Criterion to Release Godzilla 1954 to DVD and Blu-Ray
As reported in August, Criterion had picked up the US right to Godzilla (1954). The company is wasting no time in putting that license to good use, and has formally announced plans to release both a DVD and Blu-ray copy of the film.
Like suspected, the releases will feature both the original Japanese release of the film alongside the 1956 American version featuring Raymond Burr. Criterion has promoted that both will be in high definition for the Blu-ray release while the company will do a full digital restoration of the Japanese and US versions of the icon film. The Japanese audio track will feature English subtitles boasting a new and improved subtitle translation.
For the Blu-ray, the Japanese soundtrack will also be uncompressed for an unmatched audio experience.
As bonus features, a previously recorded interview with composer Akira Ifukube will be included. In addition, Criterion has conducted new interviews for this release from actor Akira Takarada, Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima, effects technician Yoshio Irie, Japanese film critic Tadao Sato and effects technician Eizo Kaimai. Commentary tracks, done by author David Kalat who wrote A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, will be provided for both the Japanese and US versions of the film.
include a featurette detailing the cinematography effects for the film, theatrical trailers, and an illustrated audio essay called The Unluckiest Dragon featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder who details the fate of the ship Daigo fukuryu maru, a circumstance that inspired the original film.
The booklet will also feature an exhaustive essay from critic J. Hoberman, a senior film critic for The Village Voice that has been active since the 1980's.
The DVD and Blu-ray version of the film will release on January 24th, 2012. The DVD will retail for around $24 and is a two disc set, while the Blu-Ray will retail for around $32 and is a single disc release. Both are available for pre-order now from Criterion's website.