Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  27 April 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,163 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 43 critic

A 400-foot (122-meter) dinosaur-like beast, awoken from undersea hibernation off the Japanese coast by atomic-bomb testing, attacks Tokyo.


(as Ishiro Honda) , (as Terry Morse)


(screen play), (screen play) (as Ishiro Honda) , 2 more credits »
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American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

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Godzilla battles an irradiated Ankylosaur and destroys Osaka in the process.

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The aftermath of the Oxygen Destroyer brings forth Destoroyah, a beast intent on killing Godzilla, who is on the verge of a nuclear meltdown.

Director: Takao Okawara
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A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
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After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
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Godzilla comes to the rescue when an alien race rebuilds Mechagodzilla to destroy Earth's cities. A traitorous scientist gives them a second weapon: Titanosaurus.

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Apelike aliens build a robotic Godzilla to destroy Japan, and the true Godzilla may not be powerful enough to destroy it.

Director: Jun Fukuda
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The United Nations assembles the ultimate weapon to defeat Godzilla, while scientists discover a fresh pteranodon egg on a remote Japanese island.

Director: Takao Okawara
Stars: Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka
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Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.

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Time travelers use Godzilla in their scheme to destroy Japan to prevent the country's future economic reign.

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Rodan (1956)
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Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Akihiko Hirata
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From Earth's pollution a new monster is spawned. Hedorah, the smog monster, destroys Japan and fights Godzilla while spewing his poisonous gas to further the damage.

Director: Yoshimitsu Banno
Stars: Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura, Hiroyuki Kawase


Complete credited cast:
Momoko Kôchi ...
Emiko (as Momoko Kochi)
Akira Takarada ...
Akihiko Hirata ...
Sachio Sakai ...
Fuyuki Murakami ...
Dr. Tabata
Ren Yamamoto ...
Toyoaki Suzuki ...
Tadashi Okabe ...
Dr. Tabata's Assistant
Toranosuke Ogawa ...
President of Company
Frank Iwanaga ...
Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga


When American reporter Steve Martin investigates a series of mysterious disasters off the coast of Japan, he comes face to face with an ancient creature so powerful and so terrifying, it can reduce Tokyo to a smoldering graveyard. Nuclear weapon testing resurrected this relic from the Jurassic age, and now it's rampaging across Japan. At night, Godzilla wades through Tokyo leaving death and destruction in his wake, disappearing into Tokyo Bay when his rage subsides. Coventional weapons are useless against him; but renowned scientist Dr. Serizawa has discovered a weapon that could destroy all life in the bay -- including Godzilla. But which disaster is worse, Godzilla's fury, or the death of Tokyo Bay? Written by Robert Lynch <docrlynch@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Mightiest Monster...The Mightiest Melodrama of Them All! See more »


Action | Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

27 April 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Godzilla  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(original U.S. theatrical release) | (television) | (television) (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Godzilla/Gojira was the only film role for Toyoaki Suzuki, who played Shinkichi. However, his photo from Godzilla (1954) appeared in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). See more »


The airplanes are seen on strings. See more »


Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga: He claims he saw a monster - a horrible monster.
Steve Martin: If he saw a monster, he's had too much saki.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Many prints and videos have absolutely no credits, beyond the title at the start(with a clearly video-generated copyright notice below it) and a "The End" graphic at the close. As of 2006, Classic Media's release of the film in the Gojira/Godzilla: King of the Monsters on DVD has the restored English credits. See more »


Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Dinosaurs (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The Americanized Version
18 September 2008 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

American studios obviously believed two things: (1) that Godzilla could be sold to American audiences, and (2) that American audiences wouldn't watch the original Japanese version, and so a familiar American actor would have to be added. The end result was the filming of many scenes incorporating Raymond Burr as American newspaper reporter Steve Martin, who just happened to be in Tokyo when Godzilla struck.

In all honesty, I haven't seen the Japanese original ("Gojira") and so I have no basis on which to compare the two versions, so "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters" has to be looked at on its own merits. Let's admit right off the top that it has a lot of weaknesses. The Burr scenes aren't edited in particularly well, there are some strange decisions about dubbing (sometimes the original scenes are left in, with Japanese language and all and a narration by Burr explaining what's happening and sometimes English is dubbed over the original Japanese, and there didn't seem to me to be any particular rhyme or reason for which decision was made to which scene), the special effects are primitive (but it was made in the 1950's), and the monster stretched credibility a bit (partly the costume, and partly that he was 400 feet tall - how would the link between Jurassic era land animals and sea animals be so big?) Having said that, unless your agenda is simply to bash Americans for Americanizing the movie, you also have to admit that it's not bad. The opening scene is marvellous, with Martin being rescued from a destroyed building and brought to a hospital on a stretcher. If you didn't know the story (and we do, so perhaps this loses its impact) you'd swear off the top that this is a movie about an atomic bomb attack. For all the above weaknesses, the movie's fun pretty much all the way through if not particularly scary, and the casting of Burr accomplished what the studios wanted - Godzilla became as much an American cult classic as a Japanese one.

The ending is a bit abrupt, and seemed pretty decisive, leaving me to puzzle where all the sequels came from, but overall, if not great this was still an enjoyable film, probably undeserving of some of the criticism it gets. 6/10

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