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Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)

Not Rated | | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 April 1956 (USA)
A 400-foot (122-meter) dinosaur-like beast, awoken from undersea hibernation off the Japanese coast by atomic-bomb testing, attacks Tokyo.

Directors:

(as Ishiro Honda), (as Terry Morse)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) (as Ishiro Honda) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

It's Alive! IT crushes! IT kills! See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 April 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Godzilla  »

Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes shot for the US version were shot at Visual Drama Inc., 129 North Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Today, the former studio is now the Frank del Olmo Elementary School (formerly Belmont Elementary). On March 25, 2006, a plaque was dedicated at the school in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the film's release in the US, a collaboration between the Godzilla Society of North America and Platrix Chapter No. 2, E Clampus Vitus. See more »

Goofs

As Steve Martin watches the "Godzilla" ceremony being performed on Odo Island, the same shots of the ceremony are repeated several times. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steve Martin: [in voice over] This is Tokyo. Once a city of six million people. What has happened here was caused by a force which up until a few days ago was entirely beyond the scope of Man's imagination. Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world. There were once many people here who could've told of what they saw... now there are only a few. My name is ...
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 »

Connections

Featured in Top 10 Lost Horror Films (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tokyo Burning
6 March 2010 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

**SPOILERS** An obvious Japanese version of "The Beast of 20,000 Fathoms" the movie "Godzilla" quickly overshadowed its predecessor and has become one of he most popular monster movies of all times. With it having at least a dozen sequels over the last 55 years after it's initial release in 1954.

"Godzilla, King of the Monsters" is the Americanized version of the movie that has Raymond Burr as American reporter Steve Martin. As he film begins we see Martin recounting what he just lived through after Godzilla demolished the city of Tokyo leaving thousands of dead and wounded, like himself, in his wake. Just days before Martin landed in Tokyo on a stopover to his trip to Cairo Egypt never suspecting that he'll be reporting the biggest story of the 20th century.

It was during that time that a number of Japanese fishing boats and their crews were incinerated by rays of deadly radiation coming from the ocean floor. Together with his good friend Japan's top paleontologist the eminent Dr. Kyohei Yamane, Takashi Ahimura, Martin and a boatload of Japanese newsmen including Dr. Yamane's 22 year-old daughter Emiko, Momok Kochi, traveled to the out of the way Ito Island where one of the few surviving fishermen, of the radiation attacks, came from. It's on Oto Island where it's been reported by the local natives that a gigantic prehistoric monster has suddenly made an unexpected, after some 2 million years, and unwanted public appearance!

I didn't take long for the monster-Godzilla-to show his, or its, face proving beyond a doubt that he's in fact real not some made up legend by the Ito islanders. He later also does a number on the island leaving most of it in ruins! Out of the water and on to dry land Godzilla then attacks, under the cover of night, the bustling Japanese city of Tokyo which we soon find out was just a probing action on his part. Godzilla was testing out the city's defenses to find a weak spot for his later and far more devastating attack 24 hours, again under the cover of darkness, later. With nothing to stop it Godzilla turns the city of Tokyo into a hell on earth causing more damage to it then even the great fire bombings of Tokyo in March 1945 by Gen. LaMay's fleet of B-29 bombers.

***MAJOR SPOILERS*** Steve Martin who had witnessed the destruction of the city from his hotel window ended up buried under the rubble barely surviving the carnage. Martin is later responsible in getting the ball rolling in Godzilla's destruction through Emiko's hand picked, by her and his parents, future husband top Japanese scientist Dr. Daiskuke "Eyepatch" Serizawa. It was Dr. Serizawa who was Martin's good friend and collage classmate, despite a ten year age difference, who knew about his underwater experiments that in the end lead to Godzilla's demise. It was the romantic triangle between Dr. Serizawa and Emiko's new love Japanese Japanese Navy sailor Ogata, Akira Takerada, whom she met and fell in love with on her and Steve Martins trip to Oto Island that was the reason the he in the end used his secret oxygen destroyer capsule, that he swore Emiko to secrecy, to do in the raging prehistoric beast. A life long pacifist Dr. Serizawa now with his love Emiko leaving him for Ogata felt that the only thing in life left for him to do is do in Godzilla before he destroys the Japanese Islands and the tens of millions of people living on them.

***MAJOR MAJOR SPOILER*** In the ultimate act of self sacrifice Dr. Serizawa in keeping the secret of the deadly oxygen destroyer from the world at large and out of the hands of any nation, like the US & USSR, who'll use it for military purposes takes that secret to his watery grave together with Godzilla whom it ends up destroying!

P.S One thing about the movie "Godzilla" that really stands out is the first class, very rare in a monster film, acting by those in it. The love triangle between Emiko Ogata and Dr. Serizawa was so well done and heart-fully convincing that it in fact overshadowed the main theme in the movie; A 400 foot prehistoric monster on the loose in a major 20th century metropolis: Tokyo Japan. It's that Academy Award caliber acting that raised the film heads and shoulders above the many 1950's monster film, in the US and abroad, that it competed with at the time!


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