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Godzilla King of the Monsters (1956)

Raymond Burr , Takashi Shimura , Ishirô Honda , Terry O. Morse  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $11.99  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kôchi, Akira Takarada, Akihiko Hirata
  • Directors: Ishirô Honda, Terry O. Morse
  • Writers: Ishirô Honda, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
  • Producers: Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Wonder (Video)
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FD9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,833 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Godzilla King of the Monsters" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The first of the Godzilla movies, and the most somber and serious in tone, Godzilla, King of the Monsters was originally a 98-minute Japanese horror film, until a U.S. company bought the rights and reissued the film at its current 79 minutes, replacing sequences involving a Japanese reporter with new inserts of a dour, pipe-smoking Raymond Burr. True to the fashion of cautionary monster movies, Godzilla has arisen due to nuclear radiation--a 400-foot, fire-breathing dinosaur resurrected in Tokyo Bay--and proceeds to devastate Tokyo. Hardly a bogus building is left unbusted, nary a toy tank unmelted, by the reptilian rogue, until scientists discover another weapon of awesome destruction that just might stop him. The special effects are impressive, with the filming done so as to mask the fact that the monster is just a guy in a rubber suit, working better here than in the sequels, where they seem to have given up any pretense to that fact, in favor of flamboyant effects and battle sequences that more often than not are delightfully, unabashedly juvenile. --Jim Gay

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five star Popcorn movie from the old days. July 30, 2007
HA! Imagine that, I'm the first one to get to review one of the old classics! HA! Finally, today is my day.

First of all, I like all these old monster movies, especially the really big monsters. Godzilla is somewhere between 300 and 400 feet tall (I got that from the dialogue in the movie), that constitutes BIG. So you can expect my review to be a half star to one star higher than most others.

So lets get with it. (I'm watching it again as I review it).

1. Stars Raymond Burr, that's a star.
2. Great music, four notes on a piano and three notes on a clarinet--works just fine. That's a star.
3. Special effects, everybody knows the Japanise did the best scaling on cities and toy cars and things than anybody else. Though you can in several scenes (where godzilla is jerking around) tell it's just a man in a rubber what. It's all shot in that great old Black and white film. They get a star.
4. The acting, directing, writing are just fine for an old popcorn movie, that's a star.
5. The idea. That's another star because of the way it is handled. A very big lizard is waken up, or resurrected, or frankensteined together, because of H Bomb Test. And what's a big lizard to do when woke up from a 200 million year sleep?...go find the guys who did it and stomp their city to rubble. Yes sir, NOBODY does it better or equal to godzilla! The story starts off with Raymond Burr's plane flying several miles above the ocean just as the big lizard decides to sink its first ship. He is questioned by the authorities--he was asleep and spends some part of the movie running around with the scientist and military as they try to figure out what is going one.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and Insightful Monster Movie November 20, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This review is mainly concerned with the original, Japanese version of Gojira (not dubbed). I find that inserting Raymond Burr's character and removing some of the original to do so takes a great deal away from this movie and what it represents.

Godzilla rises from his long sleep due to the effects of the hydrogen bomb. With each attack, the creature becomes more bold until Tokyo suffers a devasting attack, and only a miracle can save the country from another tragic visit by this risen giant.

The love affair plays a secondary but important part in the film. Emiko has been promised in marriage to a brilliant young scientist but has fallen in love with another man. It is the old world traditions clashing with modernity. Her father is a paleontologist who is probably the only person sharing empathy with Godzilla, feeling that destroying the beast will be depriving science of its one and only chance to study a creature from the prehistoric past.

What is often overlooked (and not really stressed in the American version) is the terrible dilemma the young scientist faces when he is begged to use his oxygen destroyer weapon against Godzilla. Only the viewing of the destruction and sadness make him realize there is only one course to take. I feel he is the most crucial and yet saddest character in the entire movie. He actually loses on a number of counts--his life's work (he destroys his formula so it could never fall into the wrong hands), his fiancee has decided to wed another, and in true samurai-like tradition, ends his life nobly. The scene of Godzilla's painful death at the same moment that this brave but troubled researcher ends his own is poignant in the extreme.

This film is not just about humans against an ancient monster awakened from the past.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good monster film, but NOT the Japanese Original February 9, 2004
It's bizarre and frustrating that, considering DVD technology, no one has released a disc of the ORIGINAL un-cut Japanese movie "Godzilla" with subtitles. The film on this DVD is "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!", an American re-edit of the original film with insert footage of Raymond Burr to "Americanize" the Japanese footage. This edited and re-shot version is the only way the film can currently be seen in the U.S., and it's high time for the original to finally make it stateside.
That being said, the Americanized "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" is pretty good for what it is. The original film isn't ruined, but it is a lesser experience. It's worth a three-star rating at least, but the uncut Japanese version is a five-star classic and it's unfortunate that most Americans haven't had a chance to experience it.
For non-Godzilla fans, a bit of explanation of exactly what is on this disc is necessary. "Godzilla" (the Japanese title is actually "Gojira," a fanciful combination of the words for "gorilla" and "whale") was released in 1954 and was a huge hit in its home country. It was a frightening vision of radioactive horror returning to mainland Japan, and director Ishiro Honda poured his heart and soul into the terror and sorrow of the story. The original film is devastating in its impact, and Eiji Tsubaraya's effects are startling in their intensity: shots of Godzilla's immense shadow lumbering over a Tokyo in flames, helpless victims cowering in the destruction, are images that cannot be erased from memory, and the pounding, threatening score only heightens the sense of doom.
A group of American businessmen picked up the film to distribute to U.S.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars everything old is new again
excellent none of the remakes do justice to this movie
Published 6 days ago by Richard Scott
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Movie "Godzilla King of the Monsters" = *5* star movie
Here it is folks, the Original Godzilla Movie, that spawned more movies than anything Else.
Featuring actor Raymond Burr, this was the movie that spawned a whole franchise... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Devils.Advocate666
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
looked so long for the original one happy i have it thanks
Published 18 days ago by elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great for the class "The Cold War through film"
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Plough II
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by lanora cuellar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by cynthia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Godzilla King Of The Monsters is best monster movie of all time, without it the monster movies wouldn't be a genre the plot opens when a reporter American name Steve Martain... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Karen Deal
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheldon Was Warned He Couldn't Use The Roommate's Agreement Unless She...
The 1956 version is the one I remember. Heard there's some new fangled Godzilla out there... Modern special effects might be spectacular, but special effects don't make a great... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kandy Langford
3.0 out of 5 stars godzilla:king of the monsters
it was good for the first movie still looking for more Godzilla still liked it better then the one in 98 should have not done that one.
Published 6 months ago by aener
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Godzilla Movies
This is the best of all of the Godzilla movies. Plot and acting is still part of the 50 genre. Good to have in your science fiction library.
Published 6 months ago by DC Shopper
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