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Godzilla (Criterion) (1954-1956)

Cast: Kin Sugai, Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Kochi, more...
Director: Ishiro Honda, Ishiro Honda
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Action, Classics, Foreign, Science Fiction , Classic Action/Adventure, Classic Sci-Fi, Japan, Classic Action/Adventure, Classic Sci Fi/Fantasy, Criterion Collection
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Godzilla (Gojira) (Criterion) (1954)
One of the longest-running series in film history began with Ishiro Honda's grim, black-and-white allegory for the devastation wrought on Japan by the atomic bomb. As his visual metaphor, Honda uses a 400-foot-tall mutant dinosaur called Gojira, awakened from the depths of the sea as a rampaging nuclear nightmare, complete with glowing dorsal fins and fiery, radioactive breath. Crushing ships, villages, and buildings in his wake, Gojira marches toward Tokyo, bringing all of the country's worst nightmares back until an evil more terrible bomb -- capable of sucking all the oxygen from the sea -- returns the monster to its watery grave. The original film is chilling, despite some rather unconvincing man-in-a-suit special effects, and brimming with explicitly stated anti-American sentiment. All of that was removed for the U.S. release directed by Terry Morse. It was replaced with bad dubbing and tedious added footage starring Raymond Burr. The resulting edit was just another monster movie, but was still popular enough to assure future Toho Studios monster films a wide American release. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (Criterion) (1956)

This is the "Americanized" version of the 1956 Japanese film Gojira (Godzilla).

GreenCine Says: Godzilla: Gojira Deluxe Collector's Edition (1954; $15.95). The star attraction of this new two-disc Godzilla set is the original Japanese cut of the film (the second version features the American theatrical release which added Raymond Burr and a revisionist script). "A classy release that elevates the general stature of the Godzilla franchise," raves the DVD Savant, "[F]ans will be enthusiastic about the extras on the double-disc set." Extras abound on the second disc, so, Burr or no, don't miss it.

Note: Disc One, Gojira, contains the original Japanese edition, while Disc Two contains the subsequent American theatrical release/edit featuring Raymond Burr.

GreenCine Member Ratings

Godzilla (Gojira) (Criterion) (1954)
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8.19 (32 votes)
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (Criterion) (1956)
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6.64 (14 votes)

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