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Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1954)

Takashi Shimura , Akira Takarada , Ishiro Honda  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Takashi Shimura, Akira Takarada
  • Directors: Ishiro Honda
  • Format: Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (PCM Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005VU9LKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

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


Editorial Reviews

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).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
161 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Mine One Day Early January 23, 2012
By M.B.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just got my copy in the mail a day early and have just sat down to watch the American Version with Raymond Burr. I also own the Classic Media version that came out a few years back [The two disc set that's titled "Gojira"]. I have two computers side by side and decided to do a side by side compare of the two versions. My efforts have resulted in this conclusion. Both versions are nice for a film this old. Each has its good points and bad points. The earlier version by Classic Media has better, more balanced lighting. But it does show up more dirt specs and lines. Not a lot more i should add. The Criterion version has less specs and lines and is darker in dark areas and brighter in bright areas. The Criterion version has more contrast, Both films are very watchable. If i had to put a number on it, i would say the Criterion version is at least 20% better looking [video quality] than the older version. And the newer versions sound quality is 50% better than the older version. Here's the big major difference between the two. It appears that the Criterion version is giving us the absolute whole image from side to side and top to bottom. In the older version there are items in the film on the outer edges that are cut off more than the newer version. Its like the older version was mastered slightly zoomed in for whatever reason. If you didn't compare, you really wouldn't notice much difference. I have not watched anything else yet on the two discs, so cant comment on that "yet". Will update more then. In my opinion, this is worth double dipping. Another difference with the new version is the beginning opening titles. This new version has the old original Trans World Release opening. The older version has no opening titles. Also one last thing. The sound in the new version is excellent! Read more ›
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Review:Nothing short of amazing January 24, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Gojira is a film about the horrors of nuclear war. Japan was still feeling the effects, so to speak, of the nuclear strike on their country and weren't happy with a-bomb testing in the Pacific. What we have here is a giant lizard awoken by a nuclear bomb, destroying the Japanese country side with an anti-nuclear message.

Also included is the American re-working, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. This one is the one starring Raymond Burr. While it isn't a faithful translation and mutes some of the anit-nuclear message, it still manages to be a decent film.

Crirterion has done an amazing job with this release.

Video:

Being a Criterion release, you know this is a good looking transfer. There are some instances of dust, dirt and scratches, but nowhere near what we saw with Classic Media's release. The greytones are more solid and details are clear. This assessment goes for both Gojira and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Encoded in AVC with bit rates ranging from about 15-30 Mbps. It looks very, very good.

Audio:

Both movies contain remastered audio (mono only for both) and are free of hiss, pops and clicks. I don't know that either film has ever sounded this good.

Extras:

You have Photographic Effects where the director and effects photographer go into detail behind how some of the visual effects for the film were created. 1080i full screen (both people appear in a pillar and letter boxed format, though the effects are done full screen just as the movie was filmed). About 9 minutes.

Cast and Crew. These are interviews with various staff behind the film speaking about the film. There are 4 interviews total. Akira Takarada, 13 mins. Haruo Nakajima, 10 minutes.
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81 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A home video release half-century in the making! December 6, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
This is the ultimate home video release of Godzilla. Not only has Criterion carefully remastered the original Japanese version of the film, but they've put just as much love and effort into restoring the 1956 American version as well. Most Americans grew up with that version, and even though many film buffs agree that the Japanese version is the definitive one, I'm very happy to that for Criterion's new release the American version was not just an afterthought. Unlike the disappointing Blu-Ray release of "Gojira" by Classic Media a few years back, this Blu-Ray not only gives you both versions of the film looking the best they have since their original theatrical releases, but also a monster-sized helping of supplimental features including new audio commentaries and interviews with the film's crew.

In short, it's a Criterion release through and through, which means you are getting the very best that the Blu-ray format has to offer. Fans of "Big G" would be remiss to not put this edition in their film library.
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27 of 32 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy.
Excellent DVD. The price was right. Quality version of this classic. I wish there would of been a combo set with Gojira and Godzilla though.
Published 21 hours ago by JuanFTL
5.0 out of 5 stars The original so much better than the American cut
If you watch the version with Raymond Burr edited in, then go back and watch this one. You'll like it better.
Published 2 days ago by Eric Griffith
4.0 out of 5 stars GODZILLA(The Criterion Collection) (Blue-ray)
This dvd meet and exceeded my expectations. Thought I would get some old grainy movie but I surely was surprised with the outcome. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Michael Adgurson
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Godzilla Movie
Nothing special but a good Godzilla movie (if you like the classic Godzilla & not the crappy rip-offs they make now - TOHO or no go !)
Published 7 days ago by JL Sick
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 7 days ago by DC Shopper
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best
I love the Godzilla movies but this one is the best. It's the original. The one with Raymond Macy is good but so much was cut out to blend him in to the story. Read more
Published 12 days ago by pearl gates
5.0 out of 5 stars ROARRRRRRRR!!!!
What can you say? The original monster movie, from which EVERY monster movie was spawned! I love it so much that I use the roar as a ringtone on my phone!
Published 14 days ago by Twilight Zone
5.0 out of 5 stars Large dinosaur eats capital of Japan
A " classic " SCIFI film staring Raymond Burr, before he became a lawyer and a private detective in a wheel chair.
Published 16 days ago by jerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Amazing quality. This video exceeding all expectations and was beautifully restored. I hope they do more in the future soon
Published 19 days ago by Geoffrey Creed
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific
Another Godzilla to add to my collection. I waited along time to get it because I knew what was going to happen, but for a true Godzilla fan, its a must have item for your... Read more
Published 23 days ago by kina
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Godzilla Criterion Blu-ray Release
The US-Version is in english. Just looked at dvdcompare.net
Apr 13, 2012 by Michael Fuhrer |  See all 3 posts
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