When seventeen vessels blow-up and sink nearby Odo Island, Professor Kyohei Yamane, his daughter Emiko Yamane and the marine Hideto Ogata head to the island to investigate. Soon they witness a giant monster called Gojira by the locals destroying the spot. Meanwhile Emiko meets her boyfriend, the secluded scientist Serizawa, and he makes she promise to keep a secret about his research with oxygen. She agrees and he discloses the lethal weapon Oxygen Destroyer that he had developed. When Gojira threatens Tokyo and other Japanese cities and the army and the navy are incapable to stop the monster, Emiko discloses Serizawa's secret to her lover Ogata. Now they want to convince Serizawa to use the Oxygen Destroyer to stop Gojira.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There were supposed to be more scenes filmed on Odo Island. One was to have Dr. Yemane, Emiko, and Ogata visit the graves of those who died during the typhoon when Gojira (Godzilla) came ashore. That scene was to have helped to establish the previous relationship between the Yemani and Shinkichi families. Another scene was to have been filmed on the beach, and in that one Emiko and Ogata become frightened when they get their first glimpse of Gojira (Godzilla) as they see his tail splashing in the water. See more »
When the fire truck "crashes" (falls off the table), it has thick cables connected to its undercarriage. See more »
O peace, O light, hasten back to us-- that's the prayer of peace being offered up nationwide today. We're broadcasting one such scene from Tokyo. Listen to these young girls as they sing from their hearts.
See more »
The scene where Emiko is in Ogata's apartment as he is exiting his shower was deleted from the American version. See more »
Prayer for Peace
Performed by the Toho High School of Music
Lyrics by Shigeru Kayama
Composed by Akira Ifukube See more »
Powerful, and not your average monster film
A film that works because of its campy monster and its budget-limited special effects (they couldn't afford stop motion so it's all a dude wearing a rubber suit tromping on miniatures), but is made special because of its deep meaning and the warnings and questions it has for the nuclear age.
It's telling that it was the most advanced scientific breakthrough made by the most brilliant minds on the planet, the harnessing of the atom, that led to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in turn, in this movie, to the unleashing of a two million year old monster. It warns humanity that in stepping forward in its understanding of the universe, it was also taking a step backwards, and unleashing irrational, destructive violence upon the world. That's all pretty obvious I guess, but the scenes of fleeing people being incinerated by Godzilla, women and children huddling together in fear, and the destruction of Tokyo looking like an atomic bomb had gone off must have reverberated especially with the original audiences of the time. It certainly did for me. There is something deeply painful about this film.
In a fascinating development, it's a Japanese scientist who has to wrestle with the morality of having developed a weapon of mass destruction called the 'Oxygen Destroyer', knowing that its use to stop Godzilla in the short term may lead to its use to further horrific destruction in the long term. It seems to put the Japanese in the same position as the Americans in 1945, one where there are no easy answers. How does one put the lid back on the box of an arms race, where one technology or act of violence leads to another in a crazy, unending spiral? The solution offered may or may not be all that realistic, but I thought just raising the question in the way the film did - and so soon after the war - was incredibly thought-provoking and brave. The film thus works on emotional and philosophical levels that one normally wouldn't get in a monster film, or at least, with this level of meaning and intensity. Definitely recommended.
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