Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

For the discussion of Toho produced and distributed films or shows released before 1980.
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Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby JVM » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:13 pm

Inspired by Arrow's Talkback threads, figured I'd do a series of counterpart threads for Toho's many monsters, starting with, of course...

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Godzilla 1954

The big guy who started the series, and the first of Toho's monsters, I've always found the original King of Monsters more interesting even than Godzilla as we've seen him since as the original Godzilla always seemed a little more dark and a little more, dare I use the word, evil. He wasn't as tragic, or as heroic.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby HayesAJones » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:14 am

To me, he seems completely neutral. Was he evil? Maybe. Was he a tragic figure? Maybe. Was there any real reason behind his attacks? No. If anything, he's a living personification of war.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby TokyoVigilante » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:41 am

From a design standpoint, I think its torso is a little awkward, as is the head and shoulders. But it does establish all the design features and characteristics that make Godzilla what he is. It is amazing that Toho was able to make him look as good as he does in this film since this is the first one they put to screen.

Godzilla has never been evil (except GMK). That's not his character. At his worst, he's just an asshole. He's been an antagonist, but not a creature of evil.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Arrow » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:42 pm

I never thought that the '54 Godzilla was meant to be very tragic. As a living personification of war, he embodies all that war is and all the suffering it brings. We see him blast his breath everywhere - towers, buildings, ripping through electrical towers in order to get at Tokyo. He seeks people out on the street and attacks them without provocation. He sought out the reporters in the tower and collapsed it to get at them, sending them plummeting to their death. He's almost demonic in his ruthlessness, as if he were death himself. And that's an awesome take on the character.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby GotengoXGodzilla » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:54 am

I wouldn't say he's tragic, so much as just a force of nature or symbol of the atomic bomb. Nothing will stop him, except for a force greater than himself (the Oxygen Destroyer, in this case).

Nothing much to say about that.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Mulder » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:57 pm

I love the deseign of the 54 godzilla and in my opineon(SP?) he could be called evil since he did seek out the people in the tower and on the streets.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Hellblaze » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:56 pm

I still like this design one of my 3 faves. 1. Heisei 2. 2003 Godzilla and 3. 54 Godzilla :D I always wonder though was any of the Godzillas in the Showa, Heisei or Millennium costumes was any a girl? Cause Zilla 98 was female. :?:
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby shinmattiathekaiju » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:11 pm

i really like this design and i think this is the best version of godzilla because in this movie he is really a serious metaphor of nuclear bombs.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Shadowplay » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:05 pm

never really saw him as evil- as a force of nature, he attacks viciously, without provocation, and seemingly without reason, and functioning as a metaphor for the atom bomb, certainly his actions are evil. As a character and as a living creature, I don't think he is evil; he is just lashing out in anger at being disturbed from his eons of peace and mutated in the most painful and horrific manner possible.

And there certainly is a tragic element about him. As some reviewer noted, there is a touching quality when we see him sleeping in the bay: "we have it here as its compassion reaches out to embrace even the destructive power at the centre of its story. Here, for the first and last time, we catch a strangely touching glimpse of Godzilla at peace, going about the normal life from which forces beyond his control or understanding have so violently wrenched him. Even in the face of all the death and chaos, even as mankind strikes back with a power even more terrible than Godzilla himself, the film takes a moment to remind us that Godzilla, too, is in his way a victim."
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Arrow » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:13 pm

I hear "force of nature" used a lot to interpret the '54 Godzilla. I don't believe that line is uttered once in that movie. It's a description of the far more sympathetic Heisei Godzilla - who rarely attacked individual humans without provocation. I see him as a symbol of war. War is evil (in the context of the movie, anyway). Therefore, Godzilla would be the closest thing to evil out there, wouldn't he? I'll give you the ending scene, but to be honest, I felt far more sympathetic for Serizawa - whom that scene centered more around anyway. Godzilla is the villain, a creature who'd just stormed Tokyo and sought to destroy it as thoroughly as he could. If there's an element of sympathy around him, it's certainly not played up that much.

Shadowplay wrote:eons of peace

Remember that he would occasionally terrorize the Odo Islanders during those "eons of peace".

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Shadowplay » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:28 pm

Wait, Godzilla actually was the dragon they were talking about?

I always assumed that was just a local superstition, and it was just a coincidence that Godzilla attacked Odo Island and became associated with the dragon. It might not be all that important, but it might have some bearing on his character.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Arrow » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:40 pm

Shadowplay wrote:Wait, Godzilla actually was the dragon they were talking about?

I would think so. Remember, this isn't the Heisei Godzilla, who was mutated by the H-Bomb. I dug out my copy of Classic Media's "Gojira" and Kyohei Yamane explains that Godzilla is a creature awakened by the atomic bomb, given his power by its mutation, but having existed years before that. And he backs his statement up with the trilobite found in Godzilla's footprint as he storms Odo Island. So the '54 Godzilla had been around long before. Strangely, I've seen people using the origin for the Heisei Godzilla displayed in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah ('91) as a means of explaining the '54 Godzilla as well.

I always assumed that was just a local superstition, and it was just a coincidence that Godzilla attacked Odo Island and became associated with the dragon. It might not be all that important, but it might have some bearing on his character.

The Odo Island scene sets up the explanation for Godzilla's backstory and gives us our first look at him, so it must have some bearing on Godzilla's origin. It is important, otherwise we'd never know what Godzilla is and where he came from. Yamane comes to his conclusion based on the evidence found there - the legends on Odo Island, the trilobite in Godzilla's footprint, and the fact that the land Godzilla walked on was irradiated.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Hellblaze » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:39 pm

Tyler wrote:
Hellblaze wrote:I always wonder though was any of the Godzillas in the Showa, Heisei or Millennium costumes was any a girl? Cause Zilla 98 was female. :?:


Japanese Godzilla is male. American version is asexual.
Asexual can be a boy or a girl no matter what gender.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby JVM » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:12 pm

^ Biologically speaking, it's actually more realistic. If a new species was created, it would need to reproduce to continue it's numbers - thus why it would be asexual - an adaption to make sure the species continues. There's no female Godzillas, you know. It's part of how evolution works sometimes.

Doesn't mean I like the idea of course.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Guardian7 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:15 pm

Gojira certainly is a spectactuar creature.

From his legends surrounding his association with Odo Island to his (what was viewed as) rampages against humanity (on both sea and land) likely due to his transformation in the wake of Atomic Testing.

He was and with his maiden film still is an absolute horror of the Atomic age and what they speculated could possibly (if unlikely) happen.

His lumbering movements in the film just went to show that nothing could stop him.

Until he faced the equally devastating Oxygen Destroyer.

I think this Godzilla in particular is one to be easily pitied. For whatever he went through after his transformation to his death in such a horrific way.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Rody » Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:45 pm

I wouldn't call the original Godzilla tragic, and I wouldn't consider him evil. This is largely because you can't make out his motives or feelings. This is also what makes him so frightening. You look at those eyes, and they look right through you. This creature is truly alien.

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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Irys X » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:03 pm

Yeah, its the not knowing thats creepy. You just dont know what drives him or pushes him forward, only that he wants us dead.
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Re: Monster Discussion #1: Godzilla 1954

Postby Ookondru99 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:28 pm

His slow movements show his unstoppable rampage. He is evil, and the only godzilla that scared me as a kid.
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Godzilla 50's talk

Postby Godzilla Lover101 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:50 am

Okay so lets talk about the King of Monsters for a minute. Now I personally don't put Godzilla on my favorite Kaiju list because I feel since the whole thing's about Godzilla, he doesn't need to be on the list. It should be about the other Kaiju around him. That said I love Godzilla. :) Okay now for the real discussion. While I love the original 54 classic in every way, I've got to say I like the 55 Godzilla suit more. Only because you never see a slim-down Godzilla with fangs. And G55 has some really deep throaty roars that have an eerie feel to them. But enough of my thoughts, what are yours?
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Re: Godzilla 50's talk

Postby gojimantis » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:22 pm

The jagged Dorsal fins are my favorite part of the suit, and it looked good from certain angles...if it was just a more bit bulky. one of my least watched G movies, not that i dislike the movie, it's rewatchability has gone down tho.
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