The Return of Godzilla

Japan Release: 1984
Running Time:
103 minutes

The Return of Godzilla

Japanese Title


Distributor: Production:


Three decades have passed since Godzilla, a monster spawned by postwar H-bomb tests, turned Japan's capital city into a radioactive wasteland. Its wrath was brief and the monster seemingly disappeared from existence. After a long era of peace and prosperity, the horrors of the past return to haunt the Japanese people. A fishing boat, swept adrift in a typhoon, passes the volcanic Izu-Oshima Islands, which suddenly erupt in a series of violent explosions. This is accompanied by a blood-chilling, inhuman screech. The boat is discovered the next day, drifting aimlessly through the sea. All the crew are dead save for one, who testifies to having seen a giant animal rise from the island's strata. Tensions continue to build on an international level when a Soviet nuclear submarine is destroyed. Before long, the Japanese government is left with no choice but to tell the nation—as well as the world—that Godzilla has returned. The creature eventually comes ashore and decimates a nuclear power facility. Godzilla's true goal is absorbing radiation from the reactor core. During the attack it's discovered that the monster possesses a homing instinct similar to migratory birds. Scientists quickly arrange a strategy that could return Godzilla to a subterranean prison. Meanwhile, the military enacts counteroffensive strategies in hopes of destroying the beast. As both sides hurry to complete their plans, it becomes clear Godzilla will make landfall a second time, in Tokyo Bay.

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju Godzilla

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


International Title

The Return of Godzilla

Initial US Title

Godzilla 1985
US Distributor: New World Pictures (1985) / Time: 91 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Godzilla: The Return of the Monster



Aliens, SDF & Misc.



Directed by Koji Hashimoto
Writing credits Shuichi Nagahara
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Reijiro Koroku
Cinematography by Kazutami Hara
Film Editing by Yoshitami Kuroiwa
Production Design by Akira Sakuragi, Yasuyuki Inoue
Director of Special Effects Teruyoshi Nakano
Assistant Director of Special Effects Shinji Higuchi
Goro Maki, Reporter Ken Tanaka
Naoko Okumura Yasuko Sawaguchi
Hayashida, Biophysicist Doctor Yosuke Natsuki
Mitamura, Prime Minister Keiju Kobayashi
Hiroshi Okumura Shin Takuma
Kanzaki, Finance Minister Eitaro Ozawa
Minami, Geologist Hiroshi Koizumi
Emori, Foreign Minister Mizuho Suzuki
Takegami, Chief Cabinet Secretary Taketoshi Naito
Director-General of the Defense Agency Junkichi Orimoto
Gondo, Chief Editor Kei Sato
Homeless Man Tetsuya Takeda
Captain of Super-X Sho Hashimoto
Isomura, Home Affairs Minister Nobuo Kaneko
Kitagawa, Desk Editor Takenori Emoto
Henmi, Secretary Kunio Murai
General Hidaka, Environemental Director Yoshifumi Tajima
Captain of the Yahata Maru Shigeo Kato
Power Plant Guard Koji Ishizaka


Box Office

Release Date: December 15th, 1984 (Japan)
Budget: $6,250,000
Attendance: 3,200,000 (Japan)
Distribution Earning: ¥1,700,000,000 / $7,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)
Total: ¥2,550,000,000 / $11,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

Release Date: August 23rd, 1985 (US)
Lease: $500,000 (From Toho in 1985)
Budget: $200,000 (US)
Marketing: $2,500,000 (US)
Opening Weekend: $509,502 (US, 235 Theaters)
Total: $4,116,395 (US)

Toho Stock Footage

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 Godzilla 1984: The Return of Godzilla Kraken Releasing (2016) Order
Japan Region 2 Godzilla Toho (2002)
Hong Kong Region 3 The Return of Godzilla Universe (2006)
Japan Blu-Ray Godzilla Toho (2009)
United States Blu-Ray Godzilla 1984: The Return of Godzilla Kraken Releasing (2016) Order

CD Soundtracks


Background and Trivia

  • This is the first film in the Heisei Godzilla series, which ran for 11 years up until Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). Despite being the first movie in the series, The Return of Godzilla was actually filmed in the Showa era. The Heisei era didn't start until January of 1989, with Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) being the first entry in the Godzilla franchise to be filmed during this era.
  • The movie is a reboot of the continuity, ignoring all previous Godzilla films with the exception of Godzilla (1954).
  • On April 13th, 1985, both Toho International and New World Pictures registered the film under the title "Godzilla is Alive", with The Return of Godzilla listed as an alternate title. It's possible this was considered for the US title before Godzilla 1985 was settled on. The first instance of Godzilla 1985 being registered was months later on July 28th, 1985, when Lisa Tomei's screenplay for the US version was copyrighted. The "Godzilla is Alive" record (document number V2115P473) and the Godzilla 1985 screenplay copyright (document number V2129P150) are found in the U.S. Copyright Office.

Concept Art


Miles Imhoff [New World] Star Rating
July 28, 2005
J.L. Carrozza Star Rating
June 27, 2009
Alexander Smith Star Rating
October 17, 2012
Patrick Galvan Star Rating
January 4, 2015