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Mothra (1961)

Mosura (original title)
Passed | | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 10 May 1962 (USA)
Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Senichiro 'Sen-chan' Fukuda (AKA Bulldog)
Hiroshi Koizumi ...
...
Photographer Michi Hanamura
...
Shobijin (Twin Fairy) (as Yumi Ito)
Emi Itô ...
Jerry Itô ...
Kurâruku Neruson (as Jerî Itô)
Ken Uehara ...
Dr. Harada
Akihiko Hirata ...
Doctor
Kenji Sahara ...
Helicopter Pilot
...
General
...
News Editor
Yoshio Kosugi ...
Ship Captain
Yoshifumi Tajima ...
Military Advisor
Ren Yamamoto ...
Ship Survivor
Haruya Katô ...
Ship Survivor
Edit

Storyline

Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were protected by a special juice that was given to them by the island's residents. A joint expedition of Rolisican and Japanese scientists explores Beiru and discovers many curious things, including two women only one foot (30 centimeters) high. Unscrupulous expedition leader Clark Nelson abducts the women and puts them in a vaudeville show. But their sweet singing contains a telepathic cry for help to Mothra, a gigantic moth that is worshiped as a deity by the island people. The giant monster heeds the call of the women and heads to Tokyo, wreaking destruction in its path. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@bluemarble.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Incredible! Inconceivable! World wrecked as monster hunts human mates! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

10 May 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mothra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) | (theatrical) | (re-issue) (VHS) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the American version, Mothra's home's name is changed from Infant Island to Beiru. However, in the American versions of her next three appearances, the island is called Infant Island. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Shinichi is showing the symbols he discovered in the cave to Senchan, you can see someone in black pants and shoes walking down the stairs behind Senchan's head. See more »

Quotes

ShobijinShobijin: Mothra will soon be here.
Journalist Senichiro 'Sen-chan' Fukuda: Mothra?
ShobijinShobijin: Mothra, she'll rescue us, and return us to our island!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The U.S. version, as released by Columbia Pictures, has an extensive cast listing. However, the names of Frankie Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi and Kyoko Kagawa are missing. They are the top billed stars of the film. See more »

Connections

Followed by Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tôkyô S.O.S. (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mosura no uta
(uncredited)
Music by Yûji Koseki
Lyrics by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishirô Honda and Shin'ichi Sekizawa (as Kôji Yuki)
Performed by Za Pînattsu
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mothra review
30 January 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Among Toho's repertoire of gargantuan and highly-destructive kaiju, who would have ever thought that a giant moth would become one of their most endearing characters? In the years that would come, Mothra would make an appearance in seventeen films, including a bunch of Godzilla films. In the beginning, though, the lepidopteran made its debut in this old-fashioned monster flick.

1961's Mothra runs pretty evenly, allowing the story to breathe adequately before dishing out some modest mass destruction. The film's first acts, with scientists exploring Infant Island, remind me greatly of Skull Island from King Kong; the manner in which they use the fairies as a sideshow is not too far off from Kong either, only instead of unleashing a giant monkey's wrath, the fairies sing and summon a giant larva. It's weird stuff, but the film plays everything out with a straight face. This film ultimately sets the pattern for future incarnations of Mothra (you seriously can't have Mothra without the singing fairies, the larva, or without specific phases of attacks). As the original feature, however, the only formula this film adheres to is that of the classic monster picture, with a bit of adventure thrown in, and it's neat that way.

The story's pretty much outlined above; it is a well-structured plot with a cast of alright (and sometimes goofy) characters. With all the fairies and monsters on display, I always felt that Mothra was a grade more unbelievable than most other monster movies, but thanks to the film's earnest tone, it works as a fine and dandy fantasy (and it's pretty neat to see such fantasy being opposed by modern and ultramodern weaponry). The story touches upon a few themes concerning capitalism and greed, but is never overbearing.

This film uses solid, quality photography and editing. Acting is good from the original cast (but might be marred heavily by the English dubbing if you chose to watch it). Writing gets the job done pretty well. This production shows its age, but still uses fine-looking sets, props, and costumes. Special effects are a bit rough, but for its time, they are smashing. Music is not bad either.

No matter how silly or fantastic it gets, I have a soft spot for Mothra, especially in seeing her future clashes with Godzilla and other monsters. The first and most original Mothra film presents the basics of Mothra-lore, which in turn echoes parts of the original King Kong, and would stand proudly next to classic monster flicks like Godzilla. Fans of the genre should give this original film a rent.

4/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Pretty Good | Film: Good)


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