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Mothra (1961)

Mosura (original title)
Passed | | Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 10 May 1962 (USA)
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3:22 | Clip

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A giant, ancient moth begins to attack Japan when coming to the rescue of it's two, foot-tall worshippers who were taken by shipwreck survivors.

Director:

Ishirô Honda

Writers:

Shin'ichi Sekizawa (screenplay), Shin'ichirô Nakamura (novel) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

FABULOUS! FANTASTIC! TWO DOLL-SIZED BEAUTIES WORSHIPPED BY A WINGED BEHEMOTH! (original USA poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English | Indonesian

Release Date:

10 May 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mothra See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hiroshi Koizumi would later return as Professor Shin'ichi Chûjô many years later in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003), which also featured Mothra. See more »

Goofs

When Mothra is destroying Newkirk City, the site of the action repeatedly returns to show various shots of destruction in front of the "Newkirk Motors" building. 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

In the credits for the U.S. version, including promo material released by Columbia Pictures, Eurasian model Jerry Ito (who plays the villianous Mr. Nelson) is billed as "Jelly Ito." See more »

Alternate Versions

The American version deleted the scene where Senchiro crosses himself after it is asked that everyone pray. See more »

Connections

Followed by Godzilla 2000 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Infanto no musume
Written by Kôji Kajita (as Susumu Ike)
Performed by Za Pînattsu
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A '60s classic
21 October 2005 | by ebiros2See all my reviews

Mothra is a movie based on a fantasy novel "Glowing fairies and Mothra" co-authored by Shinichiro Nakamura, Takehiko Fukunaga, and Yoshie Hotta. Name of the main protagonist Zenichiro Fukuda are combined names of these three co-authors (Chinese character Yoshi is also pronounced Zen in Japanese). The co-authors reportedly never received much loyalties from this movie.

If the original Godzilla was the '50s classic kaijyu movie, this is that of the '60s, spawning many movies that follows featuring Mothra.

This movie was created on the following year Japan signed the "Treaty of mutual cooperation and security between Japan and U.S." of 1960 and reflects the politically charged atmosphere against US at the time in Japan. For instance, country Rorisika is a combined name of Russia, and America (in the original novel, the name was even more obvious Russirica, but was changed for the world wide release of the movie), and New Kirk city is an obvious synonym for New York city. US and Russia by the way were the only countries in the world performing hydrogen bomb experiments at the time, and No. 2 Genyomaru's, encounter with the test was also a hidden criticism against these experiments.

In the original novel, the location where Mothra spews the cocoon is the parliament building, but this was viewed as a political statement against the said treaty, and was changed to Tokyo tower. The movie features a real life twins The Peanuts (Emi and Yumi Eto) who were popular singers in Japan at the time. The Mothra song they sang were written by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, and Shinichi Sekizawa first in Japanese, and Indonesian student residing in Japan at the time translated it into his language. The original manuscript of this handwritten song is now displayed in Yuji Koseki (who was the composer for this song) museum in Fukushima city Japan.

The plot and special effects are tour de force. One of Mothra's lava costumes had 8 men in it with Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima taking the lead. Mothra is the first kaijyu that's not just out for destruction, but is a protector of the environment. When the Mothra lava spews silk, it really looks real. The silk was made from rubber contact cement thinned down with solvent and shot out of Mothra's mouth using air brush. Actor Hiroshi Koizumi reprises his role as Shinichi Chujyo in 2003 movie Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla Tokyo SOS after 42 years this movie was made.

Still after half a century, this is one of the best kaijyu movie ever created.


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