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Gojira / Godzilla, King of the Monsters (2004)

Akira Takarada , Akihiko Hirata , Terry Morse  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)

Price: $34.50
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Product Details

  • Actors: Akira Takarada, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura
  • Directors: Terry Morse
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Black & White, NTSC, Full Screen, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Classic Media
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000FA4TLQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gojira / Godzilla, King of the Monsters" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The 1956 American version Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • "Making of the Godzilla Suit" featurette
  • "Godzilla: Story Development" featurette
  • Commentaries by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • Original trailers

Editorial Reviews

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.

Stills from Gojiro (click for larger image)

Product Description

This package contains:

* Godzilla (1954 Japanese Edition-english subtitles)
* King of the Monsters (1956 U.S. Release Edtion-english v/o dub)

* Audio commentaries
* Original trailers
*"Making of the Suite" Featurette
*"Godzilla: Story Development" featurette

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
227 of 237 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original, and the best April 29, 2006
If you are like most Americans, you have probably never seen the original, unadulterated "Godzilla" (Original title "Gojira." the name being a mix of the Japanese words for "gorilla" and "whale.") More familiar with the campy, badly dubbed and edited version that graced TV screens in the 70s, we have seen Raymond Burr awkwardly inserted into the plot, anti-American political sentiments removed, and a horde of mismatched dialogs and ridiculous translations. Well, we are in for a real treat!

The Japanese "Godzilla" is a serious film, starring Kurosawa veteran Takashi Shimura ("Seven Samurai," "Ikura"). (In fact, two of Shimura's films, "Godzilla" and "Seven Samurai" competed for the 1954 Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture.) Only nine years after the atomic bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the threat of nuclear power was very much in the minds of the average Japanese citizen. Contamination, mutation, radiation...this was far from science fiction. This is the fire from which sprang the King of Monsters.

In a now-familiar plot, American nuclear testing has given rise to a 150-foot tall engine of destruction, breathing atomic fire and hell-bent on destroying Tokyo before taking on the world. Assembling the army, and all of the modern science Japan can muster, they battle the rampaging monster to the inevitable conclusion.

Standing along side the original 1933 "King Kong," "Godzilla" is a classic monster movie, as well as a fine film in its own right. A suspenseful horror-drama, the acting, filming and special effects are all far above other entries in the genre. The black and white filming is used superbly, with the fire-cast shadows making the monster all the more menacing.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way Toho intended for Gojira to be seen. July 19, 2006
Bottom line: If any of you grew up watching or watched recently: "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", the chopped up "U.S." version, take it out of your mind and forget about it. You are in for a cinematic masterpiece when this DVD releases. I had the honor of watching the original "Gojira" at a theater in my town. This is the film that started it all. When it was relased in the U.S., it was butchered, altered and changed into an average science fiction film with Raymond Burr fill-ins. He wasn't even in the original film. The original "Gojira" is a sci-fi/horror masterpiece. The film creates feelings of dread and sorrow. The "original" version is a much darker, sinister film. AWESOME! The film also focuses more on the suffering of the Japanese people during the atomic age. The film makes you feel their tension and suffering. There is one scene where Gojira is staring at a big ben style clock. He is staring at it for no apparent reason. The scene makes you wonder what Gojira is thinking at the time. Then, for no reason, he tries to take a bite out of it. That scene alone changes the feeling of the film to something more than a lumbering beast destroying everything. MUST SEE! MUST BUY!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gojira on DVD is the king of home video! September 28, 2006
Finally, English-speaking fans of Godzilla can see the original film, Gojira, in its original language without any of the American release edits. The print for this spectacular Japanese language with optional English subtitles release has been nicely cleaned up with most (but not all) of the flaws from the more than 50-year-old source material eliminated. The stereo mix of the soundtrack sounds great and you'll get chills just listening to the original Gojira roar over the opening credits! The second disc in the set contains the full length American version of the film, Godzilla. This is the English language theatrical release with Raymond Burr that we've all come to know and love.

The enclosed booklet has a wealth of information about the making of the film, both versions, and the extra features on the DVDs regarding the creation of the Gojira story, costume, and more are most welcome. If you're a fan of Godzilla, young or old, you will love this DVD set and at the very reasonable prices I've seen this set at, from about $13 to $16 as of this writing, it is a bargain you will enjoy for years to come. Take "the king of the monsters" home and pop it in your DVD player as soon as possible!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic finally gets its due September 7, 2006
If you've spent years wishing for a quality US release of Gojira, your long wait is over. Sony Classic Media has finally done justice to the world's most famous giant radioactive lizard.

This is one of the all-time monster classics, responsible for spawning a half-century of sequels (although none of them as starkly effective as the original). Unlike later movies where Gojira becomes the friend of children, this version is much darker, and the only way Gojira helps anyone is by sending them to the next world. The scenes where the monster destroys Tokyo in a sea of flames are genuinely disturbing. These images certainly resonated with a citizenry that had survived massive firebombings and two atomic bombs. The Oxygen Destroyer weapon (created by the iconic Dr. Serizawa) looks like something that might have come out of Los Alamos.

While I can't say how this transfer compares to other DVD versions of the movie, it looks pretty good to me. Images are generally clean and bright, with good contrast throughout. There is a problem with speckles, which becomes more apparent during the nighttime scenes and with some of the stock footage. On the good side, this version has a 4:3 aspect ratio, which means you get to see the top of Gojira's head (Rialto's recent release was in fake widescreen, which cut off the top part of many scenes). The subtitle translation from the Rialto version has been toned down, losing a reference to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The subtitles are all spelled correctly, but the letters are often too close together, especially when an "O" follows an "L" ("trilobite" looks like "tribbite").

Even the 1956 version of the film looks good. The new footage appears to have been contrast balanced to better match the original movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh, its a classic but...
Black and white film. I like Godzilla, and Sci-fi in general. Although this is a classic, I found it boring. Didn't make much past the first half hour.
Published 4 days ago by Steven Riordan
4.0 out of 5 stars this is the beginning of a series of films about a super monster....
Although it is hokey and filled with low tech images, this is the beginning of a series of films about a super monster. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I'm a huge Godzilla fan, been for since i was a kid. But I've never seen the Japanese version. It was fantastic!! I'm glad I have both versions now. Read more
Published 11 days ago by kopi11
5.0 out of 5 stars Gojira is truely King
This two disc set offers the original version of Godzilla which is Gojira and the American watered down version. Read more
Published 18 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 20 days ago by Marina M Correa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The original still kicks ass
Published 21 days ago by Marshall M.
3.0 out of 5 stars but this is fun to watch if you need a distraction
Exactly what I expected. This is a classic. Raymond Burr has no emotion throughout the movie -- the same as the last time I watched this. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Phillip
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved and feared Godzilla from the first time I saw ...
I loved and feared Godzilla from the first time I saw Godzilla, King of the Monsters-that frightening but unforgettable roar. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Elizabeth Samedi
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
This movie is the same as Gojira, but narrated by a third person.
Published 27 days ago by Victor
4.0 out of 5 stars King of the Monsters.......
Cool flick, everyone should check this out.
Published 1 month ago by Sylvester Sharp
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Topic From this Discussion
Great, informative commentary track.
You're quite right, Valnastar. I usually skip commentarys, most of them being a lot of blah-blah-blah that I always get the sense was made up post production anyway. But the one on Gojira was both enlightening and entertaining. Thanks for the tip!
Jul 5, 2007 by Thomas G. Morrison |  See all 2 posts
Full screen / wide screen?
Gojira was not filmed in widescreen. That didn't happen until the first color film of the series (KK tai Gojira)
Aug 8, 2006 by David B. Tuskey |  See all 3 posts
Is the home menu on this movie english ? Be the first to reply
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