Godzilla 1954 Monster Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


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This is Tokyo. Once a city of six million people. What has happened here was caused by a force which up until a few days ago was entirely beyond the scope of Man’s imagination.

Tokyo, a smoldering memorial to the unknown, an unknown which at this very moment still prevails and could at any time lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world.

Summary and Synopsis:

The idea first originated aboard a airplane according to legend. Tomoyuki Tanaka, a producer of the Toho Company was flying home. When a movie called “In the Shadow of Honor” fell apart at the seams. Tomoyuki Tanaka needed to come up with a new movie and fast. He brainstormed while on the flight going home when he was thinking about the movie “The Beast from Twenty Thousand Fathoms”. Thus the idea of the first Godzilla movie came to life. Godzilla’s birth was a collaboration of many talented people. People like Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and many others to mention. If it weren’t for these people Godzilla would have never been born.

It starts in Tokyo a view of the postwar after being attack by Godzilla, total destruction like never seen before. Hydrogen bomb testing has reawaken a prehistoric monster the Japanese call Godzilla as he rises out of Tokyo Bay. It is up to Dr. Daisuke Seriwzawa, a reclusive scientist with the knowledge of creating a destructive weapon capable of destroying Godzilla, it is called an “Oxygen Destroyer.” Dr. Serizawa is finally talked into using this doomsday weapon on Godzilla. He goes to the bottom of the ocean where Godzilla lies slumbering, he releases the “Oxygen Destroyer” on Godzilla. Killing Godzilla and taking his own life and the plans to the making the “Oxygen Destroyer” with him.

My Thoughts on this movie:

This is a movie worth recognizing as a landmark movie. One of the longest-running series in film history. It did start a huge stream of movies that has brought my fans aboard for the ride. The thought or plot of this movie I generally thought was pretty impressive. The bombing of Hiroshima has brought Godzilla to life. The idea of using postwar footage within this movie was a great idea on “Ishiro Hondas’ ” part. He went out and took actual photographs of the post war Tokyo and somehow incorporated them into the movie this was a great idea.   It has a documentary feel to it. Making it seem a lot more real. The characters within this movie seem to display emotion that has not been seen in Godzilla movies in a while. A romantic love triangle. The Toho Company perhaps put alot of effort into the making of Godzilla, but one thing sticks to mind and that is the idea of making Godzilla. What I have are some important factors and names that brought Godzilla to life.

No Japanese film studios at the time would even consider Tanaka’s outlandish idea of making a monster movie, when at that time people were watching wartime movies. Iwao Mori was interested in the idea of the movie. And asked Tomoyuki Tanaka to meet with Eiji Tsuburaya, a special effects direct. When they finally met Tanaka had ask Tsuburaya and his craftsmen to create a monster larger than life monster, something the likes of no Japanese film industry have ever done. Thus the beginning of Godzilla was underway. Senkichi Taniguchi was originally slated to do the movie, but he was tied up with other projects. Tanaka then chose Ishiro Honda to direct the helm of Godzilla. Project G is the classified status to the production of the movie it was said that not even the children were to know of its production, or Tanaka would be angered by it . He wanted to be a secret. The next person to come aboard was the script writer for the movie Shigeru Kayama, who has written “Orang-Pendek’s Revenge.” In case you are wondering about this story it is about a Bigfoot like creature found in the Sumatran rainforests.

Trivia

Now according to some books I have read they state that this suit was perhaps the heaviest of all the suits use in the Godzilla genre weighing in around 100 kilos (220lbs). This suit must have been a very hard suit to move around in. You have to be in the greatest shape just to move around in it.

The sculptor team of Toshimitsu and his team went to work on the suit. According to Special effect director Eiji Tsuburaya he wanted Godzilla to stand 50 meters tall that’s about 165 feet tall. The actual creators of the very first suit is Kanji Yagi and his brother Koei Yagi. The men who are to be in the suits were Haruo Nakajimawho is an athletic stuntman and the famous Katsumi Tezuka.

Bad Points

Some effects shots were obvious. The original story itself makes more sense then the mock up version used with Raymond Burr (though that version is also quite good for the genre that it helps perpetuate).

Closing Statement

The movie to me is definitely one of the better Godzilla movies out there.  the fact it started the Godzilla genre in the first place. I am sure that alot of other people feel the same way. I am partial somewhat to this movie because the interesting situations that got this movie off the ground, from its inception to its screening at the Rialtos Theaters taken place in various states in its uncut form. Which sadly to say I have not had the opportunity to view the original in all its glory.

Written by Barney Buckley

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