A Private War
Crazy Rich Asians
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View All Godzilla, King of the Monsters! News
All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (3)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (4)
| DVD (2)
Granddaddy of all Japanese monster films.
It's hard not to chuckle at the fiftieth cutaway to an oddly passive Burr after watching a scene from the Honda original, but this cut shouldn't be dismissed either.
Compared to the "Japoteurs" propaganda that was barely a decade out, it's an astonishing leap forward.
Giant-monster drama is stiff, dated but still a classic.
It looked really good when I was in grade school. Now it's beyond retro.
How could you not love the lizard?
Americanized version of Gojira is still a kind of classic.
Not as good as the original Japanese version but still a classic.
The one that started it all. And by all I mean "a series of progressively more atrocious sequels and one abysmal remake."
Right after his gig with Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window) and immeadiately before his career making turn as teevee's uber-lawyer Perry Mason, Raymond Burr spent a day filming and was consequently half-assedly edited into a previously made Japanese feature about a atomically enhanced lizard that goes on a rampage ... and film history was made. Certainly it hasn't held up (the Japanese parts typically emotionally overdone while the American parts are just the opposite) but still, over 60 years on, it's just as exciting watching a Japanese nightmare, a real firebreathing dragon up on two feet and simply destroying the city for the hell of if. And so this work will always be great stuff.
This debased Americanized version of the original Japanese film, re-edited to include Raymond Burr as a reporter, is relatively well made but full of inconsistencies, bad re-dubbing and terrible exposition, with him annoyingly narrating all the time what we can easily see.
This is the Americanized version of the original Godzilla film. While not a terrible piece of cinematic entertainment, I felt rather let down, and suspect (since I haven't actually seen it) that the Japanese original (which came out two years before this one) is probably far better.
The story (if you need to know it), concerns a giant reptiallian creature who emerges from the sea surrounding Japan and raises all manner of hell and devastation. In this version, it's told in a documenatry style format and is presented from the view of an American journalist in Japan named Steve Martin. He was only passing through Japan for some fun while headed to Cairo for business, but gets stuck there after the giant monster starts attacking.
I kinda liked the format here, though research tells me that the big differences between this version and the original is that this one takes footage from the original and splices new footage of Raymond Burr as Steve Martin into it. Also, this version is shorter and a bit more PC as a way of making it more watered down for American audiences. The biggest changes being dubbing it into English, and removing all references to the atomic attacks at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the firebombing of Tokyo. Okay, so maybe at the time people worried about appeasing WWII veterans, so they removed some material to ease the guilt or whatever.
I don't like that because I've always found Godzilla to be fascinating because it's about the byproducts of nuclear horror from a country who experienced actual nuclear horror and devastation firsthand. Removing the references and showing Japan struggling in the aftermath of a huge disaster (but at the hands of a fictional monster) lessens some of the emotional impact, as well as the effects of history on the public conscience.
All that scholarly rambling aside, this is still an okay movie though, like I said, the original version is probably far better. Unlike some of the later films though, this one comes off as far more scary and serious, with a more somber tone, aided by the grainy black and white cinematogrpahy and dramatic music.
This is the original (American version) Godzilla movie. It's pretty cool, and Perry Mason's Raymond Burr is in it too. A really good monster movie. It's much better than it's sequels.
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