6.6/10
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Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)

Not Rated | | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 April 1956 (USA)
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A 400-foot (122-meter) dinosaur-like beast, awoken from undersea hibernation off the Japanese coast by atomic-bomb testing, attacks Tokyo.

Directors:

Ishirô Honda (as Ishiro Honda), Terry O. Morse (as Terry Morse)

Writers:

Shigeru Kayama (original story), Takeo Murata (screen play) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Raymond Burr ... Steve Martin
Takashi Shimura ... Dr. Yamane
Momoko Kôchi ... Emiko (as Momoko Kochi)
Akira Takarada Akira Takarada ... Ogata
Akihiko Hirata ... Dr. Serizawa
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Hagiwara
Fuyuki Murakami Fuyuki Murakami ... Dr. Tabata
Ren Yamamoto Ren Yamamoto ... Seiji
Toyoaki Suzuki Toyoaki Suzuki ... Shinkichi
Tadashi Okabe Tadashi Okabe ... Dr. Tabata's Assistant
Toranosuke Ogawa ... President of Company
Frank Iwanaga Frank Iwanaga ... Security Officer
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Storyline

When American reporter Steve Martin investigates a series of mysterious disasters off the coast of Japan, he comes face to face with an ancient creature so powerful and so terrifying, it can reduce Tokyo to a smoldering graveyard. Nuclear weapon testing resurrected this relic from the Jurassic age, and now it's rampaging across Japan. At night, Godzilla wades through Tokyo leaving death and destruction in his wake, disappearing into Tokyo Bay when his rage subsides. Coventional weapons are useless against him; but renowned scientist Dr. Serizawa has discovered a weapon that could destroy all life in the bay -- including Godzilla. But which disaster is worse, Godzilla's fury, or the death of Tokyo Bay? Written by Robert Lynch <docrlynch@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An enraged monster wipes out an entire city! See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

27 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Godzilla the Sea Beast See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original U.S. theatrical release) | (television) | (television) (re-issue)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is often said that the original Japanese version had an overt anti-American sentiment and contained references to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the firebombing of Tokyo, all of which were claimed to have been deleted in the American version of the film. However, the original did not contain such anti-American references and the implication that Godzilla is a by-product of American H-bomb tests is still present in the American version, although to a lesser degree. See more »

Goofs

During one scene where Godzilla breathes his radioactive fire, the nozzle that provides the spray can clearly be seen inside his mouth. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steve Martin: [in voice over] This is Tokyo. Once a city of six million people. What has happened here was caused by a force which up until a few days ago was entirely beyond the scope of Man's imagination. Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world. There were once many people here who could've told of what they saw... now there are only a few. My name is ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Many prints and videos have absolutely no credits, beyond the title at the start(with a clearly video-generated copyright notice below it) and a "The End" graphic at the close. As of 2006, Classic Media's release of the film in the Gojira/Godzilla: King of the Monsters on DVD has the restored English credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Japanese version the praying mother and her children are crushed by a falling building as Godzilla passes by. This is omitted from the American version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sanford and Son: The Lucky Streak (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Americanized Version
18 September 2008 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

American studios obviously believed two things: (1) that Godzilla could be sold to American audiences, and (2) that American audiences wouldn't watch the original Japanese version, and so a familiar American actor would have to be added. The end result was the filming of many scenes incorporating Raymond Burr as American newspaper reporter Steve Martin, who just happened to be in Tokyo when Godzilla struck.

In all honesty, I haven't seen the Japanese original ("Gojira") and so I have no basis on which to compare the two versions, so "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters" has to be looked at on its own merits. Let's admit right off the top that it has a lot of weaknesses. The Burr scenes aren't edited in particularly well, there are some strange decisions about dubbing (sometimes the original scenes are left in, with Japanese language and all and a narration by Burr explaining what's happening and sometimes English is dubbed over the original Japanese, and there didn't seem to me to be any particular rhyme or reason for which decision was made to which scene), the special effects are primitive (but it was made in the 1950's), and the monster stretched credibility a bit (partly the costume, and partly that he was 400 feet tall - how would the link between Jurassic era land animals and sea animals be so big?) Having said that, unless your agenda is simply to bash Americans for Americanizing the movie, you also have to admit that it's not bad. The opening scene is marvellous, with Martin being rescued from a destroyed building and brought to a hospital on a stretcher. If you didn't know the story (and we do, so perhaps this loses its impact) you'd swear off the top that this is a movie about an atomic bomb attack. For all the above weaknesses, the movie's fun pretty much all the way through if not particularly scary, and the casting of Burr accomplished what the studios wanted - Godzilla became as much an American cult classic as a Japanese one.

The ending is a bit abrupt, and seemed pretty decisive, leaving me to puzzle where all the sequels came from, but overall, if not great this was still an enjoyable film, probably undeserving of some of the criticism it gets. 6/10


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