Prophecies of Nostradamus

Japan Release: 1974
Running Time:
116 minutes

Prophecies of Nostradamus


Japanese Title

ノストラダムスの大予言: Catastrophe 1999
[Nosutoradamusu no Daiyogen: Catastrophe 1999]

Distributor: Production:

Toho
Toho

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Live Action

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

Titles

International Title

Prophecies of Nostradamus

Initial US Title

Prophecies of Nostradamus
US Distributor: Toho (1979) / Time: 92 Minutes

Alternate Titles

The Great Prophecies of Noastradamus: Catastrophe 1999
[Literal translation]

The Last Days of Planet Earth
[US Video Title]


Monsters

Mutant Flowers
Mutant Flowers



Aliens, SDF & Misc.

SST Jet
SST Jet
12 Multi Missile Tank
12 Multi Missile Tank (stock footage)



Staff

Cast

Directed by Toshio Masuda
Writing credits Toshio Yasumi, Yoshimitsu Banno, Tsutomu Goto
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Osamu Tanaka
Music by Isao Tomita
Cinematography by Rokuro Nishigaki
Assistant Directors Yoshimitsu Banno, Fumisake Okada, Takao Okawara, Koji Hashimoto
Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Assistant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
Ryougen Nishiyama, Doctor/Genkei Nishiyama/Gengaku Nishiyama Tetsuro Tamba
Akira Nakagawa, Photographer Toshio Kurosawa
Mariko Nishiyama, Daughter Kaoru Yumi
Nobuo Nishiyama Yoko Tsukasa
Prime Minister So Yamamura
Yoshihama Katsuhiko Sasaki
Oone Masaru Ryuuzaki
Kida Jun Hammura
Kashiwao Yoshirou Aoki
Hamako Tayama Kazuko Ineno
Nishiyama's Assistant Katsuhiko Sasaki
Scientists Hiroshi Koizumi, Akihiko Hirata
Doctor Takashi Shimura
Narration Shinji Nakae
Voice of the Prophecy Kyouko Kishida

Posters


Box Office

Release Date: August 3rd, 1974 (Japan)
Distribution Earning: ¥883,000,000 / $ 3,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

Toho Stock Footage



CD Soundtracks


Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the film to the US copyright office on December 8th, 1986 with the registration number of PA0000317014. The movie was submitted under its international title, Prophecies of Nostradamus, along with a Romaji title, Nosutoradamusu no Daiyogen, and also a close version of the US video title, Last Days of Planet Earth.
  • Based on the 1973 book of the same name (ノストラダムスの大予言 - Nosutoradamusu no Daiyogen) by author Tsutomu "Ben" Goto.
  • Although inspired and based on Tsutomo Goru's novel on the prophecies of Nostradamus, special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano confirmed that the events in the film were also inspired by The Last War (1961). Interestingly, writer Toshio Yasumi gets credit for this and his work on the 1961 film but the other writer, Takeshi Kimura, does not. Noted in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was the one who asked Yoshimitsu Banno to be involved with scripting the movie. The assignment came to Banno due to his passion for the environment, which was on full display in his earlier work for Tanaka: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). Noted in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • The tagline on the Japanese poster reads: "In 1999, all human beings will be dead. We have only 25 years of great fear remaining. This motion picture is the incredible fruit of the most advanced scientific minds and limitless imagination."
  • Upon its release, the film was recommended by Japan's Ministry of Education. Noted in Toho Fantasy Special Effects Films: Famous 1954-1984 (ISBN: 9784865980943).
  • In May 1974, an accident occurred while shooting a sequence for the movie. The scene was capturing fires created by the reduction in the ozone layer, bringing temperatures to a point where it would ignite trees and houses. While filming this sequence in studio 7 on the Toho lot one of the lights became too hot and set a miniature on fire. This quickly spread as staff evacuated. 36 fire trucks eventually attempted to put out the fire, although studio 7 was lost as a result of the incident. This account is published in Toho Special Effects Movies: Complete Works (ISBN: 9784864910132).
  • The movie became controversial for its depiction of people exposed to radiation. This includes the mutants in New Guinea, who resort to cannibalism, and hideously deformed creatures seen at the end of the film after the nuclear strikes. A "no nukes" group, after a member saw the film at a theater in the Kansai, filed a complaint against the production to the Eirin board, Japan's film rating and censor board, over these sequences. As a result, Toho quickly dubbed a line from Tetsuro Tamba's character asking others not to shoot the natives in New Guinea, as they were human beings, and edited out 1 minute and 45 seconds of footage. On Christmas day, Toho also did paid print ads in newspapers with a public apology regarding the depiction in the film. Cited in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • A 1980 TV broadcast was the last time the film was displayed in a public fashion. After this broadcast, Toho opted against showing the film again due to the controversy that still surrounded the movie. Cited in Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion (ISBN: 1569316813).
  • A sequel, Prophecies of Nostradamus II: Fear of the Great Devil, was at one point considered.

Reviews

Anthony Romero Star Rating
July 15, 2004
Miles Imhoff Star Rating
July 12, 2006
Alexander Smith Star Rating
August 20, 2012