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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Reader Comments  |  Godzilla, King of the Monsters « previous next »
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Author Topic: Godzilla, King of the Monsters  (Read 13988 times)
Andrew
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« on: August 03, 2007, 04:34:54 PM »

Today is 3 August 2007.  Hiroshima was destroyed by an atomic bomb on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki suffered the same fate on 9 August 1945.  "Gojira" was landmark film and a powerful statement about the horror of nuclear weapons.  Even with the awkward insertion of Raymond Burr, the American version is worth viewing.

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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 05:22:58 PM »

I saw that movie MANY times as a youngster (the American version), and LOVED it!!

Speaking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, my Dad was scheduled to take part in the invasion of Japan as an 18 year old sergeant in Sept. of 1945.  He was to go ashore with the second wave; their projected survival rate, based on the losses suffered in invading Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, was 1 out of every 137 (that would survive the invasion without being killed or wounded).  Dad is convinced to this day that Truman's decision to drop the bomb saved his life, as well as the lives of countless Japanese.  He is probably right.  It was a horrible way to end a horrible war . . . but end the war it did.  I am glad I didn't have to make that call.
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 01:57:45 PM »

Unfortunately, I have never seen "Gojira." I have seen this version of it, and I quite enjoyed it.

One of the things that always gets me about the film, is that they used Raymond Burr to play an American resporter.  Raymond Burr was born not in the U.S., but in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. But, I'll say one thing for him, which I didn't know before,  he was not only big enough to take on Godzilla, he was tough enough. Apparently, when he was in the U.S. Navy in WWII, he was shot in the stomach, while on duty off of Okinawa, and had to be shipped stateside.
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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2007, 12:22:44 AM »

Having seen the original Japanese version I'll admit it is far superior, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the dub, because, amazingly, what was done to it was done well from what I can see, and I liked that they made the Steve Martin character a mere observer to the events rather than making him the hero and having him come up with all the answers. And giving him an interpretor (sp?) was also a stroke of genius. It allowed a good chunk of the original Japanese language dialogue to remain in the film.

I can't say the same for the American version of Godzilla 1985, though, which gives Steve nothing to do at all and no connection to the main story whatsoever, and of course there's the odious edit involving the Russian colonel and the launch controls of his ship....
« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 12:24:23 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 02:30:54 AM »

Great stuff Andrew! I have a huge soft spot for the American cut of "Gojira." It's one of the more major hack jobs done on a kaiju film, and yet it still manages to retain a high degree of dignity. Too bad poor Varan didn't fare as well.

Koosh, right on about the American cut of "Godzilla 1985." I have the original uncut version and it is much, much better.  TeddyR
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2007, 01:54:34 PM »

While i respect the work done to make this "Umerricun", i do prefer the original shoot.
My friend Sally is finaly getting to see this film. She took my advice, and saw the original first, plus the commentary, and will compare it to the yank version. I'm looking forward to her critique.

P.S.    I'm writting an alternate history nover starting with this event. Its Harry Turtledove meets Kaiju! Yeh, i'm not on his level. But i can dream. My writers group is helping me improve on my spelling, for one...Ah! Spell check!
Wow...say its okey. How often does that happen...wait....i wrote "Nover",and the check missed that...what up,dog?
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 10:18:35 PM »

I'm extremely glad that on these 2 disc reissues that they've been doing for the old Godzilla movies that they're including both the original Japanese version as well as the American dubbed edits.
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 11:04:24 PM »

I also believe that the use of the atomic bombs averted a land invasion of Japan that would have resulted in huge losses of life.  Also, firebombing cities was already causing widespread destruction and the deaths of civilians, including women and children.  Still, I pause a moment to acknowledge that, in the wink of an eye, 70,000 people perished at Hiroshima and Pandora's Box was opened.

Unfortunately, I believe that someday, another city will disappear due to the detonation of an atomic weapon.  "Godzilla" is that fear, turned into something that looks the part.  Godzilla is not a gleaming bomb; it is a massive, ugly, horrible monster.  The only other example I can think of with such a striking portrayal of war is "Pink Floyd The Wall."
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 04:48:42 AM »

Very few giant monster movies place any focus on what the survivors go through* (in fact, it wouldn't be until GMK that the Godzilla series gave a damn about the people inside the tanks and jets again), and that's one thing that sets Gojira apart. I don't know which is more heartbreaking; the little girl covering her face as her deceased mother is taken away, the scene where the mother gathers her children before the raging fire and tells them they'll all be with Daddy soon, or the shot of the completely uncomprehending, innocent doomed child looking at the Geiger counter as it goes berserk in the doctor's hand.

It might just be the only movie from the '50s to make me cry--and it does so repeatedly. (I even well up when the reporter on the tower bids his listeners farewell with that awesome mixture of wild excitement and stark fear, and of course when Dr. Serizawa makes his final report...)

*The only other one I can think of right off the bat is The Giant Behemoth, also with its horrible (but more showy and lurid) victims of radiation.
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 09:12:16 AM »

I especially liked the little character moments in the original, especially with Shinkichi, the young man from Odo Island who comes to live with Dr. Yamane after Godzilla kills his family. The American version omits this, as well as doesn't tell us what he's screaming when Godzilla steps on his house, and after seeing the Japanese version, I admit I got a little upset when I realize he was screaming his brother's name helplessly. That, along with knowing that the reporter in the tower was saying as previously mentioned, makes the original a far more powerful movie for me.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2007, 09:16:33 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2007, 11:17:24 PM »

Wow, there's a lot of love here for this movie. Ni-ice.  TeddyR

Speaking of emotional scenes, and moments in the film... I'd like to take a different route if I may. In the American cut (and perhaps the original Japanese cut) there's a scene that always elicits a laugh out of me. When Godzilla pokes his head over a building and rains radioactive fire down upon a police car, causing it to burst into flames, the hapless driver emits one of the funniest damn screams I've ever heard. Maybe I'm just sadistic, but I have to admit that it puts a smile on my face every time. Buggedout

And speaking of various cuts of this film, has anyone ever seen the Italian cut? Definitely an experiment gone wrong, but dang it, it's something that every big Godzilla fan should see. Italian film maker, Luigi Cozzi took the American cut, added in some stock footage of atom bomb tests and actual footage of dead and dying victims of the Hiroshima blast into the film. Then he "colorized" it. It's pretty darned trippy and not as pleasing to the senses as the available cuts we're all familiar with, but it's a very nifty and mysterious bit of Godzilla history that will hopefully see a DVD release some day. You can get more info on "COZZILLA" at WTF-Film.com.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 11:18:55 PM by Jordan » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2008, 03:18:52 AM »

Is there any listing for the "source music" used in the 1954 Godzilla film--particularly that Hawaiian music played aboard the cruise ship the night Godzilla rears his head in Tokyo bay? I'd like to know the title and artist of that recording.
Thank You!
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George
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 07:34:01 PM »

It would be remiss of me not to comment on the granddaddy of all Japanese sci-fi extravaganzas.

Known in Japan as Gojira,it was first introduced in late 1965 in the U.S. as Godzilla,King of the Monsters,of course he's never met Gamera,yet,I wish they'd breath new life into the old Gamera,I don't much care for these new incarnations,or the fact he spits out fireballs like X-From Outer Space,at least he still flies.

Getting back to Godzilla,the original version,Gojira,Terrible Creature of The H-Bomb,ships every once in a while are wiped out by a bright white light of fire.

The government wants to know why and what's causing it,in the original movie a team of scientists go down in a sub,they try to report to headquarters something awful!,but are destroyed.

In the version we're used to watching we see Tokyo in ruins as Steve Martin tells the whole story of how it began,basically the same way with a bright white light setting ships on fire from time to time.

Since Odo Island is close to where the incidents take place,Steve and scientists go there,---by ship!!?,a terrible risk,considering,but fortunately Godzilla must of been asleep or was moving around.

On the island the natives tell them a horrible monster is responsible for all the ship disasters,no one believes that,but then the warning bell is sounded,they all go up the hill,big mistake,because it's here we meet face to face with Godzilla!.

After returning to Japan the scientists realize he's a mutated T-Rex because of hydrogen bomb test.

Realizing it's only a matter of time until he decides to attack Tokyo,the military get ready,mean time Dr.Yamanes daughter who pledged to Dr.Serizawa finds out he's made an oxygen destroyer,good to know.

The monster finally comes ashore,almost all but destroys Tokyo and everyone in it,weapons are useless against the thing.

The day after,at the hospital Emiko tells Steve and her true love Ogata about Serizawas oxygen destroyer,and finally convinces him to use it against Godzilla.

He does,he also knows about Emiko and Ogata,and dies with Godzilla,but the world is saved from this awful terror.

For now,in an ironic footnote the sequel,Godzilla Raids Again,wasn't seen in the U.S. until 1959,it was released by Warner Bros.,remember they wanted to call Best From 20,000 Fathoms Godzilla,so why when they got Godzillas second film did they dub it Gigantis,The Fire Monster?,yet another head scratcher isn't it.
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 09:24:33 PM »

I should probably be embarassed to admit I like the Americanized GODZILLA better than the Japanese GOJIRA.  They cut out the slow, serious soul-searching and left in all the stomping, which makes for a much more enjoyable picture, in my eyes.
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2011, 12:33:59 PM »

I would mention that given the time period that Godzilla was released in the USA the original Japanese movie with only Japanese actors would have stood virtually no chance. There was still very much an anti-Japanese sentiment, especially where I lived in Los Angeles in the 50s. The addition of Raymond Burr allowed the movie to be mainstreamed where it became popular enough despite the anti-Japanese sentiments of the time. I think that the producer of the Americanized version deserves praise for his successful re-work of the film. I also appreciate that my own work on the oxygen destroyer has been properly publicized. I am now working on a new advanced version that can be tailored to specifically target fans of Ewe Boll movies.
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