the day. Godzilla (1954), is bigger, badder, better, meaner, faster, and more artistic than any other monster films. It's the movie that sets some new standards.

The film was based upon the story of Shigeru Kayama "Gojira" from the words "gorilla" and "kujira" (whale). It's without any doubt one of the most significant SF films in Japanese cinema, and we have a proved fact that this movie has a large number of sequels, a US remake, an animated series and we are expecting something new. This movie of Inoshiro Honda is based upon foundation of already tried stories: A large monster suddenly comes alive, and it's growing in catastrophe for human civilization. You can easily say that the story motives are the same just like in the Frankenstein (1932), for example... But Japanese view of these thing is different. Godzilla is not appearing for some purpose, he is there only for the plot, he is an unstoppable, blind force ready for destruction, and there's also a human's error of his interfere in nature, so by the looks of things, the large monster is some kind of "payback" from mother nature.

The movie has good acting crew, excellent direction, an inspiring and brilliant music score by Akira Ifukube, who also made Godzilla roars, the special effects were also great, done by Eiiji Tsuburaya. And from this moment, this movie is a great inspiration to many more monster films... we are expecting more today.


If you don't know anything about Godzilla then you must have been living in cave in the middle of Australia, because it is a massive cultural figure to come from Japan. However, if you haven't seen the film, then I doubt that you what the film is about. Godzilla is a monster film set in Japan. It starts with a number of ships sinking near Odo island and fish stocks had collapsed. After a storm that kills a lot of people and livestock the Japanese government send a team of scientists to investigate. However, the locals believe the reason behind it was a monster of folklore, the Godzilla. Adding to mystery was the the rain from the storm seems radioactive and contaminates some of the island's wells. Once it was proved that the 150 foot monster exists then the Japanese government prepares itself, because he is heading for mainland Japan. The unstoppable beasts causes massive amount of damage and its up to the scientists and military of Japan to find a solution.

The film has a number of meanings behind it. The most obvious one is about the nuclear testing in the middle of Pacific ocean that was going on at the time, and saying it awoke a sleeping giant. When one of the scientists makes a weapon to stop Godzilla it raises the debate about whether it was right to use it or would it open a can of worms and be put to evil uses. It has a strong anti-nuclear mission. Another meaning that some critics have seen is that the film is a metaphor for the destruction Japan suffered during the Second World War. Within the scientific community some also wondered if it is right to kill Godzilla or to study him. In the Japanese Parliament there was also a debate about censorship, whether its right to let the public know about the monster. There is a lot in this film. Another feature in this film is the love triangle between Eriko, the daughter of leading Japanese scientist, to a Navy frogman and another scientist who she had known since childhood. It adds a personal dimension to the film.

There was some decent model work, but the monster himself is really just a man in a suit, but it was made in 1954, so you have to accept that there weren't many special effects tools at the time. It's still fun seeing Godzilla attacking Tokyo. The acting isn't great, but it's good enough. I personally watched it in Japanese, and I really dislike dubbing foreign films because it looses its impact. The stand out performance was the woman who played Eriko. The film had a typical 1950s melodrama about it.

Godzilla has been a very important film. It has a number of sequels, a mediocre American remake, and has influence films such as the Host and Cloverfield.


The original Japanese version. Without a doubt, the best movie ever made. Filmed in glorious black and white, this first Godzilla film has a somber feel which heightens a very real sense of suspense and terror. The terror is palpable throughout, as one attack follows another and the death toll begins to rise almost exponentially. The anguish of the survivors is realistically portrayed and very believable, and the entire film stands as a credible allegory for the horror of nuclear war.

The movie itself is not about godzilla but about the oxygen destroyer. The oxygen destroyer is the key to this movie. The oxygen destroyer is the only way to kill godzilla but the fact that mankind will use it as a weapon of mass destruction as a scientists stuck between whats right and wrong and it leads us to the emotional climax between man vs monster.

The best thing about this movie is the music by Akira Ifukube. Its the best musical score i have ever heard. It gives you an eerie sense of whats going on. If i had to choose between gojira and the original king kong i have to go with gojira. Gojira gives a message that no other film has ever done before or after is that godzilla is the metaphor of the aftermath of using nuclear weapons.

And thats my gut feeling

  • Greg Gutfeld


I thought that I was a Godzilla (Gojira) fan until I saw this film in the original Japanese. The U.S. re-edit, which was good, left out a whole section of the story and an entire anti-nuclear testing subtext. In the American version, Raymond Burr is obviously the main character, with a Japanese policeman as a kind of side kick which actually detracts much from the original story line without adding much except a (then) somewhat familiar American face to the cast.

The original storyline is much richer, with better interaction amongst the main characters, namely Professor Yamane, his daughter, Emiko, and her arranged fiancé Dr. Serizawa, as well as her true love interest, Salvage Officer Ogata. the above named characters have a much more fully developed relationship than in the heavily edited American version. One reason for the loss of story and subtext was the running time, 74 minutes in the U.S. and about 97 in the original Japanese.

Another element missing from the American version was the whole radiation angle, it was barely mentioned, almost as an afterthought, while in the original Japanese, it was a central and recurring theme. Even two films later in the Japanese version of KING KONG vs. GODZILLA, it is pointed out that Gojira is a true monster born of radiation.

This film is a very rewarding find if you watch it in the original Japanese, with subtitles of course. It is also the best of a long line of kaiju films that I've seen. All in all a very good film. If you must see it and cannot find the Japanese version, the American one does keep much of the epic scope of the original and is quite good in its own right, but the original, in my opinion, is far superior.


Yes it is, unlike the Jurassic Park rip that Emmerich and Devlin tried to pull off, this is a true kaiju film, the real Godzilla that we all know, that went after people, trampled houses, tore down buildings, roared so loud, and showed no fear, it was unstoppable, gigantic, and most important of all, it had fire breath weapon! Just like a giant cross between a dinosaur and dragon, it caused rampage all over Tokyo, it is born from the bombs of US, supposedly to go against the COld War, and nuclear weapons in general, it is not anti-US if that's what you're thinking, and sure it was black and white, Japanese, and the effects aren't as good as today's standards. But still, you cannot deny the terror and the film that is Godzilla! Still good after 50 years, this was the film that had the kaiju eiga started, perhaps the most recognizable and best of all of them. Watch this, this is great, even though it looks old. Give it a chance.