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November 4th: Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla (1954) - poster

Celebrating sixty years yesterday, Godzilla is one of the first of the blockbuster giant monster films, following close on the heels of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. The franchise now consists of 28 feature films, has been followed by countless knock-offs, and inspired many science fiction and horror directors, writers, and studios. Even today we are fascinated with Godzilla (who’s name is sourced in Japanese portmanteau for “gorilla” and “whale”.). We keep making movies about him – and he keeps getting bigger.

Godzilla (1954) - still

I have a hard time imagining the cultural impact of the nuclear attacks on Japan. They were monstrous, and callous in their force. That said, in the films the monster Godzilla quickly evolved into being a powerful force for the good or at least neutrality – usually battling a worse monster (as we saw in the recent 2014 reboot). If you’ve come across a great film buff analysis of Godzilla’s history, please do post it in the comments!

A fan-made trailer:

It’s easy to get a copy of this film – it is available both through Google and Amazon (see links below). A few minutes before nine-thirty tonight, start the film. After the “TOHO CO, LTD.” logo fades (a few Japanese characters inside a circle), pause the film. Resume at 9:30 PM. You can follow along at, or “Like”/comment/enable Notifications on this Facebook thread.


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