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Mothra (1961) More at IMDbPro »Mosura (original title)

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Down 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Shinichirô Nakamura (original story) &
Takehiko Fukunaga (original story) ...
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Release Date:
10 May 1962 (USA) See more »
Incredible! Inconceivable! World wrecked as monster hunts human mates! See more »
Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru, an island previously used for atomic tests. Amazingly free of radiation effects... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Mothra review See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order)
Frankie Sakai ... Journalist Senichiro 'Sen-chan' Fukuda (AKA: 'Bulldog')
Hiroshi Koizumi ... Dr. Shin'ichi Chûjô
Kyôko Kagawa ... Photographer Michi Hanamura
Ken Uehara ... Dr. Harada
Emi Itô ... Shobijin (Twin Fairy) (as Emi Ito)
Yûmi Itô ... Shobijin (Twin Fairy) (as Yumi Ito)
Jerry Ito ... Clark Nelson (as Jelly Ito)

Takashi Shimura ... News Editor
Tetsu Nakamura ... Nelson's Henchman
Akihiro Tayama ... Shinji Chûjô (as Masamitsu Tayma)
Obel Wyatt ... Dr. Roff
Akihiko Hirata ... Doctor
Seizaburô Kawazu ... General (as Seizaburo Kawazu)
Yoshifumi Tajima ... Military Advisor
Robert Dunham ... Rolisican Cop
Harold Conway ... Rolisican Ambassador
Osman Yusuf ... Nelson's Rolisican Henchman (as Johnny Yuseph)
Yoshio Kosugi ... Ship Captain
Ren Yamamoto ... Ship Survivor (as Yasushi Yamamoto)
Haruya Katô ... Ship Survivor
Kô Mishima ... Ship Survivor (as Ko Mishima)
Rinsaku Ogata ... Ship Survivor
Kenji Sahara ... Helicopter Pilot
Akira Yamada ... Island Worshipper
Takeo Nagashima ... Island Dancer
Arai Hayamizu ... Island Dancer
Akira Wakamatsu ... Nelson's Henchman
Hiroshi Akitsu ... Nelson's Henchman
Kôji Iwamoto ... Nelson's Henchman (as Hiroshi Iwamoto)
Toshio Miura ... Nelson's Henchman
Kazuo Imai ... Announcer
Wataru Ômae ... Official (as Wataru Ohmae)
Kazuo Higata ... Official
Toshihiko Furuta ... Dam Worker
Shôichi Hirose ... Dam Worker (as Shoichi Hirose)
Kôji Uno ... Police Officer (as Koji Uno)
Tadashi Okabe ... Surveyor
Akio Kusama ... Surveyor
Mitsuo Tsuda ... Surveyor
Mitsuo Matsumoto ... Police Officer
Hiroyuki Satake ... Police Officer

Haruo Nakajima ... Head of Mosura Larva
Katsumi Tezuka ... Neck of Mosura Larva
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshio Hattori ... Small Role
Saburô Iketani ... Radio Announcer
Yoshiyuki Kamimura ... Small Role
Shigeo Katô ... Dam Watchman (as Shigeo Kato)
Keisuke Matsuyama ... Shipmate
Teruko Mita ... Rest House Owner's Wife
Yutaka Nakayama ... Radio Communicator (as Yutara Nakayama)
Masanari Nihei ... Cop
Yutaka Okada ... Captain of Transport
Kyorô Sakurai ... Member of Task Force (as Koro Sakurai)
Hideo Shibuya ... Journalist (as Shinpei Mitsui)
Hiroshi Takagi ... Nelson's Henchman
Yasuhisa Tsutsumi ... Woodcutter

Peter Fernandez ... (voice: English version) (uncredited)
Tazue Ichimanji ... (uncredited)
Animatronic Puppet ... Mothra (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ishirô Honda  (as Inoshiro Honda)
Writing credits
Shinichirô Nakamura  original story (as Shinichiro Nakamura) &
Takehiko Fukunaga  original story &
Yoshie Hotta  original story: published on 'Shuka Asahi'

Shin'ichi Sekizawa (screenplay)

Produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka .... producer
Original Music by
Yuji Koseki (music)
Cinematography by
Hajime Koizumi (photography)
Film Editing by
Kazuji Taira  (as Ichiji Taira)
Art Direction by
Teruaki Abe  (as Kimei Abe)
Takeo Kita 
Production Management
Shin Morita .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Samaji Nonagase .... assistant director (as Masaji Nonagase)
Sound Department
Shoichi Fujinawa .... recording
Masanobu Miyazaki .... recording
Special Effects by
Yukio Manoda .... optical photography: special cinematography
Kan Narita .... production manager: special cinematography
Eiji Tsuburaya .... special cinematography director
Akira Watanabe .... special cinematographer: art
Visual Effects by
Sadamasa Arikawa .... photography: special cinematography
Kuichirô Kishida .... lighting: special cinematography (as Kuichiro Kishida)
Hiroshi Mukoyama .... special effects: special cinematography
Camera and Electrical Department
Toshio Takashima .... lighting
Music Department
Susumu Ike .... composer: "Mosura No Uta"
Other crew
David D. Horne .... producer: English version
Lee Kresel .... director: English version

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mosura" - Japan (original title)
See more »
101 min | Japan:62 min (re-issue) | USA:88 min | USA:91 min (re-issue) | Germany:86 min (TV)
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
USA:Approved | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Jerry Ito's slow stilted delivery of his Japanese dialog fit his character as a foreigner speaking Japanese. This was not an intentional part of his performance. At the time this was made, Jerry Ito had been studying the Japanese language for over six months and was not completely fluent.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Shobijin, Shobijin:Mothra will soon be here.
Journalist Senichiro 'Sen-chan' Fukuda:Mothra?
Shobijin, Shobijin:Mothra, she'll rescue us, and return us to our island!
See more »
Movie Connections:
MosuraSee more »


What are the differences between the US Version and the Japanese Version?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Mothra review, 30 January 2014
Author: Al_The_Strange from United States

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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