Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

1956

Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 24

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,377
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Movie Info

Filmed in 1954 as Gojira, this grandaddy of all Japanese giant-reptile epics was picked up for American distribution two years later, at which time several newly filmed inserts, featuring Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin, were rabetted into the original footage. In both the Japanese and American versions of Godzilla, the story is basically the same: a 400-foot amphibious monster, brought back to life by underwater nuclear testing, goes on a rampage in a tinker-toy Tokyo. The authorities look on in vain as Godzilla proves more powerful than the army, navy, and air force, while paleontologiist Dr. Yemane (Takashi Shimura) rails against the destruction of a unique scientific find such as Godzilla. Finally, an enigmatic scientist (Akihiko Hirata) reluctantly steps forward to destroy the beast with his newly-discovered creation, the Oxygen Destroyer, dreading all the while that his weapon may unleash a danger even greater than Godzilla. Though Godzilla is apparently disintegrated in the climax, this didn't prevent Toho Studios from grinding out an endless series of sequels with the title character becoming less destructive and more lovable with each subsequent film. Hampered by a low budget which precluded stop-motion animation, special-effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya was forced to rely upon an actor (Haru Nakajima) in a rubber Godzilla suit. Incidentally, the name "Gojira", a combination of "gorilla" and "kujira", is Japanese slang for "big clumsy ox" and was allegedly the nickname of one of the Toho stagehands.

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Cast

Raymond Burr
as Steve Martin
Takashi Shimura
as Dr. Kyohei Yamane
Momoko Kochi
as Emiko Yamane
Akira Takarada
as Naval Salvage Officer Hideto Ogata
Akihiko Hirata
as Dr. Daisuke Serizawa
Fuyuki Murakami
as Dr. Tabata
Sachio Sakai
as Reporter Hagiwara
Toranosuke Ogawa
as President of Nankai Shipping Company
Takeo Oikawa
as Chief of Emergency Headquarters
Miki Hayashi
as Chairman of Diet Committee
Seijiro Onda
as Mr. Oyama/Member of Parliament
Toyoaki Suzuki
as Shinkichi
Frank Iwanaga
as Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga
Kin Sugai
as Miss Ozawa/Member of Parliament
Tadashi Okabe
as Reporter Killed in Tower
Ren Imaizumi
as Radio Operator
Junpei Natsuki
as Power Substation Engineer
Kenji Sahara
as Man aboard Ship
Katsumi Tezuka
as Godzilla/Hagiwara's Editor
Haruo Nakajima
as Godzilla/Newspaperman
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Critic Reviews for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

  • Aug 17, 2017
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2012
    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.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2012
    The original film is a masterpiece. The American version has famous actor Raymond Burr edited into the Japanese footage....which makes the Japanese version far superior to the edited US release. Either version is still good fun and this is the kaiju movie that STILL rules them all.
    Bryan D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2012
    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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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