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Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954/56 Japan)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:09 pm    Post subject: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954/56 Japan) Reply with quote




[Also released as: "Gojira"]

The title doesn't lie; absolutely everybody has seen this film and remembers it with fondness.

Two years after director Inoshiro Honda released "Gojira" in Japan, America got a re-edited version with spliced-in scenes of Raymond Burr as a reporter who chronicles mankind's battle with the monster. The added scenes were directed by Terry Morse.

"Godzilla, King of the Monsters" was a formidable foe; when the army shot at him he shot back with his atomic breath, making the fins on his back glow with a weird light, reminding the viewer that Godzilla was resurrected by atomic radiation.

If the black & white photography and the speeded-up look of Japanese actors spoils your enjoyment of "Godzilla", try "Godzilla 1985", a big-budget remake that even brought back Raymond Burr!

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Nov 12, 2023 6:33 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Rocky Jones
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some time back the TCM cable network ran the original Japanese version with subtitles. This was, of course, the version without Raymond Burr and lot of re-editing that messed the story around to include him. It was very different and I actually liked it a lot better. If you get a chance to see that version, I'd recommend it.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw it at a theater years ago when it was released to the art houses. The story might have been better, but that didn't seem to help my dislike of the monster's basic design.

What can I say? I like my women full-figured and my monsters lean and agile.
Very Happy
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Nov 12, 2023 6:34 pm; edited 3 times in total
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MetroPolly
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TCM ran it again last month, or was it earlier this month?

Anyway, I have to say, without all the editing and Burr, it's a completely different feeling film. Much more intense and dark. I liked it.
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kolchak
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe a video / dvd exists with the original and the USA / Burr part.

Burr reprised his role in the sequel 'Godzilla 1985'

I saw this chart somewhere on the internets. thought it was very insightful of the Tojo kaiju.



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scotpens
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954/56 Japan) Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
If the black & white photography and the sped-up look of Japanese actors spoils your enjoyment of "Godzilla", try "Godzilla 1985", a big-budget remake that even brought back Raymond Burr!

"Sped up"? You mean like silent film footage projected at the wrong speed? I don't quite follow you there.

Bud Brewster wrote:
Saw it at a theater years ago when it was released to the art houses. The story might have been better, but that didn't seem to help my dislike of the monster's basic design.

What can I say? I like my women full-figured and my monsters lean and agile.
Very Happy

I like my monsters and my women lean and agile! Wink
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________

When I said the actors look "sped up" I just meant that they seem to be speaking much faster than we're used to.

I realize that this is caused in part by the fact that we don't understand what they're saying. But even in the dubbed versions, the voiced-over actors sometimes sound like they're speaking faster than normal, too.

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Mon Oct 30, 2023 4:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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tmlindsey
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2023 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_________ GODZILLA (in 30 seconds with bunnies)

__________

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

__________________________________________________

IMDB has quite a few interesting trivia items for this beloved Japanese movie. Very Happy
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~ An often repeated myth is that the production of this film and Seven Samurai (1954) nearly drove Toho into bankruptcy.

This neglects to mention a third Toho film made that year, Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954). All three were the most expensive Japanese films made up until that point and big financial risks for Toho.

However, there is little evidence to suggest that Toho was ever at risk for bankruptcy. The studio released a total of sixty-eight feature films that year, the most successful of which were Seven Samurai, Samurai I, and Godzilla respectively.


Note from me: Sixty-eight features in one year is phenomenal!

~ The sound department tried numerous animal roars for Godzilla but felt they were unsuitable for an animal of such immense size.

Akira Ifukube came up with Godzilla's roars by rubbing a coarse, resin-coated leather glove up and down the strings of a contrabass (double bass), and reverberated the recorded sound. Also, Godzilla's thunderous footsteps were made by beating a kettle drum with a knotted rope.


Note from me: I don't care much for Godzilla's design, but his roar is impressive. Very Happy

~ Stop motion animation was rejected because of the time it would take. Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya sincerely wanted to use this method but he faced the grim reality that there was not enough people in Japan with experience in this technique and that Toho would never give him the time he needed due to their tight production schedules.

. . . if a stop-motion puppet had been used it would have required miniatures at a much smaller scale resulting in less detail and destruction. The film makes use of stop-motion to enhance a few brief sequences in which a vehicle crashes and Godzilla's tail moves.


Note from me: I've always wondered why there no stop motion experts in Japan. Sad

~ One of the most famous legends regarding the production of this film has Ishirô Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya on the observation deck of one of Tokyo's buildings. They were planning Godzilla's path of destruction when visitors on the deck overheard their conversation and became concerned. The pair was stopped by authorities and questioned.

Note from me: "Honest, officers! We're just making a movie about a giant monster that rampages through Tokyo!"

"Oh, sure! And your gonna put a giant man in a huge rubber suit, right? Well, guys, I think WE better put you a rubber room!"

~ The Godzilla suit used for the film was so hot inside that suit actor Haruo Nakajima would frequently pass out. According to Nakajima, temperatures inside the suit reached up to 60 degrees Celsius (or 140 Fahrenheit) due to the hot studio lights and it was not uncommon for a cup of Nakajima's sweat to be drained from the suit.

Note from me:I guess the sweat drained down and filled up those big Godzilla feet! Shocked

~ Cinematographer Masao Tamai had considerable influence on the film's look since he was one of Toho's top cinematographers, known at time for his work with Mikio Naruse. For Godzilla's first appearance there was originally was supposed to be a bloody cow in his mouth. After reviewing the test shots, Tami felt it was far too graphic and had director Ishirô Honda remove the sequence.

Note from me: And here, for the rist time, is the deleted scene mentioned above! An All Sci-Fi exclusive! Very Happy



~ During Godzilla's rampage through downtown Tokyo, one of the buildings he destroys is the old Nichigeki Theater after his tail smashes into it. This is said to have frightened several viewers who tried to run out of the theater

Note from me: Oh brother . . . they were afraid the monster was outside the theater. Rolling Eyes

~ In 2004, for his 50th anniversary, Godzilla was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Note from me: I assume Godzilla's footprint isn't life-sized. It would take up the whole block! Shocked

~ One of the original designs for the monster had a head shaped like a mushroom cloud.

Note from me: That might have actually been better than the one the used. Rolling Eyes



~ While always assumed to be made of rubber, the original Godzilla suit was, according to Haruo Nakajima, made from a ready-mixed concrete mixture due to the limited supply of latex material in post war Japan.

Note from me: Seriously? Concrete!? Shocked

~ Godzilla's general design was partially based on the work of Czech painter Zdenek Burian, specifically his outdated, early 20th century reconstruction of the dinosaur Iguanodon.

Godzilla's posture, the way he holds his hands and, to a degree, his skin texture were taken directly from Burian's artwork. Interestingly, the dinosaurs in Burian's pieces also have folds in their skin, much like the Godzilla suit.


Note from me: By gum, this painting by Zdenek Burian of an Iguanodon does look a bit like Godzilla!






And Zdenek Burian also did illustrations for classic novels as well! (Notice the second squid in the background)! Very Happy





Actually, Iquanodons were amazing dinosaurs who could walkon two legs and on all four limbs.





Plus they possessed five-fingered hands with two thumbs. One of the thumbs on each hand was tipped with a sharp, straight claw — like a built-in stabbing weapon!

Pretty impressive for a herbivore, eh? Cool!




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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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