Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby jackzilla » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:35 am

I just rewatched this movie again today, still a ton of fun :) One of the best Showa films I think. And going off of the last posts on here...it did upset me when I was younger that Godzilla is beaten by the little larvas, but now that I'm older, it makes sense. As someone has said, Godzilla is the BAD GUY in this movie, so of course he's gonna lose.
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Grievous » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:05 pm

Well...this one is considered a Classic...and its not hard to see why.

The start is a little slow & Godzilla is a little too clumsy for my liking...
but overall its well written & well directed & brings together two of
Toho's most "Famous Monsters"

:thumbsup:
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby ArchdukeCaligula » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:29 pm

I feel like I'm repeating a lot of earlier posts in this thread by saying that this is my absolute favorite Showa Godzilla movie. The human plot is interesting and the characters are all pretty memorable. The two human villains, Torahata and Kumayama, I found particularly interesting. Torahata being a more sly and deceptive character while Kumayama was a more loud and open villain(if that description makes sense). I do prefer the English dub of the movie in all honesty. Despite Mothra being referred to as "The Thing", she is still referred to as Mothra in dialogue from time to time, with "The Thing" acting as more of a nickname. Also I get chills whenever I see the frontier missile scene. The way Ifukube's score enters that slow section as the American navy officer sternly shouts "Fire!" is simply amazing.
As for the king of the monsters himself, this is my favorite depiction of him in an antagonistic role aside from the original. As others have pointed out, he's less of a malicious monster and more of a force of nature. As another user pointed out, he only really attacks the Nagoya TV Tower out of frustration with getting his tail caught in it. The Pagoda scene in this movie always stuck out to me as one of the best destruction scenes in the series. The military onslaught Godzilla faces is also one of my favorites(Return of Godzilla is my favorite in this regard), as they throw literally everything at him to try to stop him, but to no avail. The hit and run style fight with the adult Mothra was really cool. Mothra is basically trying to outmaneuver Godzilla and avoid his atomic fire, knowing that if it hits her she's down for the count, which I always thought was an intense fight. The way the Mothra larvae defeat him through basically non-violence is also really cool. Seeing a monster who, up until that point, was basically an invincible force of mayhem get stopped through pacifism based fighting was a really neat conclusion to the film.
Solid 9/10
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Grievous » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:31 pm

ArchdukeCaligula wrote:I feel like I'm repeating a lot of earlier posts in this thread by saying that this is my absolute favorite Showa Godzilla movie.

Don't worry about it Duke...

Great minds think alike.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:16 pm

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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 2:58 pm

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:[img]https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/371455350966190083/526523394397700097/delonpilled.png]

Can you elebabrate on this a bit? I'm getting Honda's book later this week along with the Criterion release of MvG, so I'm really interested on this subject. Like how has Honda made himself the "true" author of this film?
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:34 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:Can you elebabrate on this a bit? I'm getting Honda's book later this week along with the Criterion release of MvG, so I'm really interested on this subject. Like how has Honda made himself the "true" author of this film?


Spoiler:
I'm being facetious
Moogabunga wrote:Ive said it before and I'll gladly say it again, this is going to be the best Godzilla film ever and more importantly, its going to be the film that truly makes Godzilla mainstream (and cool)

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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:
MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:Can you elebabrate on this a bit? I'm getting Honda's book later this week along with the Criterion release of MvG, so I'm really interested on this subject. Like how has Honda made himself the "true" author of this film?


Spoiler:
I'm being facetious

The one time I thought you weren't joking :lol:
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:41 pm

This was always one of my favorites as a kid and still remains at the top of the list to this day. The slow build to the eventual Godzilla reveal was a huge payoff moment for me. When it comes to Ifukube's musical contributions to the series, I consider this arguably his "finest hour". I could listen to his compositions for days and they really compliment the scenes they are in.

The moment where the heroes have to humble themselves to ask the island people for help is one of the great human moments in these films. I also always found myself fascinated by the riff between the two greedy industrialists. There was something I found so pitiable in Tajimia's last scene as Kumayama. I'm not sure I can verbalize in a way that will do it justice but he's essentially a man who sold his soul for a check that just bounced and it's interesting to see him grabbing at whatever he can get in a kind of a last ditch effort to leave with something. The stuff with a bloody and beaten Torahata realizing Godzilla is approaching is equally well-crafted. I don't know what it is about this scene but somehow we have the two most morally corrupt characters in the film getting their just dues and Honda offers almost too much humanity to make it a fun payoff.
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Terasawa » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:07 am

Crazy Jim Films wrote:The moment where the heroes have to humble themselves to ask the island people for help is one of the great human moments in these films. I also always found myself fascinated by the riff between the two greedy industrialists. There was something I found so pitiable in Tajimia's last scene as Kumayama. I'm not sure I can verbalize in a way that will do it justice but he's essentially a man who sold his soul for a check that just bounced and it's interesting to see him grabbing at whatever he can get in a kind of a last ditch effort to leave with something. The stuff with a bloody and beaten Torahata realizing Godzilla is approaching is equally well-crafted. I don't know what it is about this scene but somehow we have the two most morally corrupt characters in the film getting their just dues and Honda offers almost too much humanity to make it a fun payoff.


Great analysis! There are a lot of great character moments in this movie, including the few you mentioned. A few more I like:

  • Torahata's insulting "Let's see the power of attorney given to you by Mothra!" that totally encapsulates how entitled and greedy he is.
  • The egg-loving reporter who you assume is just comic relief who accidentally stumbles on the solution of getting Mothra to fight Godzilla.
  • The theme of brotherhood of all humanity reinforced by the disparate characters who put themselves in danger to rescue the schoolchildren.

Realism isn't a necessity for me in Godzilla movies, of course, but I love how real the characters in this film feel. Kumayama is a manipulative promoter but you can tell that after their first scene together he and Torahata don't trust each other. And why should they? Torahata is an even more manipulative character, even twisting Kumayama's arm so that the latter has to put up Mothra's egg as collateral. They're only working together because they need each other, but they're both working towards the same goal, which of course is only attainable if one of them is out of the picture. You can tell they're waiting for the other to slip up first, which you see in Kumayama's realization that he's lost his leverage. These aren't cartoon villains that twirl their mustaches and laugh diabolically, these are basically real people, probably a type of person very familiar to the show business types that made this movie. I especially like that although they are exceptionally greedy, neither one resorts to extreme measures until it's much too late. By and large they react as any real unscrupulous businessmen would in a similar situation.

Something else I really like is the subtle (for a Godzilla film) character arc for Sakai (Takarada). When we first meet him he's very cynical. At first he doesn't consider (or care) the danger of the giant egg or the exploitative Kumayama. He even laughs at Kumayama's suggestion that scientists will be charged "an essential fee." Once he learns the true nature of the egg he's hesitant to help the Shobijin because, as mentioned, he knows the government won't realistically help. He admits to his editor that he's no longer interested in writing human interest pieces because he doesn't think they're doing any good. He wants to help but he feels he can't so he essentially gives up. I get the feeling he's acting only as he perceives society wants him to act. Even on Infant Island he at first doesn't know how to ask the Shobijin for help. It's only after Junko's emotional appeal that he takes a courageous step and, as you said, humbles himself. (The dynamic between Sakai and Junko up to this point is the catalyst for his change). By the time he crafts the plan to rescue the children at the end of the film he shows no hesitation.

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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Gojira-Fan » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:55 pm

Terasawa wrote:
Crazy Jim Films wrote:The moment where the heroes have to humble themselves to ask the island people for help is one of the great human moments in these films. I also always found myself fascinated by the riff between the two greedy industrialists. There was something I found so pitiable in Tajimia's last scene as Kumayama. I'm not sure I can verbalize in a way that will do it justice but he's essentially a man who sold his soul for a check that just bounced and it's interesting to see him grabbing at whatever he can get in a kind of a last ditch effort to leave with something. The stuff with a bloody and beaten Torahata realizing Godzilla is approaching is equally well-crafted. I don't know what it is about this scene but somehow we have the two most morally corrupt characters in the film getting their just dues and Honda offers almost too much humanity to make it a fun payoff.


Great analysis! There are a lot of great character moments in this movie, including the few you mentioned. A few more I like:

  • Torahata's insulting "Let's see the power of attorney given to you by Mothra!" that totally encapsulates how entitled and greedy he is.
  • The egg-loving reporter who you assume is just comic relief who accidentally stumbles on the solution of getting Mothra to fight Godzilla.
  • The theme of brotherhood of all humanity reinforced by the disparate characters who put themselves in danger to rescue the schoolchildren.

Realism isn't a necessity for me in Godzilla movies, of course, but I love how real the characters in this film feel. Kumayama is a manipulative promoter but you can tell that after their first scene together he and Torahata don't trust each other. And why should they? Torahata is an even more manipulative character, even twisting Kumayama's arm so that the latter has to put up Mothra's egg as collateral. They're only working together because they need each other, but they're both working towards the same goal, which of course is only attainable if one of them is out of the picture. You can tell they're waiting for the other to slip up first, which you see in Kumayama's realization that he's lost his leverage. These aren't cartoon villains that twirl their mustaches and laugh diabolically, these are basically real people, probably a type of person very familiar to the show business types that made this movie. I especially like that although they are exceptionally greedy, neither one resorts to extreme measures until it's much too late. By and large they react as any real unscrupulous businessmen would in a similar situation.

Something else I really like is the subtle (for a Godzilla film) character arc for Sakai (Takarada). When we first meet him he's very cynical. At first he doesn't consider (or care) the danger of the giant egg or the exploitative Kumayama. He even laughs at Kumayama's suggestion that scientists will be charged "an essential fee." Once he learns the true nature of the egg he's hesitant to help the Shobijin because, as mentioned, he knows the government won't realistically help. He admits to his editor that he's no longer interested in writing human interest pieces because he doesn't think they're doing any good. He wants to help but he feels he can't so he essentially gives up. I get the feeling he's acting only as he perceives society wants him to act. Even on Infant Island he at first doesn't know how to ask the Shobijin for help. It's only after Junko's emotional appeal that he takes a courageous step and, as you said, humbles himself. (The dynamic between Sakai and Junko up to this point is the catalyst for his change). By the time he crafts the plan to rescue the children at the end of the film he shows no hesitation.


Mothra vs. Godzilla is my favorite Godzilla movie (I would say it is the one that really made me fall in love with the series) and this is a beautiful and insightful post.

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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:00 pm

For me atleast, the scene where Godzilla gets his tail caught on that tower, causing it to fall on him truly captures the idea of him being a monster in a world that isn't for him perfectly. Godzilla truly is a being that was born too big, too tall, too powerful.
I rewatched it today, and everything just works. The characters are likeable and have this charm to them, Ichi might be my favorite character Akira Takarada has portrayed in a kaiju film. I loved the little bits of humor sprinkled here and there, such as the guy hearing about Mothra's egg and then stops and glances at the hard boiled egg he's eating, it actually got a good chuckle out of me :lol: Or Ichi hitting his head under the table as it's about to cut to the next shot. Really makes me want to check out some of Honda's comedic films, I'm currently reading his biography.
The battle between the original Mothra and Godzilla is one of the best battles in the entire series, the sped up footage helps the knowledge of Mothra dying drive the rawness of the battle up a noch. The famous battle with the larvae is great as well, serving as a nice contrast to the previous battle, which I thought was a smart move instead of having Godzilla and the imago go for round two. Overall, it's a definite 9/10 for me.

My only "complaint" is how Godzilla's battle with the JSDF after he killed Mothra takes place at night, and after that battle it's immediately day again and our human characters haven't moved. It's implied they stayed there because of being left by the military, so they must've stayed there and camped the whole night. The sudden change of day is just jarring.

Btw, Terasawa and Crazy Jim Films analysis about the two villains and protagonists was fantastic!

Since I wrote a small essay, I might as well give one of my trademark stupid jokes: My headcanon is that for part of 1962 and all of 1963, Godzilla and King Kong had a drinking party. It resulted in Godzilla swimming home drunk, and the typhoon grabbed him and threw him towards Japan. Godzilla gets knocked unconscious and wakes up with a massive hangover, which explains him being so clumsy. :lol:
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:57 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:Really makes me want to check out some of Honda's comedic films, I'm currently reading his biography.


Re-watch KKvG with accurate subs, it's a pretty great comedy. And yeah, I definitely wanna check out something like Seniors, Juniors, and Co-Workers. The bits of info in the book and some of the things I've heard from acquaintances all sound really good. The biography has been out for over a year now and I really do hope it got Western distributors interested in Honda's non-tokusatsu work. The worst thing is that even in Japan, Toho can't be bothered to put those films up on iTunes at the very least.
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Grievous » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:18 pm

MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:Godzilla gets knocked unconscious and wakes up with a massive hangover, which explains him being so clumsy. :lol:

That's really the only issue I struggle to reconcile with in this film.

I'm not a fan of a Clumsy Godzilla in a more serious film.

Clumsy Godzilla was fine in the 70's...mainly because those
films are clumsy.

And for the record the 70's era is my favorite era & love those films.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:15 am

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:
MechaGoji Bro7503 wrote:Really makes me want to check out some of Honda's comedic films, I'm currently reading his biography.


Re-watch KKvG with accurate subs, it's a pretty great comedy. And yeah, I definitely wanna check out something like Seniors, Juniors, and Co-Workers. The bits of info in the book and some of the things I've heard from acquaintances all sound really good. The biography has been out for over a year now and I really do hope it got Western distributors interested in Honda's non-tokusatsu work. The worst thing is that even in Japan, Toho can't be bothered to put those films up on iTunes at the very least.

It seems like modern Toho only cares about Honda's contributions to the creation of the kaiju genre, and not most of his other films. You would think they would honor all of his other films since he's one of the guys that kept Toho alive back then, as in everything he's made in the '40s and '50s. I would love to check out what you mentioned along with things like Night School.
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby G&G-Fan » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:08 pm

6th favorite Godzilla movie. Definitely one of the best.

I'm probably going to be lynched for this, but am I the only one who likes the dialogue on the Infant Island scene better in Godzilla vs. The Thing then the original Japanese version? "You abandon us and you abandon your brothers." Very powerful. I mean of course the original Japanese version is better as a whole but I feel they actually improved the dialogue in the English version for the Infant Island scene.
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby KaijuCanuck » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:49 pm

G&G-Fan wrote:6th favorite Godzilla movie. Definitely one of the best.

I'm probably going to be lynched for this, but am I the only one who likes the dialogue on the Infant Island scene better in Godzilla vs. The Thing then the original Japanese version? "You abandon us and you abandon your brothers." Very powerful. I mean of course the original Japanese version is better as a whole but I feel they actually improved the dialogue in the English version for the Infant Island scene.


I could get behind this. I also really love the frontier missile sequence. Sometimes when I watch this movie I pause it partway through and go find the frontier missile scene online just to satisfy myself.

Are there any fan edits that include it with the Japanese version?
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Zarm » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:53 pm

KaijuCanuck wrote:I also really love the frontier missile sequence. Sometimes when I watch this movie I pause it partway through and go find the frontier missile scene online just to satisfy myself.

Are there any fan edits that include it with the Japanese version?


Yes, but no one seemed to have any imterest in it, so I never put it online. :)
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby KaijuCanuck » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:56 pm

Zarm wrote:
KaijuCanuck wrote:I also really love the frontier missile sequence. Sometimes when I watch this movie I pause it partway through and go find the frontier missile scene online just to satisfy myself.

Are there any fan edits that include it with the Japanese version?


Yes, but no one seemed to have any imterest in it, so I never put it online. :)


What cretins! Unsophisticated cretins! I would have been so interested!
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Re: Talkback Thread #4: Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Postby Zarm » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:58 pm

Well, if the opportunity presents itself, maybe I can get that up when I post my other 2 fan edits, sometime in the next few months.
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