Godzilla

Japan Release: 1954
Running Time:
96 minutes

Godzilla


Japanese Title

ゴジラ
[Gojira]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho

A fishing vessel is mysteriously destroyed at sea. A sent rescue ship is also sunk, decimated in a flash of light. Natives of Odo Island, an area near the disasters and where radiation stricken survivors wash ashore before dying, warn of "Godzilla": a giant monster. Shortly afterwards, something visits Odo Island and leaves destruction in its wake. The Japanese government sends a research group to the area. They find a mammoth footprint, which turns out to be highly radioactive. The discovery is interrupted by an alarm, as the villagers run to the hills in time to see the head of Godzilla looming over them. Hearing of the beast, the Japanese military sends their fleet to the vicinity and begins using depth charges in an effort to kill it. News spreads, and the general public rejoices at the monster's death, before it rises out of the sea heading toward Tokyo...

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju Godzilla

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

Titles

International Title

Godzilla

Initial US Title

Godzilla, King of the Monsters
US Distributor: Trans World (1956) / Time: 80 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Godzilla: Monster of the Sea
[Sweden]

Japan: Under the Terror of the Monster
[Spain]

The Monster of the Pacific Ocean
[Portugal]



Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Staff

Cast

Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Ishiro Honda, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Masao Tamai
Film Editing by Yasunobu Taira
Production Design by Satoshi Chuko, Takeo Kita
Assistant Director Koji Kajita
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Hideto Ogata Akira Takarada
Emiko Yamane Momoko Kochi
Daisuke Serizawa, Doctor Akihiko Hirata
Kyohei Yamane, Doctor Takashi Shimura
Tabata, Doctor Fuyuki Murakami
Hagiwara, Reporter Sachio Sakai
President of Nankai Shipping Company Toranosuke Ogawa
Masaji, Fisherman Ren Yamamoto
Chairman of Diet Committee Miki Hayashi
Chief of Emergency Headquarters Takeo Oikawa
Oyama Seijiro Onda
Shinkichi's Mother Tsuruko Mano
Shinkichi Toyoaki Suzuki
Gisaku Kokuten Kodo
Ozawa Kin Sugai
Reporter Tadashi Okabe
Radio Operator Ren Imaizumi
Power Substation Engineer Junpei Natsuki
Man Aboard Ship Kenji Sahara
Hagiwara's Editor Katsumi Tezuka
Newspaperman Haruo Nakajima

Posters



Box Office

Release Date: November 3rd, 1954 (Japan)
Budget: ¥64,000,000 / $900,000 (Rough Figure)
Marketing: ¥37,000,000 / $600,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)
Attendance: 9,610,000 (Japan)
Total: ¥152,000,000 / $2,250,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

Release Date: April 27th, 1956 (US)
Lease: $25,000 (From Toho in 1956)
Initial Total: $2,000,000 (US, Rough Figure)
Release Date: May 7th, 2004 (US, Re-Issue)
Opening Weekend: $38,030 (US, Re-Issue, 2 Theaters)
Re-Issue Total: $412,520 (US)

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Godzilla, King of the Monsters Simitar (1998) Order
United States Region 1 Godzilla, King of the Monsters Classic Media (2002) Order
United States Region 1 Gojira - Godzilla Classic Media (2006) Order
United States Region 1 Godzilla Criterion (2012) Order
Japan Region 2 Godzilla Toho (2001)  
Japan Region 2 Godzilla Bfi (2006) Order
Australia Region 4 Godzilla: 50th Anniversary Edition Madman (2004) Order
Japan Blu-Ray Godzilla Toho (2009)
United States Blu-Ray Gojira - Godzilla Classic Media (2009) Order
United States Blu-Ray Godzilla Criterion (2011) Order

CD Soundtracks


Godzilla + Rodan
(TYCY-10047)
Compilations



Background and Trivia

  • According to producer Tomoyuki Tanaka in 1985: “The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the Bomb. Mankind had created the Bomb, and now nature was going to take revenge on mankind.” His quote can be found in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G" (ISBN 1550223488).
  • When composer Akira Ifukube was asked about how the film and character have been described as a metaphor for death and warfare, he agreed with this statement. He also explained that he “felt sympathy for the monster” and “viewed him as a kind of symbol”. Ifukube elaborated that the beast “was bombarded by the same nuclear bombs that had struck Japan and he was attacked with modern technology”, having earlier noted that he felt Japan lost to American due to the advanced technology of America and making parallels to the beast and Japan. Ifukube's comments can be found in 1999's G-FAN #41.
  • Working title for the production was “The Giant Monster from 20,000 Miles Beneath the Sea” via Tomoyuki Tanaka. Executive producer Iwao Mori changed this to “Project G”. Noted in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN 1550223488).
  • For the American version, the Trans World logo is superimposed on the Toho logo before the movie starts.

Concept Art


Cut Scenes

Godzilla Eats a Cow

Godzilla Eats a Cow

When the village alarm bell tolls, everyone is forced to flee to the hills, believing that high ground would protect them from the oncoming terror. Running to the hilltop, the crowds of terrified populace were confronted by the image of a demon that rose over the ridge. Grasping a dead cow in its powerful maw, Godzilla had shown the world that he existed.

Background:
This cut scene was filmed with the intention of replacing the, now famous, introduction of Godzilla over the hill top. The scene was cut by special effects guru Eiji Tsuburaya, who felt the effect looked unconvincing. In order to be visible, the cow would have to be over 5 meters in contrast with Godzilla, throwing off a sense of proportion with the title monster. So, the shot was redone with just Godzilla coming over the ridge, and roaring down menacingly at the humans below. As a side note: no footage of this scene is believed to still exist to this day, and only very few pictures prove its existence.


Reviews

Miles Imhoff [Trans World] Star Rating
January 18, 2006
J.L. Carrozza Star Rating
June 17, 2009
Patrick Galvan Star Rating
November 9, 2014