Writer / Director: Ishiro Honda
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, and Akira Takarada
IMDb Logline: American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.
- Serious tone and message
- Gorgeous black & white cinematography
- Introduction of Godzilla and the classic roar
- Over dramatic acting
- Jarring edit choices at times
Review: This is a review of the original Japanese version of the film and not the Americanized version with Raymond Burr. Definitely the most adult of the Godzilla films. Though the filmmakers anti-nuclear message is beaten over the audience’s collective head, it makes sense when you take into consideration that Japan is the only country to have been subjected to nuclear weapons, and the use of those weapons was only a decade prior. The interesting positive take-away from the movie is the confidence the filmmakers have in Japan. This Japan is not a cowed and defeated country, but one that is confident in itself, but also is a Japan that has learned from its past. Godzilla is dated by today’s standards, but it is an interesting look back to one of the greatest film characters of all time. Also, if you grew-up watching Saturday afternoon movies of Godzilla vs another monster and are expecting that, then this film is not for you.
Grade = C