1954’s Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) Roars onto the Criterion Collection

Godzilla: The SHOWA-ERA Films, 1954-1975 (The Criterion Collection)

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as of November 16, 2019 11:39 pm


ActorTakashi Shimura; Akira Takarada
EAN ListEAN List Element: 0715515236416
FormatBlu-ray; Subtitled
Item DimensionsHeight: 540; Length: 70; Weight: 300; Width: 750
LabelThe Criterion Collection
ManufacturerThe Criterion Collection
Number Of Discs8
Number Of Items8
Package DimensionsHeight: 138; Length: 1705; Weight: 300; Width: 1157
Picture FormatWidescreen
Product GroupDVD
Product Type NameABIS_DVD
PublisherThe Criterion Collection
Release Date2019-10-29
StudioThe Criterion Collection
TitleGODZILLA: THE SHOWA-ERA FILMS, 1954-1975 (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
UPC ListUPC List Element: 715515236416

Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira) is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama, made in Japan at a time when the country was reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing in the Pacific. Its rampaging radioactive beast, the poignant embodiment of an entire population’s fears, became a beloved international icon of destruction, spawning almost thirty sequels. A thrilling, tactile spectacle that continues to be a cult phenomenon, the original, 1954 Japanese version is presented here, along with Godzilla, King of the Monsters, the 1956 “Americanized” version.

Godzilla Summary

After many ships sink off Odo Island, Professor Kyohei Yamane, his daughter, Emiko Yamane, and the marine Hideto Ogata head over to investigate. There, they spot a giant monster the locals call Gojira destroying the village. Later, Emiko meets her boyfriend, Serizawa, who is a reclusive scientist. He makes her promise to keep his research a secret. She agrees, and he reveals a chemical weapon that he created; capable of killing Gojira. When Gojira threatens Tokyo and other villages around Japan, the army and the navy find themselves unable to stop the monster. Emiko reveals Serizawa’s secret research to her lover Ogata. Now they must convince Serizawa to use his chemical weapon to stop Gojira.

read our full summary

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary for both movies by film historian David Kalat
  • New interviews with actors Akira Takarada and Haruo Nakajima and special effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
  • Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
  • Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects, introduced by special effects director Koichi Kawakita and special effects photographer Motoyoshi Tomioka
  • New interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
  • The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo Fukuryu Maru, a real-life event that inspired Godzilla
  • Trailers for Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic J. Hoberman”GODZILLA” (a.k.a. “GOJIRA”) (c) 1954 Toho Co., Ltd. “GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS” (c) 1956 Toho Co., Ltd. Godzilla, Gojira, the character designs and King of the Monsters are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

New cover by Bill Sienkiewicz

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Our Rating

Toho Film (Eiga) Co. Ltd. released Gojira / Godzilla to theaters on November 3, 1954. Ishirô Honda directed the film which starred Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, and Akira Takarada.

User Rating: 4.3 ( 1 votes)
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