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Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 427 customer reviews

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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).

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


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
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (427 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005VU9LKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Godzilla (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The original, 1954 Japanese version of GODZILLA is surely my favorite monster movie ever. Maybe even my favorite movie ever. While most westerners equate Godzilla movies with hokey monsters, model cities, and bad dubbing, the original Japanese film transcends the genre that birthed it, and in its day, transformed that genre into something altogether new and different. Countless words have been written about Godzilla being a metaphor for the nuclear horror Japan experienced at the close of World War II, so I'll not belabor that point. While the U.S. version, with its added footage of Raymond Burr, retained at least a portion of the original's power, the Japanese version may be viewed through the same "serious" lens one would view Japanese classics such as SEVEN SAMURAI, RASHOMON, and IKIRU, and find it in no way wanting. Despite some crudities in its special effects, the film's grimness and documentary-style narrative imbues it with a sense of real-world horror that no other monster film, Japanese or otherwise, has ever achieved. Its limited U.S. theatrical release in the early 2000s received almost unanimous accolades from critics, and in a sense, opened a lot of eyes to a product that most American viewers only thought they knew.

The intersecting stories of Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kochi), Ogata (Akira Takarada), and Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) propel the drama, but Godzilla is the fourth character in this relationship, affecting and influencing the human characters' every decision. Emiko and Serizawa are engaged, their marriage having been arranged when they were young; however, Emiko and Ogata are in love and wish to marry, but both have deep feelings for Serizawa and have no desire to hurt him.
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