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Godzilla (1954)
"Gojira" (original title)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  7 May 2004 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 14,999 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 167 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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, (story), 1 more credit »
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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 ...
Nankai Shipping Company Manager
Ren Yamamoto ...
Hiroshi Hayashi ...
Chairman of Diet Committee
Takeo Oikawa ...
Chief of Emergency Headquarters
Seijirô Onda ...
Tsuruko Mano ...
Toyoaki Suzuki ...
Kokuten Kôdô ...
The Old Fisherman
Kin Sugai ...
Ozawa-san
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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:

spewing flames that scorch the earth! 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

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. See more »

Goofs

It's nine years after the dropping of atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the "authorities" cannot recognize radiation burns. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Kyohei Yamane-hakase: I can't believe that Godzilla was the only surviving member of its species... But if we continue conducting nuclear tests, it's possible that another Godzilla might appear somewhere in the world again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau (1976) 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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