Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)
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as Steve Martin
as Dr. Kyohei Yamane
as Emiko Yamane
as Naval Salvage Officer Hideto Ogata
as Dr. Daisuke Serizawa
as Dr. Tabata
as Reporter Hagiwara
as President of Nankai Shipping Company
as Chief of Emergency Headquarters
as Chairman of Diet Committee
as Mr. Oyama/Member of Parliament
as Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga
as Miss Ozawa/Member of Parliament
as Reporter Killed in Tower
as Radio Operator
as Power Substation Engineer
as Man aboard Ship
as Godzilla/Hagiwara's Editor
Critic Reviews for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
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Audience Reviews for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
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.
The definitive monster movie, Godzilla (or Gojira as it's known in Japan) has not aged perfectly, but it's still incredibly fun and exciting 56 years later. This movie could never be matched by any other monster movie, not even by the countless sequels and remakes it spawned. If you're looking for some campy destructive fun, this is the movie to watch.
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