Gojira is a 1954 Japanese Kaiju science fiction film that was written and directed by Ishiro Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsburaya, produced and distributed by Toho Company. Godzilla, is actually derived from two words gorilla and whale. In its original form Gojira proved to be a real revelation, a thoughtful and sobering meditation on nuclear war made by the only country to suffer an atomic attack only nine years after that attack. In the real sense this is true given that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs were actually dropped nine years prior to the release of the movie. The story begins as Japanese ships are sunk by a highly radioactive, unknown force. Searching for the cause, scientist Dr.Yamane (Takashi Shimura) travels to a tiny fishing island, there to be confronted by a colossal water dragon.
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It soon comes ashore to march through Tokyo, leaving a broad wake of utter destruction. Conventional weapons prove useless, which puts the eccentric Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) in a bind: he's invented a new weapon he calls an "Oxygen Destroyer" but refuses to deploy it on moral grounds. Serizawa's fiancée Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kôchi) begs the scientist to reconsider. Other journals and book reviews view say that Gojira was originally a 98-minute Japanese horror film, until a U.S. company bought the rights and reissued the film at 79 minutes, replacing sequences involving a Japanese reporter with new inserts of a dour, pipe-smoking Raymond Burr. They go ahead and mention that both versions appear together for the first time in this release from Sony Wonder. Though the ideas might contradict here and there, one thing we know for sure is that Gojira was originally Japanese, the plot of the movie was post world war two.
Military might is useless but idealistic heroism is expressed in the operatic self sacrifice of the lonely and mysterious Dr. Serizawa, an odd character pictured as an unnatural freak. Based on the fact that America had dropped an atomic bomb on two cities in Japan; the movie Gojira was in a way saying that the United States has become a monster. Further to the mentioned, Gojira was meant in a way to show or express that even though the United States of America had the Military muscle, it was useless. Japan had or has what was lacking within the United States which was idealistic heroism, which is what will rescue the day in Gojira the movie.
Dr. Serizawa has a physical infirmity (the eye patch) like Rotwang of Metropolis that suggests an intense but limited vision. The eye patch symbolizes that wounding of Japan during the dropping of the atomic bomb. Though, the disability is permanent and will remain with Dr. Serizawa the rest of his life. It is not a weakness. Japan tries to tell the United States exactly that. And at the end of the day, it is Dr. Serizawa who will come to the rescue of the city. The décor in the doctor's 'mad lab' is reminiscent of Rotwang's elaborate electro-alchemy apparatus. Serizawa's obsession with his work has left him with little social sense or sex drive, and he watches impotently as the handsome Ogata (Akira Takarada) charms his fiancée Emiko right out from under his test tube.
That night Godzilla climbs from Tokyo Bay and attacks the city. Though the attack is over quickly, there is much death and destruction. The next morning the army constructs a line of 40-meter electrical towers along the coast of Tokyo that will send 50,000 volts of electricity through Godzilla, should he appear again. Civilians are evacuated from the city and put into bomb shelters. That night Godzilla does indeed attack again. He easily breaks through the electric fence, melting the wires with his atomic breath. A bombardment of shells from the army tanks has no effect.
Godzilla continues his rampage until much of the city is destroyed and thousands of civilians are dead or wounded. Godzilla descends unscathed into Tokyo Bay, despite a squadron of fighter jets' last-ditch attack. The next morning finds Tokyo in ruins. Hospitals overflow with victims, including some with radiation poisoning. Emiko witnesses the devastation and tells Ogata about Serizawa's secret Oxygen Destroyer. She hopes together they can persuade Serizawa to use it to stop Godzilla.
When Serizawa refuses, Ogata and Serizawa fight and Ogata receives a minor head wound. As Emiko treats Ogata's wound, Serizawa apologizes, but he refuses to use the weapon on Godzilla, citing the public bedlam his weapon could cause. Then a newscast shows the devastation Godzilla has caused. Choirs of children are shown singing a hymn. Moved, Serizawa decides he will use the weapon only one time and then its secret must be destroyed for the good of humanity.
He then burns all his papers and research. Emiko breaks down and cries when she sees this, as she understands that Serizawa is sacrificing his life's work to stop Godzilla. A navy ship takes Ogata and Serizawa to plant the device in Tokyo Bay. They don diving gear and descend into the water, where they find Godzilla at rest. Ogata returns to the surface as Serizawa activates the device. Serizawa watches as Godzilla dies then cuts his own oxygen cord, sacrificing himself so his knowledge of the device cannot be used to harm mankind.
A dying Godzilla surfaces, lets out a final roar, and sinks to the bottom, disintegrating. Although the monster is gone, those aboard ship are still grim. They don't know if the death of Godzilla is the end or the beginning of an apocalyptic era. Godzilla's death has come at a terrible price and Dr. Yamane believes that if mankind continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, Gojira may return. This is an important point that should be noted worldwide. It is this last part that portrays Gojira not only as an animal or beast but some type of terror and destruction. The fact that so many lives were lost and property destroyed is actually what is being referred to.
It is prudent to note also that the weapons of mass destruction is the likes of nuclear bombs and nuclear warheads and the likes. The sole purpose of such weapons is to bring about terror and destruction. The director actually addresses the issue here. He even goes further to use the word might return. We should also note that Dr Serizawa made a sacrifice that on behalf of mankind. For every war fought, there must be sacrifices made. Therefore, the movie is trying to tell as if mankind is prepared to make such sacrifices. Such sacrifices include setting aside your own personal ambitions to pursue that which is right.
Compared to other incarnations, this film Gojira as well as Godzilla raids again had the creepiest Godzilla ever, and that was just the way he was supposed to be. Almost like a black silhouette with bright, white staring eyes. Gojira was not just a mere animal; he was basically a modern god. A raging and destructive demon with the power of a hydrogen bomb that affected could affect anything. Although Godzilla is inspired by the Rhedosaurus from beast the movie, he was a completely different entity. He was virtually indestructible, and had an awesome power - a white-hot atomic breath. Gojira became the archetype for many Japanese giant monsters to follow.
Other journals make this film about the suffering of the Japanese people during the atomic age. The film makes you feel their tension and suffering. There is one scene where Gojira is staring at a big ben style clock. He is staring at it for no apparent reason. The scene makes you wonder what Gojira is thinking at the time. Then, for no reason, he tries to take a bite out of it. The film implies that atomic scientists are traitors to mankind. That faulty judgment is based on the misapprehension that science professionals in any country exercise control over their work or what its eventual application might be. Participants in the Manhattan Project displayed a range of political beliefs that might be found in any group of intellectuals. Considered difficult to control, they were heavily investigated and asked to sign loyalty oaths.
Lastly, while the Japanese original played out more smoothly, the American version starring Raymond Burr of Perry Mason fame as the visiting American reporter Steve Martin who should not to be confused with the famous comedian is still very effective. The epic scale of the original still manages to shine through what the US producers could allow, and Burr who was hired for a whole day for filming the added scenes still did a serviceable job. American fans of the original version can at least be thankful for this US version, without which America could not accept Godzilla.
Further to the above, after watching the Japanese version, one would consider the American version highly edited. How can a country like America produce a movie that would insult them and their scientists as criminals? Most people who watched Godzilla which is an American version of Gojira, they would tell you that the movie is overrated and is boring. This is because most of the content has been edited. As for the Japanese cinemas; this movie was widely accepted because people related to it, as it had a theme and message. Some still rank it as the greatest thriller or horror as some would refer to it of all time.
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