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Godzilla (The Criterion Collection)

5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Fuyuki Murakami
  • Directors: Ishirô Honda
  • Writers: Ishirô Honda, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
  • Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Jan. 24 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005VU9LO0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #33,298 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla 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 still reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing. Its rampaging radioactive beast, the poignant embodiment of an entire population’s fears, became a beloved international icon of destruction, spawning more than twenty sequels and spinoffs. This first thrilling, tactile spectacle continues to be a cult phenomenon; here, we present the original, 1954 Japanese version, along with Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, the 1956 American reworking starring Raymond Burr (Rear Window).

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New high-definition digital restoration • Audio commentary by David Kalat (A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series) • New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original, starring Raymond Burr • Audio commentary for Godzilla: King of the Monsters! by Kalat • New interviews with actor Akira Takarada (Hideto Ogata), Godzilla performer Haruo Nakajima, and effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai • Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube • Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects • 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 • Theatrical trailers • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 11 2015
Format: DVD
Godzilla is one of those iconic creatures that everyone knows, even if they've never seen a Godzilla movie: a giant radioactive reptile who likes to smash his way through Japanese cities.

But for people who have only seen him fighting Mecha-Robo-Mothzilla or whatever, the original "Godzilla"/"Gojira" will probably seem like a very different movie. Despite having a man in a rubber suit squishing miniatures, this is no campiness, no silliness, no over-the-top action. It's a sobering, slow-moving movie that just happens to involve a giant nuclear lizard.

Two Japanese vessels suddenly explode and sink, and the Coast Guard has no idea what or who could have done this. A single survivor washes ashore, declaring that a "monster" destroyed the boats. Oh, and fish have mysteriously vanished from the ocean, which a superstitious old guy attributes to a sea god called "Gojira."

Like all superstitious old guys, he's actually right. While a group of scientists investigate the weird goings-on on the island, a vast reptilian creature appears, says hi, and then vanishes back into the ocean. He is "Gojira," aka "Godzilla," a prehistoric monster who has been woken from his aeons-long slumber by recent thermonuclear activity in the Pacific. Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura) is conflicted by the government's determination to destroy Godzilla.

Meanwhile, Yamane's daughter Emiko (Momoko Kōchi) reveals to her new boyfriend Hideto (Akira Takarada) that her reclusive fiance, Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) has a dark secret -- a scientific weapon that might be able to stop Godzilla. But Serizara fears it could also be turned against other human beings.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bieth TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had not seen the Japanese version of this film since I was a kid. Needless to say between the subtitles and the medophors it was beyond me. I had seen the Americanized version a couple of times but was never overly impressed. I have always liked the Godzilla series of films but I kind of like them because they are so over the top and...well...bad. So when I saw Criterion was putting a version out I was really surprised. But everything I read was about how good the Japanese version is. Figured worse case I would be that much closer to collecting all the films. Man was I surprised how great a film this is. Where the Americanized version is really just another monster movie the version from Japan is much more. It deals with the fear of the atom bomb (this film was made less then a decade after the dropping of the A bombs) and since the world was probably still pretty ticked off about World War 2 I don't think a Japanese anti nuke film would go down well but do it all with Medophors and you can get away with it. This film is dark. The ending is much darker then anything being done in Hollywood at the time. If get a chance and you like great films you should give this one a shot. I was really surprised at how great this film really is. Oh and to put you mind to rest the peice of crap american Mathew Brodrick version is not a remake of this film. They came up with that crap all on their own!
One more point. This is not just a great Godzilla film it's a great film period! You don't have to like monster movies to enjoy it. Much in the same way people enjoy the original Frankenstein.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Picture looks very clear for a very old movie. The buildings and tanks that godzilla destroys looks more fake in the trade off due to the higher detail. Overall I prefer it over the DVD version.
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By Patrick on May 9 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The original, nothing can stack up. Brilliance and a must for any cinephile or G-Fan! NIce packaging and the extras are worth a watch.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tim H. on Jan. 27 2012
Format: Blu-ray
please why there is a difference of nearly +$15.00 between the Amazon US price and the Amazon CAN price when there's not that much difference in the exchange rate? (rated one star just so I can ask the question)
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