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1,397 Ratings



Directed by Ishirô Honda
Japan, 1954
Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi


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.

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Godzilla Directed by Ishirô Honda
One of the saddest, most bluntly brutal monster movies ever made. The legacy of the war, of American occupation and the atom bomb, hangs over the whole film.
October 29, 2018
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The first surprise is that the original version, directed by Ishiro Honda, is not a kids’ movie, not a hectic teen goof, not a grindhouse shocker but a serious drama of politics, romance, and conscience… The two versions are offered together in Criterion’s DVD double set, and it’s a commonplace that, in the Hollywood version, from 1956, the movie’s cautionary doings… are drastically toned down, and its bitterness toward the United States for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is elided.
April 18, 2014
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If you know the original “Godzilla” only by reputation, and Godzilla himself only as a camped-up cultural signifier in a rubber suit, then seeing this version may be a real eye-opener. While the acting is hit-and-miss and the story jumps around somewhat confusingly, Honda’s film is a one-of-a-kind experience all the way through, one that stands the test of time better than I had expected.
April 17, 2014
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