- Ishiro Honda
- Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kochi
If you think you’ve seen this Godzilla, think again. This is the real deal, a digital restoration of the original film released in Japan in 1954, not the dubbed and edited version released in the States two years later with spliced-in shots of Raymond Burr as an American reporter. The restoration includes footage cut from the American version, much of it dealing with the movie’s “overt anti-nuke message.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
Ishiro Honda produced the film in response to the newly developed hydrogen bomb. “By 1954, the U.S., the U.K., and the USSR were all testing weapons in the Pacific. After a 15-megaton American H-bomb test on Bikini atoll irradiated 7,000 square miles of ocean, the entire crew of the Japanese tuna boat Lucky Dragon developed radiation sickness. It’s that moment, more or less, at which Godzilla opens, with three Japanese freighters successively vanishing in a sea of flames.” (Village Voice)
Godzilla, a 150-foot creature from the Jurassic Age who has been living on the bottom of the ocean and minding his own business for millions of years is awakened and uprooted by the underground nuclear testing. It’s only then that he starts making a nuisance of himself: first by consuming boats at sea and then by making his way toward land where he rampages through Japanese cities, chewing up passenger trains and knocking down buildings “amid a flurry of references to nuclear contamination, black rain, bomb shelters, and the incineration of Nagasaki.” (Village Voice) With newly translated subtitles.