Godzilla, King of the Monsters

( 3 )

Overview

Filmed in 1954 as Gojira, this grandaddy of all Japanese giant-reptile epics was picked up for American distribution two years later, at which time several newly filmed inserts, featuring Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin, were rabetted into the original footage. In both the Japanese and American versions of Godzilla, the story is basically the same: a 400-foot amphibious monster, brought back to life by underwater nuclear testing, goes on a rampage in a tinker-toy Tokyo. The authorities look on in vain as ...
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Overview

Filmed in 1954 as Gojira, this grandaddy of all Japanese giant-reptile epics was picked up for American distribution two years later, at which time several newly filmed inserts, featuring Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin, were rabetted into the original footage. In both the Japanese and American versions of Godzilla, the story is basically the same: a 400-foot amphibious monster, brought back to life by underwater nuclear testing, goes on a rampage in a tinker-toy Tokyo. The authorities look on in vain as Godzilla proves more powerful than the army, navy, and air force, while paleontologiist Dr. Yemane Takashi Shimura rails against the destruction of a unique scientific find such as Godzilla. Finally, an enigmatic scientist Akihiko Hirata reluctantly steps forward to destroy the beast with his newly-discovered creation, the Oxygen Destroyer, dreading all the while that his weapon may unleash a danger even greater than Godzilla. Though Godzilla is apparently disintegrated in the climax, this didn't prevent Toho Studios from grinding out an endless series of sequels with the title character becoming less destructive and more lovable with each subsequent film. Hampered by a low budget which precluded stop-motion animation, special-effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya was forced to rely upon an actor Haru Nakajima in a rubber Godzilla suit. Incidentally, the name "Gojira," a combination of "gorilla" and "kujira," is Japanese slang for "big clumsy ox" and was allegedly the nickname of one of the Toho stagehands.
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Special Features

Includes the original and uncut 1964 Japanese version plus the 1966 U.S. theatrical release Audio Commentary Making of the Suit featurette Story development featurette Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
Everybody loves Godzilla, the irradiated giant monster that first terrorized, then defended Japan throughout the Cold War and beyond. The first official Western entry to the series, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, was recut from Inoshiro Honda's original blockbuster Gojira. Interspersing English-language scenes starring Raymond Burr as an American reporter, the film follows a dinosaur -- resurrected by underwater nuclear testing -- as it emerges from the sea to flatten Tokyo. The result is a massively entertaining peek at postwar nuclear paranoia. As a living, fire-breathing embodiment of the A-bomb, Godzilla inflicts random acts of carnage and radioactive destruction on the populace. The metaphor extends to Burr's detached Americanism and to the ironic use of another doomsday weapon to destroy a monster created as a nuclear side effect in the first place. The menacing Godzilla is ultimately just a guy in a rubber suit stomping on models while actors speak in laughably dubbed dialogue, but that's the fun part. If you know only the recent American version, you owe it to yourself to check out the real thing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2014
  • UPC: 037117031252
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Source: Classic Media
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Repackaged
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,167

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Raymond Burr Steve Martin
Takashi Shimura Dr. Kyohei Yamane
Momoko Kochi Emiko Yamane
Akira Takarada Hideto Ogata
Akihiko Hirata Daisuke Serizawa
Sachio Sakai Hagiwara
Fuyuki Murakami Dr. Tabata
Ren Yamamoto Sieji
Toranosuke Ogawa President of Shipping Company
Haruo Nakajima Newspaper Employee (Japanese version only)/Power Subs
Kin Sugai Miss Ozawa, member of Parliament
Kokuten Kodo Gisaku, Oto Island Patriarch
Kenji Sahara Man aboard Ship
Katsumi Tezuka Hagiwara's Editor (Japanese version only)/Gojira
Frank Iwanaga Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga
Technical Credits
Terrell O. Morse Director, Editor
Guy Roe Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Godzilla: King of the Monsters
1. Introduction "This Was Tokyo" [4:35]
2. Stopover In Japan [6:43]
3. Fear and Panic [11:56]
4. Island Monster [10:06]
5. Dr. Serizawa [7:22]
6. Godzilla Emerges [6:18]
7. Tokyo Bay Terror [13:43]
8. Formula For Success [9:41]
9. Serizawa's Sacrifice [9:52]
Disc #2 -- Godzilla: Gojira
1. Opening Titles [2:03]
2. Attack on the Eiko-Maru [1:03]
3. Missing At Sea [4:34]
4. Sole Survivor [3:27]
5. Myth Of The Monster [1:16]
6. A State of Emergency [4:11]
7. Analysis Of The Aftermath [3:59]
8. Atom Breeds Monsters [8:29]
9. The Navy Responds [2:13]
10. Secret Research [7:11]
11. Science vs. Nature [5:23]
12. Destruction From The Deep [5:18]
13. A Daring Plan [1:32]
14. To Study Or Destroy [2:40]
15. Godzilla Attacks [4:50]
16. Unstoppable Rampage [2:31]
17. Live From The Scene [4:53]
18. Air Strike [2:58]
19. The Human Toll [1:49]
20. An Ultimate Weapon? [6:39]
21. A Moral Dilemma [3:22]
22. Never To Be Used Again [3:36]
23. Weapon Of Choice [3:22]
24. Danger Of The Deep [8:16]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Godzilla: King of the Monsters
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary
      Original Trailer
Disc #2 -- Godzilla: Gojira
   Play Movie
   Chapters
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary
      Godzilla: Story Development Featurette
      Making Of The Godzilla Suit Featurette
      Original Trailer
   Setup
      Subtitles
         English
         Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    hmmm....

    this was a bit wierd to watch after seeing Gojira. but still not a horrible movie but defenetly NOT as good. For whatever they tried to make into there own US version they did an ok job. but compared to Gojira not even in the same ball park.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Bad Americanized Version

    Bottom line: The multi-faceted plot and strong message of the original (Gojira) were all but destroyed when this movie was butchered for the American audiences. After seeing the original, I can't stomach this poor shadow of the classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews