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.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Surprised at how upfront the subtext of the film actually is! Honda's proto-blockbuster frames its monster-movie carnage against an ongoing discussion on the use of nuclear warfare to such a bold degree that it could almost be taken as a didactic cine-essay as opposed to a science-fiction fantasy. While smaller details of the narrative don't really hang together, the film offers a profound & deeply moral commentary.
The fact that I knew I was watching model trains and model cars and cities getting destroyed and yet was EXTREMELY affected by the film is an incredibly impressive feat. The specials effects were magical and the beast is glorious but the film's themes are powerful and very humane. I was shocked at how seriously this film took itself and loved it for it. Great stuff. Definitely going to rewatch this soon.
1954 Japanese lanquage version (Gojira). Classic anti-nuclear monster film that started the series. Even with the terrible miniatures and awkward split screens this is a film that stands the test of time. Still exciting and still moving. Coming out just 9 years after Hiroshima and Nakasaki this was a film that for all its 'King Kong' trappings had an agenda as well. Miss those after school monster filicks.
It is extremely difficult to get most people to recognize that this film had some serious points to make about the use of nuclear weapons and their lasting effects. A well made film on a tight budget and tighter shooting schedule. Bay, McG and others should wish their films would have such an impact or spawn such a series of films.(Granted most are pretty terrible but some bring back some fond memories)
The original Japanese version of the iconic cult classic is a far more accomplished work than its many sequels. The moody black and white cinematography gives the special effects and almost surreal edge, and it manages a human story that deals with some fascinating dark themes. Easily the best of its genre.