A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, 2d ed. / Edition 2

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Overview

This thoroughly updated and revised critical account of the Godzilla movie franchise explores the fascinating story behind Japan's most famous movie monster and its development from black-and-white arthouse allegory to international commercial juggernaut. Reviled by critics but boasting a dedicated cult following, the films of the Godzilla franchise provide a unique window into the national identities of both Japan and the United States. This work focuses on how differences in American and Japanese culture, as well as differences in their respective film industries, underlie the discrepancies between the American and Japanese versions of the films. It features detailed filmographic data for both the American and Japanese versions of each film, including plot synopses, cast, credits, and detailed production notes.

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Editorial Reviews

ARBA
...should become the definitive work on this important film series...highly recommended...
Film Review
...the ultimate word on the series...
Library Journal
...impressive production notes...scholarship is commendable in its harnessing of details from both sides of the Pacific...sure to please Godzilla fans
ARBA
...should become the definitive work on this important film series...highly recommended
Film Review
...the ultimate word on the series
Library Journal
Like Godzilla trashing Tokyo, U.S. critics have stomped all over Toho Studio's venerable series of monster films. Kalat's project is consequently a rehabilitation. A writer and independent filmmaker, Kalat questions cultural biases and supplies a welter of information in the form of complete synopses and credits for the 23 Godzilla features, impressive production notes, and analyses of sociopolitical subtexts. Although his analyses lack academic rigor, his scholarship is commendable in its harnessing of details from both sides of the Pacific. The author draws upon film industry publications, the mainstream press, and fanzines to rectify the mainstream's poor critical treatment of Godzilla. Among other things, he reveals that most of the films were scored by Akira Ifukube, Japan's distinguished classical composer, and that many of them share personnel associated with Akira Kurosawa. Sure to please Godzilla fans, Kalat's work will also interest scholars pursuing Japanese cultural studies.Neal Baker, Dickinson Coll. Lib., Carlisle, Pa.
Booknews
Examines over two dozen Godzilla movies made between 1933 and 1995, emphasizing the cultural differences underlying the changes US distributors have made in the Japanese films. Provides exhaustive data for both versions of each, along with plot synopses, casts, credits, and detailed production notes. Also discusses the various political and social subtexts of the films. No illustrations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786447497
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2010
  • Series: Genre/SF & Fantasy
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Kalat is a film historian and writes for Video Watchdog, Turner Classic Movies Online, and other publications. He lives in La Grange Park, Illinois.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the New Edition 1

Introduction 3

A Note on the Text 9

PART ONE King Kong vs. Godzilla (1954-1963) 11

1 G for Giant 13

2 Gojira 20

3 Godzilla Conquers America (and America Conquers Godzilla) 25

4 Godzilla, King of the Monsters! 31

5 Godzilla Raids Again 34

6 Rodan 41

7 Varan the Unbelievable 46

8 Mothra 51

9 King Kong vs. Godzilla 55

10 T suburaya Enterprises 60

PART TWO Monsterland (1964-1969) 65

11 Mothra vs. Godzilla 67

12 Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster 72

13 Invasion of Astro-Monster 82

14 Monsters Inc. 88

15 Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster 94

16 Son of Godzilla 98

17 Destroy All Monsters 103

18 All Monsters Attack 106

PART THREE Something Funny's Going On (1970-1975) 111

19 Survival of the Silliest 113

20 Godzilla vs. Hedorah 117

21 Godzilla vs. Gigan 123

22 Godzilla vs. Ultraman 128

23 Godzilla vs. Megalon 132

24 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 136

25 Terror of Mechagodzilla 140

26 The Crook, the Geek, the Reporter, and His Lover 146

PART FOUR The Return of Godzilla (1977-1995) 149

27 Waiting for Godzilla 151

28 The Return of Godzilla 156

29 Godzilla 1985 162

30 Godzilla vs. Biollante 169

31 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah 179

32 Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth 184

33 Godzilla vs. the Gryphon 191

34 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II 197

35 Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla 202

36 Godzilla vs. Destoroyah 210

PART FIVE The Godzilla Millennium (1998-2005) 215

37 Godzilla vs. Godzilla 217

38 Godzilla 225

39 Godzilla 2000 230

40 Godzilla x. Megaguirus 235

41 Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack 238

42 Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla 243

43 Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 247

44 Godzilla Final Wars 249

Epilogue 257

Chapter Notes 259

Bibliography 269

Index 273

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