Godzilla: A Look Back

Posted on May 30, 2019 at 12:11 pm

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” opens this week, so it’s time for a look back.

Godzilla, known as Gojira first appeared in a Japanese film in 1954. The film was recut for US release, retitled “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” with scenes of “Perry Mason” star Raymond Burr added in. It was inspired in part by King Kong and in part by the shock of the atomic age.  Godzilla is such a, well, towering figure in world culture that the name has been adapted for terms like Bridezilla.

Godzilla can stomp on skyscrapers.  He has grown a lot through the years.

Here’s some history:

Copyright 1960 Toho Studios

And then there is the gigantic insect goddess Mothra.

And the flying monster Rodan.

And the three-headed lightning-spitting dragon Ghidorah.

American-made versions of the Godzilla story include the 2014 version with Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, which was pretty good and the Matthew Broderick version of 1992, which has a truly dumb ending.

For more information: David Kalat’s comprehensive history and Memories from Monster Island by Travis Kirkland and Luca Saitta.

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