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Godzilla (1954)
"Gojira" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  7 May 2004 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 16,921 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 178 user | 159 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Akira Takarada ...
Momoko Kôchi ...
Akihiko Hirata ...
...
Fuyuki Murakami ...
Sachio Sakai ...
Toranosuke Ogawa ...
President of Company
Ren Yamamoto ...
Hiroshi Hayashi ...
Chairman of Diet Committee
Seijirô Onda ...
Tsuruko Mano ...
Takeo Oikawa ...
Chief of Emergency Headquarters
Toyoaki Suzuki ...
Kokuten Kôdô ...
The Old Fisherman (as Kuninori Kôdô)
Tadashi Okabe ...
Prof. Tanabe's Assistant
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Storyline

A 164-foot-tall (50-meter-tall) monster reptile with radioactive breath is revived, thanks to nuclear testing. It goes on a mad rampage, destroying Tokyo - can it be stopped? Should it be killed? Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A monster of mass destruction! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Godzilla  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

JPY 100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$38,030 (USA) (7 May 2004)

Gross:

$10,903 (USA) (18 April 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Godzilla in his closeups is a hand-controlled puppet that looks different from the full-body suit. It has different eyes, more prominent spikes on its head, and the arms are much, much smaller. See more »

Quotes

Daisuke Serizawa-hakase: If my device can serve a good purpose, i would announce it to everyone in the world! But in its current form, it's just a weapon of horrible destruction. Please understand, Ogata!
Hideto Ogata: I understand. But if we don't use your device against Godzilla, what are we going to do?
Daisuke Serizawa-hakase: Ogata, if the oxygen destroyer is used even once, politicians from around the world will see it. Of course, they'll want to use it as a weapon. Bombs versus bombs, missiles versus missiles, and now a new superweapon to throw upon ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredded & Splintered (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Crushes its sequels like Godzilla crushes Tokyo!
8 March 2004 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my 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.


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