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Godzilla (1954)
"Gojira" (original title)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  7 May 2004 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 15,567 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 171 user | 154 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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

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Title: Godzilla (1954)

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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 ...
Kuninori Kôdô ...
The Old Fisherman
Tadashi Okabe ...
Prof. Tanabe's Assistant
Edit

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:

It's Alive! 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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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). See more »

Goofs

When the people are running down the alleyway, and Gojira walks by, you can see two people run out into the front, look at the camera, and really quickly lean up against the wall. See more »

Quotes

Chief of Emergency Headquarters: This is quite a problem, professor. If this keeps up, we'll have to suspend the international shipping routes. Have you found a way? Is there something we can do to defeat it?
Kyohei Yamane-hakase: So, that's it...
Chairman of Diet Committee: Professor Yamane, let's be honest. If there's a way to defeat Godzilla, we need to know.
Kyohei Yamane-hakase: It's impossible! Godzilla absorbed massive amounts of atomic radiation and yet it still survived! What do you think could kill it? Instead, we should focus on why it is still alive. That should be our top priority!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School (1990) 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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