Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
|“||Giant monster Godzilla against the newly-appearing fierce dragon Anguirus! The great story of the terrifying spirits that rampage through Japan! (怪獣ゴジラ対新登場の暴龍アンギラス 日本全土狭しと暴れ廻る驚天動地の巨篇！)||„|
|“||Here's motion picture adventure and excitement to stagger the imagination: the fantastic Fire Monsters! Raging out of the flaming bowels of Hell: mighty Gigantis, crushing whole cities in his wrath, and deadly Anguirus, screaming its challenge of mortal combat! The battle of the ages! Scenes and sights and sensations beyond anything the screen has ever shown!||„|
— Trailer for Gigantis, the Fire Monster
Godzilla Raids Again (ゴジラの逆襲?, lit. Godzilla's Counterattack) is a Gojira no Gyakushū1955 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the second installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on April 24, 1955, and to American theaters on May 21, 1959.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Staff
- 3 Cast
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Soundtrack
- 7 Alternate Titles
- 8 Theatrical Releases
- 9 U.S. Release
- 10 Box Office
- 11 Reception
- 12 DVD and Blu-ray Releases
- 13 Videos
- 14 Trivia
- 15 External Links
- 16 References
- 17 Comments
Pilots Shoichi Tsukioka and Kojikawa Kobayashi are scouting the ocean for schools of fish for a tuna cannery company located in Osaka. Suddenly, the engine for Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and he makes an emergency landing on the remote Iwato Island. Hidemi Yajima, Tsukioka's lover and the daughter of the company's owner, informs Tsukioka that Kobayashi has made an emergency landing, and he immediately flies to the island to rescue his friend. Tsukioka sees Kobayashi's plane sitting atop the water near the island, with Kobayashi himself waving at Tsukioka's plane from the island. Tsukioka lands and reunites with Kobayashi, who has only suffered a sprained wrist in the incident. The two men hear strange noises coming from the cliffs on the island, then look to find two huge monsters battling on the island. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the monsters to be Godzilla, but cannot identify the other. After a brief battle, the monsters tumble off the island into the ocean below, after which they both disappear.
Upon returning to Osaka, Tsukioka and Kobayashi report their story to the authorities. A conference with the JSDF, several scientists, including Kyohei Yamane, and the two pilots is held in Osaka, where it is determined that the monster Godzilla was fighting is a creature called Anguirus. According to a report from a Polish scientist, Anguirus is a vicious dinosaur that lived during the same time as Godzilla, and harbored an intense hatred of violent creatures like Godzilla. Like Godzilla, Anguirus had been living deep underground only to be disturbed and awakened by recent nuclear testing. When asked how they can hope to stop Godzilla, Dr. Yamane shows footage recorded of the first Godzilla's raid on Tokyo the previous year, then regretfully states that there is no conceivable way to defeat this Godzilla. Yamane mentions that the first Godzilla was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer, a chemical weapon invented by Daisuke Serizawa, but unfortunately Serizawa had taken his own life to ensure the weapon could never be used again. Yamane offers one piece of advice: Godzilla harbors a strange instinct towards lights, possibly due to their reminding him of the atomic bomb that awakened him. If a blackout is enforced and flares are dropped offshore, Yamane believes Godzilla can be lured away from the mainland.
When Godzilla unexpectedly surfaces in Osaka Bay, a blackout is immediately enforced on the city as citizens are evacuated. Fighter jets fly over the bay and begin dropping flares, which successfully lure Godzilla away from the city. Meanwhile, a group of prisoners stage an escape from the truck transporting them, beginning a lengthy chase with the police across the port area. After the prisoners hijack a fuel truck, two pursuing officers get into a car driven by Tsukioka and ask him to follow the truck. Eventually, the truck flies off a ramp and crashes into a refinery, starting a raging fire that quickly consumes the port area. The fire soon draws Godzilla's attention, and he approaches Osaka once again. Anguirus also surfaces at a nearby shore, and resumes his battle with Godzilla. The JSDF opens fire on the kaiju, but their weapons have no effect as Godzilla and Anguirus begin tearing apart the city.
As Godzilla and Anguirus' battle rages through Osaka, they destroy countless buildings, including the tuna cannery that Tsukioka and Kobayashi work for. Eventually, the two monsters reach Osaka Castle, where Godzilla tackles Anguirus into the pagoda, destroying it. Godzilla then bites down onto Anguirus' neck, causing him to bleed profusely before falling into the moat below. Godzilla fires his atomic breath at his foe, burning him to death and leaving Godzilla the victor. His enemy defeated, Godzilla calms down and leaves Osaka, but not before leaving the city ablaze and in ruins.
In the aftermath of the devastation, Tsukioka and Kobayashi find the cannery in ruins. Their boss informs Kobayashi that he will be transferred to the company's Hokkaido branch while he and his daughter clean up in Osaka. After he has been working in Hokkaido for some time, Kobayashi is informed that Mr. Tajima, Hidemi, and Tsukioka will be arriving in Hokkaido soon, and meets them one night at a company party. While Tsukioka and Kobayashi are catching up, they learn that one of the company's ships has just been sunk somewhere off the coast. Knowing Godzilla must be responsible, Tsukioka gets into his plane and begins scouring the surrounding waters despite Hidemi's protests. Tsukioka eventually finds Godzilla coming ashore on a remote icy island, and contacts the JSDF to alert them. Kobayashi switches shifts with Tsukioka to keep an eye on Godzilla while he flies to a JSDF base. As the JSDF forces begin arriving on the island to attack Godzilla, Kobayashi notices the monster beginning to leave the island. Kobayashi dive-bombs Godzilla with his plane, only to be blasted with his atomic breath and crash into the slopes of the island, killing Kobayashi. As Tsukioka grieves for his friend, he notices an avalanche of ice falling from the slopes of the island, giving him the idea to bury Godzilla under ice. Tsukioka tells his plan to the JSDF, who begin an operation to blast the slopes of the island using fighter jets and try to bury Godzilla under the ice. After a few minutes, Godzilla is buried in snow up to his waste, as the JASDF pilots return to base to refuel and reload.
To prevent Godzilla from escaping the island, the JSDF line the shore of the island with gasoline barrels and light them on fire. Soon, the fighter jets return, with Tsukioka flying one. The jets open fire on the slopes again, and although some are shot down by Godzilla's atomic breath, Tsukioka and the JASDF are successful in completely burying Godzilla under the ice. With the menace finally halted, Tsukioka solemnly looks to the sky and says "Kobayashi, we buried Godzilla for you."
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Motoyoshi Oda
- Written by Shigeaki Hidaka, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Seiichi Endo
- Edited by Kazuji Taira
- Production Design by Teruaki Abe, Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
- Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Shoichi Tsukioka
- Minoru Chiaki as Kojikawa Kobayashi
- Setsuko Wakayama as Hidemi Yamaji
- Takashi Shimura as Doctor Kyohei Yamane
- Masao Shimizu as Zoologist Tadokoro
- Sonosuke Sawamura as Hokkaido Branch Manager Shingo Shibeki
- Seijiro Onda as Commander of Osaka's SDF Terasawa
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Member of Osaka's SDF Tajima
- Minosuke Yamada as Chief of Civil Defense
- Yukio Kasama as President of Fishery Koehi Wamaji
- Mayuri Mokusho as Radio Operator Yasuko Inouye
- Ren Yamamoto as Commander of Landing Craft
- Takeo Oikawa as Osaka Chief of Police
- Shin Otomo as Convict Leader
- Senkichi Omura as Convict
- Shoichi Hirose as Convict
- Junpei Natsuki as Convict
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Godzilla Raids Again/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla Raids Again (Soundtrack).
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster (United States; Gigantis, el Monstruo de Fuego; Mexico)
- Godzilla's Counterattack (Literal Japanese)
- The King of the Monsters (El Rey de los Monstruos; Spain)
- The Return of Godzilla (Le Retour de Godzilla; France; De Terugkeer van Godzilla; Belgium)
- Godzilla Returns (Godzilla kehrt zurück; Germany)
- The King of the Monsters (Il Re de Mostri; Italy)
- Godzilla: Sea Monster (Godzila: Morsko Čudovište; Yugoslavia)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - April 24, 1955 [view poster]
- United States - May 21, 1959GtFM [view poster], 1961GRA
- Italy - 1955 [view poster]
- Spain - 1955 [view poster]
- France - 1957 [view poster]
- Germany - 1958 [view poster]
- Mexico [view poster]
- Yugoslavia [view poster]
Following the successful U.S. release of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, Toho sold the American distribution rights to Godzilla Raids Again to Harry Rybnick and Edward Barison. Their idea was to create a new film for AB-PT Pictures Corporation using the special effects sequences from Godzilla Raids Again. Ib Melchior and Edwin Watson drafted a screenplay, titled The Volcano Monsters, in which Godzilla and Anguirus, now respectively referred to as a Tyrannosaurus and an Ankylosaurus, are discovered in a volcanic cave. Toho shipped Godzilla and Anguirus suits to Hollywood to allow the producers to film new footage of the monsters. Ultimately, AB-PT Pictures Corp. closed down in 1957 before production started on The Volcano Monsters. The monster suits were eventually lost.
In 1958, the film's U.S. distribution rights were acquired by producer Paul Schreibman, who hired Hugo Grimaldi to re-write and re-edit the film, re-titling it Gigantis, the Fire Monster. Aside from changing Godzilla's name to "Gigantis," Grimaldi's version changes the origins of the monsters: "Gigantis" and Anguirus are described as two related species of prehistoric fire monsters. The sound effects of the monsters were altered to reflect this, with several shots of Godzilla augmented with Anguirus' roar. Additionally, nearly all of Masaru Sato's original score was replaced with library music, most of which was composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter for other science fiction films. Stock footage from other science fiction films featuring dinosaurs was also added into the film. For years, it was believed that the reason for these changes was that Warner Bros. did not have the rights to Godzilla's name. However, Paul Schreibman said that he changed Godzilla's name to "Gigantis" to give the audience the impression that they were seeing a new monster, believing an original film would sell better than a sequel. He has since claimed he came to regret that decision
The English dubbing, also supervised and directed by Grimaldi, was recorded at Ryder Sound Service, Inc. in Hollywood. The voice cast featured veteran performers Keye Luke, Marvin Miller, and Paul Frees, as well as a very young George Takei, of Star Trek fame. Luke was cast as Tsukioka, whose character now narrated the events of the film. In addition to voicing Kobayashi, Miller narrated a pre-credit stock footage montage detailing man's scientific progress.
After completing the Americanization of the film, Paul Schreibman sold the theatrical rights to Warner Bros., which released the film on May 21, 1959. Gigantis, the Fire Monster was presented on a double bill with Teenagers from Outer Space, which Warner also purchased from Schreibman.
On November 7, 2006, Classic Media released the Japanese and American versions of Godzilla Raids Again on DVD. Prior to this release, the film had been unavailable on North American home video since Video Treasures' VHS release in 1989. A notable difference between the original Gigantis and the U.S. version released by Classic Media is the fact the Gigantis title card has been replaced with a newer Godzilla Raids Again title card, by request of Toho.
The film sold approximately 8,340,000 tickets in Japan, making it the third most-attended Godzilla film in Japan. It grossed around 1,700,000 yen, or $1,670,080. It was Toho's fourth-highest earner in 1955, and tenth among Japanese films overall.
The film was generally poorly received by fans and critics, who criticized it as a rushed sequel. It is, however, notable for being the first Godzilla film to introduce the formula of Godzilla battling other monsters, which would become a staple of the franchise.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases
Toho DVD (2001)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Sadamasa Arikawa and Tomioka Motoyoshi, isolated score, massive image gallery (several thousand)
Classic Media DVD (2006)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono) and English (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle (for the American version), The Art of Suit Acting featurette (14 minutes), poster slideshow
- Notes: The American version of the film has a video-generated Godzilla Raids Again title card in place of the original Gigantis, the Fire Monster title card.
Splendid DVD (2009)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: German (1.0 Mono), Japanese (1.0 mono)
- Subtitles: German
- Special Features: Trailers
Toho Blu-ray (2014)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (LPCM 2.0)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Sadamasa Arikawa and Tomioka Motoyoshi, isolated score, dispatch trailer, radio ads for Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla Raids Again, image gallery (12 minutes), "Godzilla’s Creation! Yoshio Suzuki" featurette (20 minutes)
Splendid Blu-ray (2014)
- Region: B/2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0), German (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Subtitles: German, Dutch
- Special Features: None
- Godzilla Raids Again was the first Godzilla film to feature two monsters.
- The Godzilla suit used for this film, the GyakushuGoji, was slimmer and lighter than the previous ShodaiGoji suit used in 1954, putting less pressure on the actor, and making every fight scene with Anguirus easier.
- The JSDF's tactic of enforcing a blackout in Osaka to protect it from Godzilla is the same tactic used by Japan during World War II to protect cities from Allied bombing raids.
- In the American version of Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla's roar was altered to sound like Anguirus' roar, due to this version establishing that "Gigantis" and Anguirus are related. His normal roar is still heard in many instances, though, and the roars are interchanged erratically.
- Godzilla Raids Again is the only Godzilla film to date where Godzilla's dorsal plates consistently do not glow prior to him releasing his atomic breath. Later films would only occasionally not show the discharge, often by mistake.
- This is the first film in which Godzilla is defeated by the JSDF However, Godzilla Raids Again is the only Showa era film wherein the JSDF wins out over Godzilla with a coordinated tactical strike, and with no aid from another monster or some sophisticated form of technology.
- There are no scenes which feature Godzilla using his heat ray from the full suit-view. Every time he does, the hand-operated puppet head is used. This is due to the fact that the suit's mouth could not open wide enough to show Godzilla firing his atomic breath.
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster was distributed in the United States by Warner Bros., who would distribute Legendary Pictures' Godzilla and its sequels over 55 years later.
- After this film's release, Toho took a seven-year break from making Godzilla films. However, during these seven years they continued to make kaiju films, and introduced some of the most recognizable monsters other than Godzilla from the Showa era, including Rodan and Mothra.
- In the Kaiju Guide for Bandai Namco's Godzilla, Anguirus' bio states that he once battled a monster called "Gigantis," who has since been banished from this plane of existence, an inside joke relating to the American version of Godzilla Raids Again.
- Godzilla Raids Again is the last Godzilla film to be filmed in black and white and the academy aspect ratio.
- Godzilla Raids Again is the second and final Godzilla film to have been produced in the 1950's.
- Legal streaming link (ShoutFactoryTV, English dub)
- List of changes in the American version
- German theatrical credits
This is a list of references for Godzilla Raids Again. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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