Godzilla (1954 film)

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Credits for Godzilla (1954 film)
Godzilla (1954 film) soundtrack

Godzilla Films
Godzilla (1954)
Godzilla Raids Again
The Japanese poster for Godzilla
Alternate titles
Flagicon United States.png Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata,
Ishiro Honda
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor TohoJP
Trans WorldUS 1956
Rialto PicturesUS 2004 and 2014
Rating Not Rated
Budget ¥64,000,000
Box office ¥152,140,000JP
$2,000,000US 1956
$412,520US 2004
$150,191US 2014
Running time 96 minutesJP
(1 hour, 36 minutes)
80 minutesUS
(1 hour, 20 minutes)
Aspect ratio 1.37:1
"Godzilla 1954" redirects here. For the Godzilla incarnation, see Godzilla/1954.
Godzilla, a weapon of science, a great battle of wonder and terror! A violent giant monster exhaling radioactivity plunges Japan into the depths of fear!

— Japanese tagline

The Spectacle That Created World Sensation - The monster of the century awakened to life by the H-Bomb

— International tagline

Incredible, unstoppable titan of terror!
It's alive!
An enraged monster wipes out an entire city!
CIVILIZATION CRUMBLES as its death rays blast a city of 6 million from the face of the earth!
Raging through the world on a rampage of destruction!

— American taglines

Godzilla (ゴジラ,   Gojira) is a 1954 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the first installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on November 3, 1954,[1] and to American theaters as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! on April 27, 1956.


The Japanese freighter Eikō-Maru is attacked by a flash of light from the water near Odo Island and sinks. A rescue boat, the Bingo-Maru, is sent out to investigate the accident, but meets the same fate. A second search boat is sent out and finds a few survivors in the area, and like the other two boats, is shipwrecked.

Meanwhile, on Odo Island, the natives of the fishing community are unable to catch anything. An elder says that Godzilla must be the cause. According to legend, Godzilla is a kaiju who lives in the sea that comes from the ocean to feed on mankind. Whenever fishing was poor, the natives used to sacrifice girls to prevent Godzilla from attacking the village.

Later, a helicopter carrying investigative reporters arrives on Odo Island. The natives all believe that the recent disasters in the ocean were caused by Godzilla, but the reporters remain skeptical. That night the natives perform an exorcism in hopes that Godzilla will not attack again. As the natives are sleeping, a storm hits the island, and much of the village is destroyed, as though it was crushed from above. The family of Shinkichi Yamada is killed during the storm, and Shinkichi insists they were killed by a giant monster.

The next day, the witnesses are brought to the National Diet Building in Tokyo. Paleontologist Dr. Kyohei Yamane requests that an investigative party be sent to Odo Island. A ship is sent out and arrives safely on the island. Yamane finds giant footprints contaminated with radioactivity, along with a trilobite. Suddenly, the village alarm is set off and the villagers run towards the hills. Godzilla pops his head over the hill and roars. The villagers discover that Godzilla is too large to fight and flee for their lives. Godzilla then leaves for the ocean.

Afterwards, Yamane starts doing some research and discovers that Godzilla is actually a prehistoric, semi-aquatic reptile, intermediary between land and sea reptiles. He also discovers that the sediment from Godzilla's footprint contained a massive amount of Strontium-90, which could have only have come from a nuclear bomb. After Yamane's presentation, a man from the crowd suggests that the information should not be publicly known. Since Godzilla is the product of atomic weapons, the truth might cause some bad consequences, since world affairs are still fragile. However, a woman objects to Mr. Ōyama's suggestion because the truth must be told. After she insults Ōyama's, chaos breaks loose in the Diet Building.

Godzilla's origins are then revealed to the public. An anti-Godzilla fleet is immediately sent out and uses depth charges against Godzilla, in an attempt to kill the monster. In his home, Yamane sits alone in the room with the lights out. Yamane, being a zoologist, does not want Godzilla to be killed, but rather, studied.

That night, Godzilla suddenly rises in Tokyo Bay in front of a party ship. Within a minute, the monster descends back into the ocean, but his brief appearance causes nationwide panic. The next morning, officials ask Yamane if there is a way to kill Godzilla. A frustrated Yamane explains that Godzilla has already survived a massive amount of radiation, and believes that he should be studied to see what keeps him alive.

Yamane's daughter, Emiko Yamane, is engaged to Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, a colleague of Yamane's. Emiko, however, is in love with Lieutenant Hideo Ogata of the Nankai Steamship Company. When Emiko visits Serizawa to tell him that she loves Ogata, and wishes to break off her engagement to him, Serizawa reveals to her his own dark secret. He had unintentionally created a device that can destroy all life in the sea while performing experiments with the element oxygen. This device is called the Oxygen Destroyer, and is more powerful than any nuclear weapon. He gives Emiko a demonstration in his lab, by using the device in a fish tank. All the fish are disintegrated, only leaving skeletons. Shocked by this discovery, Emiko leaves Serizawa, promising not to tell anybody what she witnessed. She was unable to tell Serizawa about Ogata, or that she wanted to break the engagement.

That night, Godzilla appears again out of Tokyo Bay and attacks the city of Shinagawa. While the monster's attack is relatively short, it causes much destruction and death. The next morning, the military hastily constructs a line of 40 meter electric towers along the coast of Tokyo that will send 50,000 volts of electricity through Godzilla, should he arrive again. Civilians are then evacuated from the city and put into bomb shelters. The military then prepares a blockade along the fence line.

When night falls, Godzilla surfaces from Tokyo Bay again. The monster easily breaks through the giant electric fence, with no pain inflicted. The bombardment of shells from the Japanese army also has no effect. As Godzilla breaks through the high-tension wires, he uses his atomic breath to melt the electric fences. The tanks and military are useless against Godzilla, who continues his raid well into the night. By the end, the entire city is destroyed and thousands of innocent civilians are dead, dying, or wounded. As Godzilla wades into the sea, a squadron of jets fire rockets at the monster but Godzilla is unscathed as he descends once again into Tokyo Bay.

The next morning, the city is in absolute ruins. Hospitals are overrun with victims, many exposed to heavy doses of radiation. As Emiko sees the many victims of Godzilla's attack, she takes Ogata aside and tells him Serizawa's dark secret, in hope that together, they can convince Serizawa do something against Godzilla.

Ogata and Emiko visit Serizawa to ask that they use the Oxygen Destroyer against Godzilla. Serizawa refuses and storms down to his basement to destroy the Oxygen Destroyer. Ogata and Emiko follow him down in order to prevent him from doing so. However, this only results in a short fight between Ogata and Serizawa, with Ogata receiving a minor head wound. As Emiko treats the wound, Serizawa apologizes. Ogata tries to convince Serizawa that he is the only one who can save the world.

Then, after the argument, a grim television program appears on the air, showing the devastation and deaths caused by Godzilla, along with prayers for hope and peace. Shocked by what he's witnessing, Serizawa ultimately decides to use his last Oxygen Destroyer, but only one time. Serizawa then proceeds to destroy his research, knowing that this weapon was almost as dangerous and destructive as Godzilla himself, and that destroying this weapon will be for the betterment of society.

The next day, a navy ship takes Ogata and Serizawa to plant the device in Tokyo Bay. Serizawa requests that he be put in a diving suit to make sure the device is used correctly. Ogata at first refuses, but soon gives in. Ogata and Serizawa then descend into the water, and find Godzilla resting. Seemingly unaware of the divers, the monster slowly walks around the ocean floor. Ogata then is pulled back to the surface while Serizawa activates the Oxygen Destroyer. As Serizawa watches Godzilla dying from the destructive weapon, he cuts his cord and dies with Godzilla, sacrificing himself so that his knowledge of the horrible weapon dies with him. A dying Godzilla surfaces, lets out a final roar, and sinks to the bottom, disintegrating.

Although Godzilla is destroyed, the tone is still grim. As the people aboard the ship look to the sun and salute the sacrifice of Serizawa, Yamane suggests that it is unlikely Godzilla was the last of his species. He says that if nuclear testing continues, another Godzilla will probably appear somewhere in the world again.


Main article: Godzilla (1954 film)/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

German Godzilla Dub

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Paul Edwin Roth   as   Lieutenant Hideo Ogata
  • Renate Danz   as   Emiko Yamane
  • Gerd Martienzen   as   Doctor Daisuke Serizawa
  • Alfred Balthoff   as   Doctor Kyohei Yamane
  • Friedrich Joloff   as   Reporter Hagiwara
  • Alfred Haase   as   President of Nankai Shipping Company

Italian Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Dub

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Emilio Cigoli   as   Steve Martin
  • Rita Savagnone   as   Emiko Yamane
  • Giuseppe Rinaldi   as   Lieutenant Hideo Ogata
  • Vittorio Kramer   as   George Lawrence
  • Pino Locchi   as   Security Officer



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: Godzilla (1954 film)/Gallery.


Main article: Godzilla (1954 film soundtrack).


With war films becoming frowned upon in Japan's film industry after World War II, Toho Studios looked for a new genre of special effects films to make. Tomoyuki Tanaka, coming back to Japan after troubled progress on an overseas production, In the Shadow of Glory, had a thought of "what if a giant monster awoke from nuclear radiation and attacked Japan, taking residence in Tokyo Bay?" While nuclear-radiated monsters started becoming popular at the time, the use in this film is due to the accident of the Lucky Dragon No. 5 fishing boat, which was unknowingly catching fish too close to the Bikini Islands when an atom bomb test was conducted.

Chosen to direct was war veteran and pacifist Ishiro Honda, who would later on direct a good half of the Godzilla series during the Showa era, along with several other science-fiction films. To handle the special effects were Eiji Tsuburaya and Yasuyuki Inoue. At the time, Tsuburaya was considered one of the greatest masters of miniature effects on film; one of his earlier World War II works (a recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbor) being mistaken for actual war footage. Tsuburaya had previous experience in the science-fiction genre with films such as Daiei's Invisible Man Appears. He had only returned to Toho a year earlier for his work on Farewell Rabaul, a war film directed by Honda. Eiji Tsuburaya originally wanted to film Godzilla in stop motion like the then-recent American 1953 sci-fi blockbuster, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and the earlier classic and personal favorite of Tsuburaya's, King Kong. However, Haruo Nakajima quoted Tsuburaya in saying that "...it would take seven years to make..." so it was decided to portray the titular monster through an actor in a suit, a style of special effects that would be popularized by this film and later known as "suitmation." The Godzilla suit was originally brown, and weighed over 200 pounds. When suit actor Haruo Nakajima tried to move in it, it took several minutes. A lighter suit was made along with a pair of suspended legs. The filming took approximately three months.

Alternate Titles

  • Atomic Dinosaur (原子恐龍 Yuánzǐ kǒnglóng, Taiwan)
  • Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (United States)
    • Monster King Godzilla (怪獣王ゴジラ,   Kaijū ō Gojira, Japan)
  • Godzilla: Monster of the Sea (Godzilla: Monstret Från Havet; Sweden)
  • Japan: Under the Terror of the Monster (Japón: Bajo el Terror del Monstruo; Spain)
  • The Monster of the Pacific Ocean (O Monstro do Oceano Pacífico; Portugal)
  • Godzilla, the Monster of the Century (Godzilla, το τέρας του αιώνος, Godzilla, to téras tou aió̱nos; Greece)

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - November 3, 1954[1]  [view poster]Japanese poster; 1957 (Godzilla, King of the Monsters!)  [view poster]Japanese 1957 poster
  • Taiwan - December 7, 1955  [view poster]Taiwanese poster
  • United States - April 27, 1956  [view poster]American poster; May 7, 2004; April 18, 2014
  • West Germany - August 10, 1956  [view poster]German poster
  • Brazil - October 24, 1956  [view poster]Brazilian poster
  • Spain - November 5, 1956  [view poster]Spanish poster
  • Denmark - November 26, 1956  [view poster]Danish poster
  • England - December 1956
  • Australia - 1956  [view poster]Australian poster
  • Czechoslovakia - 1956
  • Mexico - 1956  [view poster]Mexican poster
  • Argentina - 1956  [view poster]Argentinian poster
  • Cuba - 1956  [view poster]Cuban poster
  • Sweden - January 28, [[1957])
  • France - March 14, 1957  [view poster]French poster
  • Italy - July 1957  [view poster]Italian poster; 1977 (Cozzilla)  [view poster]'Cozzilla' poster
  • Portugal - July 24, 1957  [view poster]Portuguese poster
  • Belgium - 1957  [view poster]Belgian poster
  • Mexico - 1957
  • Poland - 1957  [view poster]Polish poster
  • Turkey - March 5, 1958
  • South Korea - May 7, 2004
  • Czechoslovakia - 1950s
  • Thailand - 1960

Foreign Releases

U.S. Release

American Godzilla, King of the Monsters! poster

In the United States, TransWorld Releasing Corporation and Embassy Pictures Corporation distributed the film as Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. It starred Raymond Burr, and featured additional dubbing and re-editing, with footage of Burr worked into the film. Burr plays an American journalist, Steve Martin. Burr's role was to provide a narrative on the events unfolding in Japan from an American perspective. Martin's character was close to the style of American journalist Edward R. Murrow. Martin in detail reports the atmosphere and attack that Godzilla has caused in Japan, much like Murrow's description of the Blitz in London caused by the Nazis. Although key elements were removed from the original cut of the film, Raymond Burr added legitimacy through an American perspective to an otherwise foreign film. Because of Burr's addition, Godzilla was a success and later became cultural icon in the United States as well as Japan. While 20 minutes of new footage were added to the American cut of the film, 40 minutes were cut, including most of a scene in which journalists watch from a radio tower as Godzilla approaches, heroically continuing their broadcast until they are killed. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was later released in Japan under the title Monster King Godzilla (怪獣王ゴジラ,   Kaijū ō Gojira). This re-release was a considerable success and became popular among Japanese audiences. This style of "Americanization" through the inserting of a Western actor became commonplace in the localization of several subsequent kaiju films, including Half Human, Varan and Gamera. In 1985, when New World Pictures released the film The Return of Godzilla in the United States as Godzilla 1985, they chose to emulate what was done in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! and included new footage featuring American actors. Raymond Burr even reprised his role as Steve Martin from the aforementioned film.

For years it was difficult to obtain the original Japanese version of the film in the West. It had a very limited release, mostly for film salesmen, in 1955 and again in 2004 by Rialto pictures. The Japanese version was finally released in an award-winning double disc edition DVD by Classic Media titled Gojira/Godzilla, including both versions of the film. A couple of other countries followed suit, including Australia and Germany. In Japan, both versions were released in a double laserdisc version in 1994 and in a box set in 2004 containing all Godzilla films released up to that point minus Godzilla: Final Wars.

List of differences from original Japanese version

  • The movie's opening is changed entirely. Rather then beginning with the sinking of the Eiko-Maru, it begins with Steve Martin narrating over the ruins of Tokyo as he lies in rubble after Godzilla's vicious rampage the previous night. Steve is taken to a hospital and speaks with Emiko Yamane (played by a body double) before recalling all of the events that happened before (the entirety of the film until after Godzilla's rampage is a flashback in which Steve is recalling the events).
  • A scene where Steve is on the plane to Japan is added before the sinking of the Eiko-Maru in which he explains through narration that he was heading for Japan to visit a college friend of his, Doctor Daisuke Serizawa, who is portrayed as being a famous scientist rather then a reclusive man as he is in the original Japanese version.
  • Godzilla's roar is added when the flash of light underneath the water blinds the men on the Eiko-Maru.
  • The scene where Hideo Ogata cancels his date with Emiko is cut and replaced with Steve arriving in Japan to first talk to Dr. Serizawa's assistant (a character exclusive to the American cut) and a security officer who takes Steve to meet Mr. Iwanaga for questioning about whether he saw the destruction of the ship. Being a journalist, Steve wants to know what he being done, so Iwanaga takes him to the office of the shipping company. Clips of Iwanaga translating the Japanese speech for Steve are added to the scene where the shipping company tries to figure out what happened.
  • In the Japanese version, the Bingo-Maru was another ship that happened to be nearby, while in the American version, it is a rescue boat sent to search for survivors.
  • Scene of Steve calling his editor to tell him about the ship attacks added after the sinking of the Bingo-Maru.
    • During the phone call, Steve says that eight ships have been destroyed, while in the Japanese version, only two would've been sunk by this point.
  • While the electric towers surrounding Tokyo were somehow built between Godzilla's first and second attacks in the Japanese version, in the American version that are already there but just charged with extra voltage.
  • The second destruction scene is almost entirely rearranged, somewhat due to the scene where Godzilla destroys the building Steve is recording from.
  • Godzilla's death roar is changed.
  • Doctor Yamane's final words about nuclear weapons creating a new Godzilla if they continue to be used are replaced by Steve narrating: "The menace was gone, but so was a great man. Now, the world can wake up and live again."

German Release

In West Germany and Austria, a shorter German language cut of the Toho version was released by Lehmacher Film on August 10, 1956. A version distributed by Atrium Film containing a different opening credits sequence also exists. In total, 13 minutes were removed from the film.[2]

French Release

In France and Belgium, a French language combination assembly of footage exclusive to the original Toho version and Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was released by Les Films du Verseau on March 14, 1957. In the dialogue, Steve Martin works for the "New York Herald" out of New York instead of United World News in Chicago. Ogata was also made a pupil of Dr. Yamane. The French version runs 92 minutes.

Italian Release

The first theatrical release of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! in Italy was distributed by Paramount Pictures in 1957. The film was simply titled Godzilla, and dubbed into Italian.

In 1977, a colorized version of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! directed by Luigi Cozzi was released theatrically in Italy, in advertising as Godzilla, il re dei mostri. The Italian reissue runs longer than the original King of the Monsters, inserting several minutes of stock footage from World War II newsreels and other 1950's monster movies. "Cozzilla," as it's often called, combining the last name of the movie's director and "Godzilla," was colorized using a process called "Spectorama 70" which consisted of applying various multi-colored gels to black-and-white footage.[3]

Filipino Release

People's Pictures released Godzilla in the Philippines in 1957, under the title Tokyo 1960.[4] It appears to have been edited to a similar extent as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, with posters advertising actors Tessie Quintana, Eddie del Mar, and Zaldy Zshornack, director Teodorico C. Santos, composer Ariston Avelino, and executive producer Cirio H. Santiago. Footage of this version has yet to surface, however.

Box Office

The film had a budget of ¥64,000,000 (roughly adjusted to $900,000), with marketing costs ending up at ¥37,000,000 (roughly adjusted to $600,000), for a total of ¥101,000,000 (roughly adjusted to $1,500,000). The film sold 9,610,000 tickets and grossed ¥152,000,000 (roughly adjusted to $2,250,000).

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was given a $25,000 lease by Toho, which made its budget just about $25,000 more than the original Japanese film's. The film grossed $2,000,000, making it a box office hit. Both films grossed a combined total of roughly $4,250,000.


Gojira opened in Japan in 1954 and sold approximately 9.6 million tickets, gaining a lot of money for the time. While successful, it was small in relation to other works of the same year such as Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, which along with Gojira have become Japan's most famous films. A sequel was rushed into production. In America, the film was re-edited with added footage of Canadian/American actor Raymond Burr playing reporter Steve Martin and retitled Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. In America, it was also more successful than anticipated. The re-edited version of the film would be the one shown all over Europe and gained Godzilla an unprecedented audience which has since made the monster an icon as recognizable as Superman. Its box office earnings were 152 million Yen ($2.25 million).

For the German theatrical version 13 minutes of the film were cut, cutting out Dr. Kyohei Yamane's return to Japan, shortening his speech and presentation of what Godzilla is and shortening the final scene. This version was used for all home video releases of the film. The uncut director's cut was not released until 2004, when it appeared in a special 50th anniversary box set by Splendid Film, along with the German version and for the first time ever the US version, plus a two disc edition of Final Wars. Godzilla was then made available as an individual release. In the U.S. and Canada, Classic Media released Godzilla in 2006 as part of its 'Master Collection'; this release was a two-disc set, with one disc being the Japanese original version and the other being the American version with Raymond Burr

In the 1970s, the film was re-released in Italy in a crudely colorized version with clips of Rodan, Godzilla Raids Again and World War II footage added. This version and its edits were not well-received and it was only shown on television a few times. The colorized version, nicknamed "Cozzilla," has since been very rare.

Video Releases

Simitar DVD (1998)[5]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (1.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: Optional 1.85:1 presentation (cropped), Simitar-produced trailers for the company's kaiju releases, art gallery, trivia game, Sci-Fi Monsters Documentary
  • Notes: Out of print.

Toho DVD (2001)[6]

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Akira Takarada, isolated music and sound effects track, isolated score, Akira Ifukube interview, cast profiles, trailer

Classic Media DVD (2002)[7]

Madman DVD (2004)[8]

Classic Media DVD (2006) [9]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Two audio commentaries by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (one for each version of the film), 12-page booklet, Japanese and U.S. trailers, two 13-minute featurettes (Godzilla Story Development and Making of the Godzilla Suit)
  • Notes: Also included in a set called "The Godzilla Collection." Reissued in 2014 without booklet. Both releases are out of print.

BFI DVD (2006)[10]

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle, Ed Godziszewski, and Keith Aiken, Japanese and U.S. trailers, three featurettes (The Japanese Fishermen, Designing Godzilla, and Story Evolution), galleries of posters, storyboards, and stills/sketches, booklet

Toho Blu-Ray (2009)[11]

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Language: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Akira Takarada, isolated music and sound effects track, Akira Ifukube interview, cast profiles, trailers, score performed by live orchestra, large stills gallery
  • Notes: English subtitles are not included.

Classic Media Blu-ray (2009)

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Audio commentary by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, 12-page booklet, trailers, two 13-minute featurettes (Godzilla Story Development and Making of the Godzilla Suit)
  • Notes: Presents the film in the unusual aspect ratio of 1.47:1. Out of print.

Criterion DVD / Blu-ray (2012)[12]

  • Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-ray)
  • Discs: 2 (DVD) or 1 (Blu-ray)
  • Audio: Japanese (1.0 Mono), English (1.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special Features: Two audio commentaries by David Kalat (one for each version of the film), interviews with Akira Ifukube, Akira Takarada, Haruo Nakajima, Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai, and Tadao Sato, two 9-minute featurettes (The Unluckiest Dragon and Godzilla Photography)
  • Notes: Both versions of the movie have been digitally restored.



Godzilla Japanese trailer
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! trailer
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! TV trailer
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! radio spots
Vestron VHS Godzilla, King of the Monsters! trailer
Simitar VHS Godzilla, King of the Monsters! trailer
Godzilla French trailer
Monster King Godzilla Japanese trailer
Cozzilla Italian trailer
"Three Reasons" Criterion promo


All of the new footage added to Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
Alternate Godzilla, King of the Monsters! title card
Monster King Godzilla Japanese theatrical credits
Behind the scenes of the film's composite shots
Guillermo del Toro talks to Criterion about Godzilla


  • Godzilla's attack on the Eiko Maru takes place on August 13. Two calendars in Ogata and Emiko's first scene show the month ending on a Tuesday, as it did in 1954.
    • A synopsis from Toho's 1955 English sales pamphlet places the events of the film in the summer of 1955, however.[13]
    • The "Cozzilla" version of the film states that Godzilla's rampage through Tokyo takes place on August 6, 1954, referencing the date the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.[14]
  • While the Godzilla series has been rebooted several times, many films in the series include references to the original film and the year 1954, whether they actually share continuity with it or not.
    • Godzilla Raids Again features many references to the original film, along with a stock footage sequence of Godzilla's raid on Tokyo.
    • The Return of Godzilla features some mentions of the first Godzilla's attack on Tokyo, while Dr. Hayashida at one point shows Hiroshi Okumura a photograph of Godzilla destroying the Diet Building from this film.
    • In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, it is revealed that the Oxygen Destroyer used to kill Godzilla in this film mutated a colony of Precambrian crustaceans under Tokyo Bay into the monster Destoroyah.
    • In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla simply returned to the ocean after destroying Tokyo in 1954 and did not appear again until 1966. In this continuity, the Oxygen Destroyer was never used.
    • In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954, but its use was kept secret by the government, who gave the JSDF credit for killing the monster. Godzilla's remains were later possessed by the restless spirits of the people killed by the Japanese military during World War II, and he regenerated and attacked Japan again almost 50 years later.
    • In the Kiryu Saga, Godzilla was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954, but his skeleton survived and was used as the framework for the robot Kiryu, which was used by the Japanese government to battle the new Godzilla.
    • In Godzilla: Final Wars, it is stated that Godzilla first appeared in 1954, and the Earth Defense Force was formed to fight him. Aside from this reference, the two films do not share continuity.
    • In Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, it is stated that Godzilla was awakened by an American nuclear submarine in 1954 and menaced American and Soviet forces in the South Pacific until the Castle Bravo nuclear test was conducted in an attempt to kill him. As with Godzilla: Final Wars, this film only shares a reference to the year 1954 with the original film and is not part of the same continuity.
  • Close-up shots of Godzilla in this film were accomplished using puppets of Godzilla's upper body rather than the full-body suit. In addition, a partial Godzilla suit consisting only of the monster's lower body was employed for some shots of Godzilla's legs.
  • The sound effects team originally tried to create Godzilla's roar by using animal roars that had been edited. They sampled all kinds of birds and mammals, but nothing seemed to be the right match for the reptile-like noises a monster like Godzilla would make. Akira Ifukube, who was the film's composer, proposed stepping away from using animal samples. He took a string off of his contrabass and rubbed it with gloves soaked in pine tar. The sound that came from it was used as Godzilla's roar.
  • Although this was Godzilla's first film, the character's real debut was The Monster Godzilla, a radio drama which aired on Nippon Broadcasting, based on Takeo Murata's first-draft script. Its 11 half-hour episodes played from July 17 to September 25.
  • In a strange error, the television that airs the memorial program turns on all by itself. None of the three characters present turn it on, nor do they take notice of the seemingly impossible occurrence.
  • At the time of its release, Godzilla was the most expensive Japanese film ever made. The combined production of both this film and Seven Samurai in 1954 almost plunged Toho Studios into bankruptcy, but both films ended up being sizable box office hits.
  • Originally, the effects in this film were to be accomplished by stop-motion animation (filming small immobile puppets while moving them between each frame so the playback will create an illusion of movement), which was very popular at the time. However, due to the film's budget, Eiji Tsuburaya made up a newer and cheaper method for this film dubbed "Suitmation"- foam-fabricating costumes that are coated with layers of latex and portrayed by actors.
  • In Akira Kurosawa's posthumously published book A Dream is a Genius, Godzilla is listed at number 34 on the list of the director's top 100 favorite films.[15]
  • Godzilla is one of few films in the series to show nudity, as several women in the background of a shot during the first scene on Odo Island are topless. Unlike instances of nudity in later Showa Godzilla films, these occurring in Godzilla vs. Megalon and Terror of Mechagodzilla, this shot was retained in the U.S. version. However, it was shortened by several seconds.
  • Some stock footage of Godzilla's rampage from this film would later be used for the monster Varan's attack on Tokyo in the film Varan in 1958.

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