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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 (339 customer reviews)

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters
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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 (339 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: #42,046 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

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

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)

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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Godzilla finally gets a respectable US release, but . . . September 6, 2006
When I heard about this film finally being made available in its original form, it was immediately placed on my "must buy" list. That said, here are a few things the buyer may want to know when purchasing:

The subtitles are not the same as the ones used in the Rialto Pictures theatrical release of the film from two years ago. Frankly, I liked the Rialto translations better. I get the feeling that they were more accurate. These English translations seem to gloss over certain subjects, the most glaring to me being the train passengers discussing surviving Hiroshima/Nagasaki. I noticed no mention of this in these subtitles, but I remember Nagasaki was mentioned by name in the Rialto subtitles.

Another thing to note is that the subtitles can be turned on and off, but they are hard to read. A heavier, better font would have been preferable.

I was actually hoping that this film's presentation would be akin to the DVD release of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. That DVD had the original soundtrack, subtitles that could be turned on and off, as well as an alternative English soundtrack. I was hoping GOJIRA might have a new English soundtrack for those who don't like to "read the movie," but this is not available. Also, this disc is marketed in North America, but no French or Spanish subtitles are part of the package. I suspect this may be due to the lack of true accuracy in the English subtitle translations.

The special features are sparse, but they at least treat the film with respect and offer valuable information into the development of the film and the title character. Any prior releases of the film in its Americanized version have treated the film as mere schlock.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Too funny to see a Japanese science fiction black and white ...
Too funny to see a Japanese science fiction black and white movie with Raymond Burr. I shouldn't forget to send a shout out to Godzilla.
Published 3 days ago by Roland Henson Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best. A young Raymond Burr gives a great performance
Classic Godzilla. One of the best. A young Raymond Burr gives a great performance. It is great fun to watch this version of Godzilla and then watch the original black and white... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Stephen Emanuele
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I love these old movies. It just something to watch to see the many faces of Godzilla
Published 9 days ago by Donna Bower
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
This is some kind of dubbed japan movie with Burr's actual voice & dialog left in.
Published 9 days ago by Savy Shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but Gojira better.
Great fun and I love it, but many times better is the original Japanese version. Our 'Perry Mason' actor, Raymond Burr was inserted because they thought they need an American star... Read more
Published 13 days ago by B. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie... special effects not very special ...
Classic movie...special effects not very special but does not really detract from the movie.
Published 13 days ago by LoneStar
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best....sets the ground work for many years of sci fi enjoyment
Published 14 days ago by michael rudd
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun to
Enjoyable! Fun to watch
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Original movie in black and white. Some sequences appear ...
Original movie in black and white. Some sequences appear to be dubbed in English. I am spoiled by the modern CGI and sound effects, but was curious to see how they did in the old... Read more
Published 21 days ago by HD Hound
3.0 out of 5 stars Old But Interesting
Old version - Black & White -Typical Godzilla
Published 21 days ago by Albert M. Thomas
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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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