Godzilla (1954) 1954
92 mins Japan Director. Ishiro Honda
The original Godzilla is arguably the definitive monster movie - both a bold metaphor for the atomic age and a thrilling powerhouse of pioneering special effects. Directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Takashi Shimura as the revered palaeontologist who uncovers the horrible secret at the heart of the monster, a long dormant Jurassic beast awoken by the atom bomb. Don’t miss the film that instilled Japan – and the world – with an unquenchable appetite for destruction.
Made in 1954, Godzilla (Gojira) was Japan’s first foray into big budget sci-fi - costing ten times the budget of the average Japanese feature and twice as much as Seven Samurai – released the same year. The film created a monster that would enter the lexicon of popular culture, spawn fifty years of sequels and inspire a new genre: the kaiju eiga, or Japanese monster movie.
Upon its release the film was cut, dubbed into English and retitled for American audiences, but it’s presented here in all its restored, original glory. Now regarded as a classic, Godzilla is still regularly cited as among the top twenty Japanese films of all time.