Godzilla [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1954]

  • SKU: 4840743
  • Release Date: 01/24/2012
  • Rating: NR
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
89% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (16 out of 18)

Special Features


  • Audio Commentary for both movies by Film Historian David Kalat
  • New Interviews with Actors Akira Takarada and Haruo Nakajima and Special Effects Technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
  • Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
  • Featurette detailing Godzilla's photographic effects, introduced by Special Effects Director Koichi Kawakita and Special Effects Photographer Motoyoshi Tomioka
  • 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, and real-life event that inspired Godzilla
  • Trailers for Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters

Synopsis


Gojira
One of the longest-running series in film history began with Ishiro Honda's grim, black-and-white allegory for the devastation wrought on Japan by the atomic bomb. As his visual metaphor, Honda uses a 400-foot-tall mutant dinosaur called Gojira, awakened from the depths of the sea as a rampaging nuclear nightmare, complete with glowing dorsal fins and fiery, radioactive breath. Crushing ships, villages, and buildings in his wake, Gojira marches toward Tokyo, bringing all of the country's worst nightmares back until an evil more terrible bomb -- capable of sucking all the oxygen from the sea -- returns the monster to its watery grave. The original film is chilling, despite some rather unconvincing man-in-a-suit special effects, and brimming with explicitly stated anti-American sentiment. All of that was removed for the U.S. release directed by Terry Morse. It was replaced with bad dubbing and tedious added footage starring Raymond Burr. The resulting edit was just another monster movie, but was still popular enough to assure future Toho Studios monster films a wide American release. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Akihiko Hirata
    Akihiko Hirata - Daisuke Serizawa
  • Image coming soon
    Momoko Kochi - Emiko Yamane
  • Kokuten Kodo
    Kokuten Kodo - Gisaku, Oto Island Patriarch
  • Image coming soon
    Fuyuki Murakami - Dr. Tabata
  • Image coming soon
    Haruo Nakajima - Newspaper Employee (Japanese version only)/Power Subs



Overall customer rating

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars with 18 reviews

89%of customers would recommend this to a friend

Most helpful reviews

See all customer reviews
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic Godzilla at its best

    Posted
    NeoQuintessence

    If you are a fan of the original Godzilla, then you will like this. The only drawback has nothing to do with the movie itself, but with the packaging. I have never been a fan of having to slide one thing out of another. It is clunky and feels like it could have been thought through more.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Powerful Movie, Incredible Remaster

    Posted
    Thom
    • My Best Buy® Member

    MOVIE: There's not much to say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Now, the main feature on this disc is the original Japanese-language 1954 cut of the movie, as opposed to the 1955 Raymond Burr version (which is included as a bonus feature). It's a darker movie than many would think, not so much a giant monster romp as a powerful allegory for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. This movie is deeply upsetting and even frightening, with haunting cinematography, excellent acting, an incredible musical score and a script that's complex at its core but executed with graceful simplicity. VIDEO: This movie was previously released on Blu-ray by Classic Media--avoid that release and go for the Criterion version. The film print may not be in great shape, with a fair deal of scratches, but Criterion has still done a wonderful restoration. Detail is extremely strong and vivid, contrast is perfect and there's a very good sense of depth throughout. This is the best the movie has ever looked on home video, and will likely remain the definitive release for a long time. AUDIO: This LPCM mono track provides more depth than one would expect from a 1.0 track. It sounds fantastic. Clarity and fidelity are outstanding, dialogue is well-pronounced and the score sounds fantastic. BONUS FEATURES: As per usual, Criterion have provided a wealth of features.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Smashing!

    Posted
    XAvenger
    • My Best Buy® Member
    • Top 100 Contributor

    This is one of my favorite movies. This Blu-Ray has the first, and the best, Godzilla movie. A movie that spawned so many squels. In this film, a mutated dinosaur is awakened by atomic testing and goes on a rampage. Godzilla's rampage destroys a large section of Tokyo and threatens more destruction if it is allowed to continue. This could have easily been a B-moive, but it is an outstanding film and a timeless classic thanks to the work of Tomoyuki Tanaka, the film's producer, legendary special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya who created the amazing (by 1950's standards# visual effects of Godzilla, Akira Ifukube who composed the powerful and stirring score and director Ishiro Honda. It is because of them that Godzilla is still popular to this day. The original version is riveting! There are many exciting, suspenseful and heart-rending scenes. The scenes of Godzilla destryoing Tokyo look realistic and boast many terrifying moments. The scenes of the aftermath are shocking, the prayer for peace sung by a choir of young women is turly stirring. This is one of the finest sci-fi/fantasy films ever made. The extras include interviews with surviving cast and crew members #including Haruo Nakajima who wore the Godzilla suit). These offer some fascinating insights into this enduring classic. There's also a piece on a fishing ship that strayed too close to an atomic test and the crew came down with radiation sicknees, a real-life event that inspired part of the movie. Godzilla does have an anti-atomic weapons message, but it does not beat you over the head with it. Rather than using the approach Godzilla used in dealing with Tokyo, the movie is more subtle. Very effective! The Blu-Ray is fantastic! The movie looks great and almost all of the scenes are sharply defined with just a few source material issues evident due to the age of the film. All in all, this was an exemplary job of restoration and HD transferring. The Americanized version does not quite have the same impact as the original movie, and the scenes with Raymond Burr are obviously tacked on. They edited this movie a little too much. This is the start of a legend! A classic that has stood the test of time and one of Toho's finest films. Essential for any sci-fi collection!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Been looking for this DVD

    Posted
    Joand76
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Member

    My husband has been looking for this DVD for years. He's very happy with the movie and all the extras.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An alltime classic!

    Posted
    csjonesy
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Member

    I grew up watching all of the Godzilla, Gamera, and many other Japanese monster movies. So its a real treat to finally see them being released now remastered and given all kinds of special features. Both versions of the movie looks fantastic here. I highly recommend adding this set to your collection!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Essential Criterion release

    Posted
    Battletoad
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    Criterion has really outdone themselves with this one. Even people not interested in collecting Criterions should have this one.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic!

    Posted
    DREW007
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Elite Member

    One of the most classic monster movies ever made! This and the original King Kong are two of my favorite films. This was my first criterion purchase and I was not disappointed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great movie

    Posted
    Thehankster
    • Verified Purchaser
    • My Best Buy® Member

    A must for the Godzilla fan. The original is by far the best of the 2 movies on this disc.

    I would recommend this to a friend



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