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Gojira (Godzilla): The Original Japanese Masterpiece
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The first of the Godzilla movies, and the most somber and serious in tone, Gojiro was originally a 98-minute Japanese horror film, until a U.S. company bought the rights and reissued the film at 79 minutes, replacing sequences involving a Japanese reporter with new inserts of a dour, pipe-smoking Raymond Burr. Both versions appear together for the first time in this release from Sony Wonder.
This package contains:
* Godzilla (1954 Japanese Edition with English subtitles)
* King of the Monsters (1956 U.S. Release Edition-English voice-over dub)
* Audio commentaries
* Original trailers
*"Making of the Suite" Featurette
*"Godzilla: Story Development" featurette
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Top Customer Reviews
The DVD has both versions of the film, each on its own disc. Image quality is not especially striking for either, although this has more to do with the state of film technology in 1950s Japan than poor DVD restoration. In fact, both films look as good as they ever have, and this is probably the sharpest and clearest you'll see them in the forseeable future.
The major extras are commentaries on both versions of the film by historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski (these tracks also include occasional guest appearances by others). The tracks cover just about everything there is to cover, and there is almost no overlap between the two tracks.Read more ›
This DVD set contains the first North American home release of the Godzilla (Gojira) movie that made cinematic history. As a Geologist, I find the science is shakey throughout, however, what is truly important is the human message. This film is an allegorical warning that we have created a monster. It's no coincidence that the scenes of destruction look just like those old photos of Hiroshima and Nagasake after the atomic blasts. It's also no coincidence that all the scenes with the wounded and dying look just like those old photos of the victims of those atomic tasks. The parallel between the destruction wrought by Godzilla and the destruction wrought by the atom bomb are one and the same.
After watching the beautifully written and directed Gojira on Disc I, I struggled to watch the horribly gutted American version on Disc II--I eventually gave up on Disc II and went back and rewatched Disc I, and appreciated all the more the achievement of these pioneer filmmakers.
Godzilla is not a bad monster movie really--I think it holds up quite well (considering the period). However, it is a monster movie, first and foremost; Gojira is that and more. Watch Jurassic Park or Frankenstein again after this film: we create 'monsters' when our fascination with power and technology exceeds our wisdom to use them.
Not to be missed for monster movie buffs (the audio commentary is quite good), or anyone who appreciates another culture's perspective on something perhaps (too) familiar to North Americans.
North Americans have mostly known Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956) which is the same film recut with less emphasis on a tragic scientist, inserting scenes with Raymond Burr as a reporter who always seems to be in the right place, chomping on a pipe, shot so that it appears he was at the back of the room saying things like "My Japanese is a little rusty!" so that someone translates. On occasion, he also talks to the back of a head, meant to be one of the Japanese actors. In short, the English version reduces the film to something closer to a simple monster movie.
Both films are included here, along with commentary by experts (not people involved in the making of them), trailers and a few interesting featurettes on things like the making of the costume.
Most recent customer reviews
If Godzilla had been a Hammer film creation instead of a Japanese film monster, he would be right up there with the wolfman, Dracula and the creature from the Black Lagoon and this... Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Stephenson
You cant ignore the importance this movie has had in the world of film. It will always be remembered as one of the first, biggest, and longest monster franchises ever. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sorpse
I cannot believe I own this movie. Yes, by todays standards it is " campy," but it was THE movie that started a whole genre of monsters and end of world scenarios.Published 22 months ago by Brian Doyle
This movie is a masterpiece, at minimum it is a must see, and a must own. Its a lot better that the 98 american version.Published 22 months ago by Eric Richard
This is a great Godzilla movie to have. It is the first Godzilla movie to have on dvd or blu-ray. Even though this movie is not english dubbed, it is in the original Japanese... Read morePublished on June 13 2012 by Kevin Barton