Japan is thrown into a panic after several ships explode and are sunk. At first, the authorities think its either underwater mines or underwater volcanic activity. The authorities soon head to Odo Island, close to where several of the ships were sunk. One night, something comes onshore and destroys several houses and kills several people. A later expedition to the island led by paleontologist Professor Kyôhei Yamane, his daughter Emiko, and young navy frogman Hideto Ogata (who also happens to be Emiko's lover, even though she is betrothed to Dr. Daisuke Serizawa) soon discover something more devastating than imagined in the form of a 164-foot-tall (50-meter-tall) monster whom the natives call Gojira. Now, the monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy not only Japan but the rest of the world as well. Can the monster be destroyed before it is too late, and what role will the mysterious Serizawa play in the battle?Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
When Gojira (1954) was first released in Japan, the press had universally panned the film, saying, "Why is Japan bothering to make special effects movies? Special effects are only in the realm of American filmmaking." (This explained why the few Japanese special effects fantasies made before 1954 were mostly forgotten.) But nevertheless, "Gojira" became a huge box-office success, and put the "tokusatsu" (Japanese term for "special effects") medium on the map. See more »
When the jets attack Gojira as he's walking out to sea after destroying Tokyo, the rockets they fire at the monster can be seen bouncing off the sky backdrop. See more »
Chief of Emergency Headquarters:
This is quite a problem, professor. If this keeps up, we'll have to suspend the international shipping routes. Have you found a way? Is there something we can do to defeat it?
So, that's it...
Chairman of Diet Committee:
Professor Yamane, let's be honest. If there's a way to defeat Godzilla, we need to know.
It's impossible! Godzilla absorbed massive amounts of atomic radiation and yet it still survived! What do you think could kill it? Instead, we should focus on why it is still alive. That should be our top priority!
See more »
Another version of Gojira was released in 1977 in Italy. Supervised by Luigi Cozzi, it used a crude colorization process, in which colored gels were pasted over general areas of the frames; at the time, the only other method of colorizing a film was to hand paint every frame as if making an animated film, which was impossible in the time frame Cozzi was given. Additional footage was added from other movies and war reels to pad out the American version's 80 minute run time. The crude colorizing and badly matching extra footage was added due to Italian theaters refusing to screen a black-and-white movie that was less than 90 minutes (Cozzi could only get rights to the shorter American version, so could not reintroduce the cut scenes from the Japanese version.) See more »
Gojira (not Godzilla, King of the Monsters, with Raymond Burr), stands as one of the best monster movies...and one of Japan's finest and most allegory pieces of cinema. The original version of the movie has a lot of anti-nuclear sentiment that the US editors dropped from the Raymond Burr version. A woman on a subway noting that is seemed like she survived Nagaski only to die from Godzilla is an offhand but telling comment on Japan's unique view of the use of nuclear weapons.
The story itself is makes a bit more sense than the patchwork used with Raymond Burr (though that version is also quite good for the genre that it helps perpetuate). The effects are (I think) still great...the grainy, documentary feel of the movie makes it seem a lot more real.
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