- This page covers the original incarnation of Daiei before its bankruptcy in 1971. For the successor company owned by Tokuma Shoten, see Daiei Film. For the company that currently owns all of Daiei's assets and operates the modern Kadokawa Daiei Studio, see Kadokawa.
The Daiei Motion Picture Company Ltd. (大映株式会社 was a Daiei Kabushiki Gaisha, lit. "Daiei Co., Ltd.")Japanese film company founded in 1942 through the merging of Shinko Kinema, Daito Film and the production arm of Nikkatsu. The company produced various kaiju and tokusatsu films until its bankruptcy in 1971, most notably the Gamera, Daimajin, and Yokai Monsters series. The company consisted of two studios, Daiei Kyoto Studio (大映京都撮影所 and Daiei Tokyo Studio Daiei Kyōtō Satsueijo) (大映東京撮影所, which produced movies independently. Daiei Tōkyō Satsueijo)
Daiei also formed the distribution company Dainichi Film Distribution Co., Ltd. (ダイニチ映配株式会社 in Dainichi Eihai Kabushiki Gaisha)1970 as a joint venture with Nikkatsu. It distributed all of Daiei's films thereafter, including the company's final Gamera film Gamera vs. Zigra, until its dissolution.
Founded in 1942 as Dai Nippon Film Production Co., Ltd. (大日本映画製作株式会社, Daiei went on to become one of the largest and most successful Japanese film studios in the post-war era. Daiei frequently distributed foreign pictures in Japanese theaters, including the re-release of Dai Nippon Eiga Seisaku Kabushiki Gaisha)King Kong. Daiei became well-known for producing the popular Zatoichi films, some of legendary director Akira Kurosawa's early pictures, and in the 1960s began producing kaiju films. Daiei's first kaiju film was Gamera the Giant Monster in 1965, which capitalized on the success of Toho's popular Godzilla films. Gamera the Giant Monster was successful, and Daiei went on to produce six sequels to it in the coming years. In 1966, Daiei produced the Daimajin trilogy. In the late 1960s, Daiei began to experience financial problems, so in June 1970, it and Nikkatsu Corporation, which was facing financial struggles itself, jointly formed Dainichi Film Distribution Co., Ltd. to save on distribution costs. This partnership would last until August 1971, when Nikkatsu withdrew from the deal. On November 29, 1971, Daiei filed for bankruptcy, and in 1974 was purchased by Tokuma Shoten, who formed a new company bearing the Daiei name: Daiei Film.
- Great Demon Beast Dagora (<1964)
- Giant Horde Beast Nezura (1964)
- Gamera vs. the Space Icemen (1966)
- Gamera vs. the Two-Headed Monster W (~1972)
- Sinking of the Japanese Islands (1972)
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