TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Silver Kamen » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:38 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:while I agree the that KOTM Americanization is the best, there are plenty that aren't terrible:
Mothra vs. Godzilla (solid dub, and the Frontier Missile sequence)
Monster Zero (Nick Adams's performance)
Godzilla 2000 (an improvement on the Japanese cut)
Gamera vs. Barugon (so much more briskly paced)


Let's not forget Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla's Revenge, Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, etc.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby lhb412 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:42 pm

Just re-watched this - been thinking of watching the US versions of the entire Showa series.

Again, the picture quality on Criterion's Blu-Ray is astounding. I see all sorts of visual details I doubt would have read had they not dug up this great print of the film.

I'm amazed the film works at all. It's extraordinarily clever, the way they put it together, and while astute viewers can see through the charade the fact is that this patchwork movie works, narratively speaking. The flashback sequences, the way they have a reasons for Burr to be in on the action and to observe the real main characters. The real masterstroke is having Godzilla topple the building on top of him. That's a great moment, and a great direct interaction between a human character and Godzilla, eclipsed only by the ending with Serizawa and Ogata's dive. Burr himself is a big reason for this being pulled off, because he takes his performance completely seriously and adds a great deal of gravitas that one needs when making a film of such apocalyptic scope. However, the extras in the English production are uniformly pretty bad.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:32 pm

I watched this with my wife a few months ago. It was her first experience with Godzilla...she really liked it. The destruction here is monumental and this film really captures just how bleak it would have been facing Godzilla. The scenes showcasing a leveled city followed by the choir are really haunting.

Side note - my appreciation for the Showa films really grows as I get older. The Heisei series post-Biollante have not aged well for me.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Russzilla » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:10 am

Hybrid Gojira wrote:I watched this with my wife a few months ago. It was her first experience with Godzilla...she really liked it. The destruction here is monumental and this film really captures just how bleak it would have been facing Godzilla. The scenes showcasing a leveled city followed by the choir are really haunting.

Side note - my appreciation for the Showa films really grows as I get older. The Heisei series post-Biollante have not aged well for me.


It's cool when you have a wife that will watch a Godzilla movie with you. My wife mentioned yesterday that she'd like to watch Terror of Mechagodzilla again. And yes, the Showa films age like fine wine. To me though, the Heisei G movies after GvsKG '91 have not aged well.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby kiryugoji04 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:27 am

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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:35 pm

Ha! I love the way that scene is edited, and it looks like Raymond Burr is irritated by the way "phenomenon" is pronounced.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:14 pm

kiryugoji04 wrote:Image


HAHAHHA that is fantastic.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby lhb412 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:33 pm

Come on Legendary, we've been waiting 60 years for Godzilla to fight this Bombnazarus thing. Don't let us down.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Russzilla » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:23 pm

Ok. Are these 3 topless elderly women in this shot on Odo Island?

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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby kiryugoji04 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:42 am

Yup.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Russzilla » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:29 am

Hard to believe I never noticed that after all these years. Yech. Almost kinda surprised Honda had that in there.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby kiryugoji04 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:51 pm

Russzilla wrote:Yech.


Oh get over it.

Almost kinda surprised Honda had that in there.


Well it's something that was probably likely to be seen in a rural island village like that and Honda was pretty documentarian in his approach. It's never fazed me, personally.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:30 pm

kiryugoji04 wrote:
Russzilla wrote:Yech.


Oh get over it.

Almost kinda surprised Honda had that in there.


Well it's something that was probably likely to be seen in a rural island village like that and Honda was pretty documentarian in his approach. It's never fazed me, personally.



It is rather odd for a Godzilla film overall (and I never noticed it, either). But this was the first movie and as far as being authentic, i guess on an island it would be accepted as normal depending on the culture. There are plenty of tribal areas in the world where this is the norm.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Russzilla » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:28 pm

Oh yeah, I get all that. Just wish Honda would've used some younger women with a couple of, *ahem,* better things to look at. :lol:
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby jellydonut25 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:42 pm

Russzilla wrote:Oh yeah, I get all that. Just wish Honda would've used some younger women with a couple of, *ahem,* better things to look at. :lol:

:?
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby lhb412 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:35 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
Russzilla wrote:Oh yeah, I get all that. Just wish Honda would've used some younger women with a couple of, *ahem,* better things to look at. :lol:

:?


It seems to me that in Japan there's a difference between sexualized nudity and non-sexualized nudity. In Latitude Zero Honda refused to shoot the female starlet actually nude during the bathing scene (much to the chagrin of the US co-producers), but he has the unclothed natives in Gojira. He saw one as exploitative and the other as mere naturalism.

Actually, this makes a lot more sense then our culture's view of things.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby Russzilla » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:19 pm

jellydonut25 wrote:
Russzilla wrote:Oh yeah, I get all that. Just wish Honda would've used some younger women with a couple of, *ahem,* better things to look at. :lol:

:?


Ahh, forget it.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:18 am

So, last night was probably the first time I really noticed how patchwork this version of the movie REALLY is, but at the same time, I can't help but still enjoy it a good deal.

It surprisingly works, and a big part of that is Burr. He's convincing and at times actually does look well-integrated with the action. It is unfortunate that probably the biggest tipoff that he's not interacting with this cast comes in the first few minutes when he's "talking with Emiko". His other character interactions are cleverly edited, but this one is just too jarring.

But it is amazing how just a few differences can have a dramatic impact on the tone of the film...putting the aftermath of the destruction at the beginning of the film sort of takes away from its emotional gut-punch and combined with the brisker pace, makes the movie feel a bit more fun. It's a movie that sort of revels in Godzilla's rampage rather than condemning and bemoaning it.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby extremedalek » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:13 am

jellydonut25 wrote:.

But it is amazing how just a few differences can have a dramatic impact on the tone of the film...putting the aftermath of the destruction at the beginning of the film sort of takes away from its emotional gut-punch and combined with the brisker pace, makes the movie feel a bit more fun. It's a movie that sort of revels in Godzilla's rampage rather than condemning and bemoaning it.


That's quite an interesting reading and having never seen the USA version myself I would ask if that approach misses the point somewhat? Or would you say that that perspective of events is a viable one when observed through an American filter rather than a Japanese one?


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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:08 am

It's just different. It works well enough on its own. Perhaps it misses the point, but I wonder if the point would have resonated with American audiences in 1956...
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby DannyBeane » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:19 pm

I always liked the opening destruction in KOTM. The movie is taken as an interview with a survivor, Steve Martin. The story starts with where he first gets picked up in the rubble of Tokyo and then he relays what happened with his side of the story. It makes it feel more like a documentary/News article. Whenever bad events happen (like Pearl Harbor or 9/11) People see the photos and footage of the destruction first, then the details, stories and events come out. The opening of KOTM just works for me and almost feels like the start of a twilight zone episode.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby lhb412 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:31 pm

This is the film that made Godzilla accessible to the entire English speaking world and beyond. While it may have squashed some of the original's subtlety the end result was the first (big) step in making Godzilla popular enough worldwide to make it the long series it became.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:37 am

Guillermo del Toro on Godzilla
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby lhb412 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:53 pm

King of the Monsters just celebrated its 60th anniversary. It's effectively the third Godzilla movie after the original and Raids Again, and without the worldwide popularity of this version it's possible we would have no Godzilla series to speak of.
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Re: TALKBACK #1.5: Godzilla King of the Monsters!

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:19 pm

Was struck just HOW different the movie feels this time in terms of tone and approach. It really is more of a 50s B-movie. That's not necessarily even a BAD thing (to me). It actually in some ways is MORE of a Godzilla film than the odd outlier that is Gojira.

I also was struck by just how fast this movie jumps to the "It was a giant dinosaur" conclusion and what little evidence is used to support that claim. Gojira makes it seem a little more scientific in that way...justifying things and showing evidence, whereas G,KOTM! just has Raymond Burr say "Dr. Yamane was a paleontologist brought on to investigate" almost from the beginning. Like...a few ships sink and they bring on a dinosaur doctor...vs the Gojira thing where it's a reporter at first and it isn't until evidence starts to mount that Yamane comes in, and even then, he's a zoologist, not a paleontologist.
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