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Godzilla [1954] [DVD]

Akira Takarada , Momoko Kochi , Ishiro Honda    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 9.76 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Akira Takarada, Momoko Kochi, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura, Fuyuki Murakami
  • Directors: Ishiro Honda
  • Writers: Ishiro Honda, Takeo Murata
  • Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Toho
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CFX5M8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,315 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A Film by Ishiro Honda

The British Film Institute is proud to present for the first time on DVD the original, uncut, Japanese Godzilla. Made in 1954, Godzilla was Japan's first foray into big budget sci fi - costing ten times the budget of the average Japanese feature and twice as much as Seven Samurai - released the same year. The film created a monster that would enter the lexicon of popular culture, spawn fifty years of sequels and inspire a new genre: the kaiju eiga or Japanese monster movie.

Directed by Ishiro Honda, a friend of collaborator of Akira Kurosawa, and starring Takshi Shimura as the revered paleontologist who uncovers the horrible secret at the heart of the monster (Godzilla is a long dormant Jurassic beast awoken by the atom bomb), the original Godzilla is a fierce indictment of the atomic age. Sold to an American distributor, the film was cut, dubbed into English, re-titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters! and new scenes were added starring Raymond Burr as an American reporter observing the monsters rampage from the sidelines. All trace of the anti-nuclear message was excised in the American version.

Now regarded as one of the great classics of cinema and still rated amongst the top twenty Japanese movies of all time, the original Godzilla is perhaps the definitive monster movie - both a bold metaphor for the atomic age and a thrilling tour de force of pioneering special effects.

Special features

  • Full voiceover commentary
  • 'Designing Godzilla' featurette
  • 'Story evolution' featurette
  • The Japanese Fishermen (1954)
  • Original Japanese trailer
  • US trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters!
  • Gallery of posters, storyboards and original work
  • Fully illustrated booklet

Japan | 1954 | black and white | Japanese language with English subtitles | 93 minutes | Ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still The BEST Godzilla Movie 2 July 2006
The first, ever Godzilla movie - in it's unaltered and uncut Japanese version - remains one of the lost movie masterpieces of the 20th Century, tragically overlooked in favour of it's kiddie-friendly but inferior sequels, not to mention the terrible Hanna-Barbera cartoon TV series and the stupid a** 1998 remake (as described by Kyle in the SOUTH PARK [1997-????] episode, 'Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls').

Dark, serious and sombre, this movie was a message for peace and no more nuclear weapons. This was made nine years after the atomic horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While it's true the special effects in this film are a bit dated, it's anti-nuclear message isn't.

The scenes where Godzilla rampages through Tokyo and the effect it has on the humans is powerful, something that has never been equalled in any other 'kaiju eiga' throughout the last 50 years (with the exception of GAMERA 3: THE REVENGE OF IRIS [1999]), the black & white cinematography gives the film a very documentary feel to it, there are some fine acting from the cast (including Takashi Shimura, best known for appearing in the many classics of Akira Kurosawa), while the musical score is memorable.

Now that the first Godzilla movie has finally been released in it's uncut Japanese version, I really do hope people will finally see the horror of Godzilla, as it was originally intended to be.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ROAHR! Its the original rubber suited monster! 12 Jun 2007
In the 1950's movies about monsters and aliens were filling up the B movies slots at the cinemas. Forget the singing cowboy; it was the era of radioactive mutant consequences and nefarious plots from outer space. Heavily favoured as date movies, these kept the young people packing the cinemas and drive ins, as scenes guaranteed to provide an opportunity for girls to want to bury their heads on your shoulder in likely feigned dismay.

Hollywood at this point in time did not have the stranglehold on modern cinema it has today, and foreign productions that were dubbed if not originally in English were not that uncommon, especially in this genre. One such studio that did this was the legendary Toho Film Ltd. Interestingly enough, Toho began its life managing a large percentage of Tokyo's kabuki theatres before branching out into film making in the 1930's, before hitting gold with American audiences with their successful monster movies in the 1950's. Often poorly imitated, they became famed for their monster and special effect films, before branching out into anime with Studio Ghibi as well as superhero TV series and contributions to other production company's films, including Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan".

No matter hw far they have branched out from their origins, ask a member of the public to name a Japanese movie from the '50's, and the odds are greatly stacked that one of their "Big 5" monster characters will feature in the film mentioned. Whether it be recalling Rodan, Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, or Mechagodzilla., it is certain that the works of Toho have embedded themselves in modern pop culture and into the common conciousness.

~~~The Plot~~~

Originally titled Gojira, this film is set in contempory to itself times, so circa 1954.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 7 Jan 2010
This was a really fun film to watch, excellent. I watched it in Japanese with english subtitles which were clear and it was easy to read them and watch the monster action at the same time. The quality of the picture was great and the original story was compelling. So glad I got it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb 3 Nov 2009
By MacPete
Beautiful restoration, not a scratch or flicker, great packaging, booklet and extras. A must for classic monster movie fans. Commentary by Godzilla experts is superb. Forget other versions this is the one to have!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and best Godzilla movie of all time!!! 23 April 2008
The first Godzilla movie is considered one of the greatest monster movies of all time. While I agree that this is a classic, it still does not beat the classic 1974 Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla.

There isn't much to say about this classic, Godzilla appears for the first time and then destroys Tokyo with his bare hands and radioactive fire breath (naturally). The only thing that can destroy him is the Oxygen destroyer.

But we all know he returns as his next thirty films would show!!! A classic Godzilla movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Godzilla Destroyer Of Monsters 13 Dec 2013
By timelord007 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
1)This is the uncut Japanese version on dvd for the first time.
2)The movie is a timeless classic.

1)The American version hasn't been included even as a extra.
2)Surely we could've had a dubbed version of the movie giving the viewer a choice of dubbed or subtitles.
3)The effects have dated somewhat.

Dvd, Running time 93 minutes approx.

This at last is restored to it's full uncut glory as Godzilla became a cult phenomenon in Japan & this movie was a huge hit in 1954.

American distribution took the print & re-edited this movie with new footage starring Perry Mason/Ironside actor Raymond Burr as a reporter named Steve Martin documenting the action, Retitled Godzilla King Of All Monsters it was released in 1956.

This dvd unfortunately doesn't include that version which is a shame as it would've been good to compare the two versions.

The movie starts with a baby lizard who is mutated by Nuclear radiation which causes the Lizard to grow in size into a giant monster which then sets about destroying Japan in the most destructive ways virtually wiping out Tokyo Bay leaving many victims dead or wounded.

As the Japanese army plan multiple assaults upon Godzilla from firing bullets, using Rockets to a last ditch attempt at dispatching fighter Jets upon Godzilla yet nothing seems to stop Godzillas destructive rampage, In fact it increases his aggressive attacks on the bay.

A team of scientists may instead hold the answer but how can they destroy a monster that can penetrative bullets & rockets?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie with a Great Message
Being interested in Japan, Japanese culture, Japanese as a language and so forth, I felt that I was doing myself a disservice by having not watched perhaps the most famous Japanese... Read more
Published 1 month ago by HyakuShiki1234
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Hokum Godzilla Movie
I hadn't seen this original version before, although I have seen a couple of the other Godzilla movies, especially the hilarious Godzilla vs King Kong which is a gas!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. A. Redfearn
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster film
Made 10 years after the two atom bombs were dropped. This Jananese film has background depth and in my view, is far superior to the American remake.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs S
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Was bought as a xmas present for son who love it, he is into the black and white science fiction films which are still enteraining years later
Published 3 months ago by DaisyCat
5.0 out of 5 stars RAAAAGGGGHHHHH (that's godzillian for "GREAT!")
What can one say? Its a classic. I cheered, I cried (REALLY, I cried). A movie with a message that is just asrelevant today.
Published 11 months ago by David Carden
I'm a serious hardcore fan of Godzilla and to own the first ever movie once again on DVD made my Christmas (2010 I got it and it was cheaper then)

The box is very nice... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Leanne
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie revisited
hadn't seen this japanese original before, only the version released here in the uk with american actors and additional and unneccessary dialogue negating the atomic bomb subtext... Read more
Published on 26 May 2011 by D. A. Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need to Love the Classics
Okay so the special effects aren't up to 21st century standard but this isn't a new movie. It's a classic. It is a lot of fun and a laugh. It is also a piece of movie history. Read more
Published on 21 May 2011 by Graeme Beacham
5.0 out of 5 stars An early ecological film?
Shows a different Japan to the rather crazier one we know in the 21st century. Although staider the Japan in this film still shows the Eastern pluralistic mindset. Read more
Published on 12 May 2010 by Mr. N. Foale
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