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Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)

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

Directors:

Ishirô Honda (as Ishiro Honda), Terry O. Morse (as Terry Morse)

Writers:

Shigeru Kayama (original story), Takeo Murata (screen play) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Raymond Burr ... Steve Martin
Takashi Shimura ... Dr. Yamane
Momoko Kôchi ... Emiko (as Momoko Kochi)
Akira Takarada Akira Takarada ... Ogata
Akihiko Hirata ... Dr. Serizawa
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Hagiwara
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami ... Dr. Tabata
Ren Yamamoto Ren Yamamoto ... Seiji
Toyoaki Suzuki Toyoaki Suzuki ... Shinkichi
Tadashi Okabe Tadashi Okabe ... Dr. Tabata's Assistant
Toranosuke Ogawa ... President of Company
Frank Iwanaga 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:

CIVILIZATION TOTTERS! SCIENCE ASTOUNDED! See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

27 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Godzilla the Sea Beast See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With respect to: "'It is often said that "Since his contract said that he could only work for one day on the film, Raymond Burr was kept at the studio for 24 hours to shoot all of his scenes'; but, this is an urban myth with absolutely no evidence to support it. Between set construction and outside shots it took 6 days to shoot." According to R.J. Kizer, American scenes director on "Godzilla 1985," Burr told him the "one day" story. For "Godzilla 1985" Burr specified that he would work no more than 8 hours for one day. When Kizer asked Burr why the specification of 8 hours, Burr replied that on the first Godzilla film he agreed to one day's work and he was worked for 24 hours. He vowed to never fall victim to that again. Kizer now says that the six day shoot for the original is probably the true story. Besides being a practical joker, Burr loved telling legends. See more »

Goofs

The crew member on the first ship that is destroyed is playing, then holding, an acoustic guitar, but when he drops it on the deck, it is an electric. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Since being reacquired by Toho, all current U.S. prints now have the Transworld logo removed and replaced with black footage See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Boondocks: Ballin' (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest and most realistic of the 50s creature features.
31 August 2011 | by kevinxirauSee all my reviews

Godzilla is truly a legendary icon who has really stood the test of time for more than fifty years. His first film back in 1954 was very serious compared to most monster movies at the time. Most agree that it's a typical story of a prehistoric creature mutated by radiation rising up to challenge the world with his newfound power, but it's a little more than that. How so? Everything seems to be taken seriously by both filmmakers and the characters in the story. In this U.S. version, dubbing is kept to a very minimum by the lead characters while everyone else is speaking Japanese, which brings a small sense of realism. Godzilla himself is taken seriously by the filmmakers because while the primitive effects are obvious, his actions are like how a real animal reacts to a certain situation like when he approaches the electrical barrier and pauses to look at it curiously or when he snarls at a ringing clock tower because he thinks it might be another animal. He doesn't "attack" Tokyo just for the hell of it, he's just lashing out at whatever attacked him. After Tokyo is destroyed, the scene where the people mourn for the dead and dying truly moved me because the "attack" was treated like an actual disaster. I truly respect that.

Tomoyuki Tanaka really knew how to tell a war related story (war films in Japan were illegal at the time) and make his dinosaur the biggest star (literally) in the world. Steve Martin(Raymond Burr) and Dr. Serizawa are among the best known human characters in the entire series. I give this movie little more credit than before because of how it was made and the angle it was going for. Long live the King!


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