- Actors: Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Momoko Kôchi, Akira Takarada
- Directors: Ishirô Honda, Terry O. Morse
- Writers: Ishirô Honda, Al C. Ward, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
- Producers: Iwao Mori, Joseph E. Levine
- Format: Black & White, Collector's Edition, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
- Language: English, 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: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: ANConnect
- Release Date: Jan. 4 2010
- Run Time: 175 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000FA4TLQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,302 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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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
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. There are two featurettes ("Making of the Godzilla Suit,"
"Godzilla: Story Development"), neither of which will appeal to casual fans, but die-hards should appreciate them. Extras are rounded out by trailers for both the Japanese and American releases and an excellent 16-page booklet by Ryfle. Packaging is handsome, and the menus are also very good. All in all, a terrific package.
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.
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