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

Takashi Shimura , Akira Takarada , Ishiro Honda  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Takashi Shimura, Akira Takarada
  • Directors: Ishiro Honda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005VU9LKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,606 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
188 of 194 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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86 of 89 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.
Read more ›
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86 of 99 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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion has outdone themselves...ONE WORD: AMAZING!!! January 25, 2012
Format:Blu-ray
After buying and watching the Classic Media blu-ray and dvd versions, which I was happy to have, I wasn't satisfied with the quality of these releases; especially the shabby blu-ray they released. Last night I popped in Criterion's blu-ray (in 1080p) and was completely blown away. This is the "Gojira" release I had always hoped for. The video is amazing for this haunting (Japanese version) and incredible film from the Golden Age of film making. Being a film student myself, this film is one of my treasures in the amazing history of film. Criterion has done this film justice. It is cool that they included both versions too. Of course, I prefer the original Japanese version. Hopefully, more Godzilla films will be released on blu-ray in the United States; like the elusive "The Return Of Godzilla" (1984) and "Godzilla vs. Biollante" (1989). I did buy Media Blasters' "Destroy All Monsters" blu-ray and for the most part, I am happy with it. I will probably import the Japanese version of "The Return Of Godzilla" because I am tired of waiting for it to be released in the U.S. someday. This Criterion blu-ray for "Godzilla" is a nominee for blu-ray of the year as far as I am concerned. 10/10. Thank you Criterion for a fine job well done and kudos for releasing this monumental film so wonderfully restored.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the original 1954 cut and that is why I ...
Love the original 1954 cut and that is why I bought this since it is so hard to find that version and the "americanized" 1956 cut. Read more
Published 3 hours ago by Sam Underwood
5.0 out of 5 stars If you think the American release with Raymond Burr is the "original",...
Those who have seen only the 1956 version with Raymond Burr REALLY need to see the original. The 1954 "Gojira" contains roughly 40 minutes of film not seen in the American... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Renorabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars This new edition of Godzilla is amazing-looking, especially compared...
This new edition of Godzilla is amazing-looking, especially compared to the grainy, scratched print that was released on DVD a few years ago. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kevin A. Little
4.0 out of 5 stars Great seeing the original.
Great seeing the original. Godzilla seemed a little puppetry... but that was the technology available at that time. Acting was good and the theme does make one think. Read more
Published 6 days ago by VinnyNY
4.0 out of 5 stars Although I enjoyed the movie better than the US version with Raymond...
Although I enjoyed the movie better than the US version with Raymond Burr, I don't think I will be having multiple viewings. Read more
Published 6 days ago by C. Fletcher
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
We had fun watching this and comparing the original with the remake.
Published 7 days ago by Trueblock
5.0 out of 5 stars I like the fact that the sound-track is in the Japanese-language ...
This film is superb. A true classic with refreshing appeal due to its clever, period-specific 'real' special effects (ie, not the C.G.I. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Richard T. Plenge
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Godzilla is the best.
The original 1954 subtitled version Blu-ray Movie is the greatest. The English version is included also.
Great Movie. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Thomas Ricker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Restoration
Criterion Collection usually has the good films restored and presented well and they do here again. I enjoyed watching the original Godzilla on the big screen in the original mono... Read more
Published 15 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good if you wTch the correct version.
The included original Japanese version is great. I had no idea it was so different from the one we saw in America. The original holds up well because of the writing. Read more
Published 17 days ago by H. Phillips
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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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