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 king of monsters is born in this movie and delivers a powerful punch. while the movie is slightly campy in nature, its to be expected in giant monster movies so the acting is the best you can find without having an actual monster attack your city. the plot is entertaining but its anti-war message is not lost throughout the entire movie.
The Godzilla franchise, though way before my time, awakened my interest in film. The use of cheap practical effects to achieve insane, unrealistic scenarios was amazing to even a twelve-year-old me, and that fascination has continued to this day. However, none of the later films even approach the quality of the one that began the franchise.
Anything with Takashi Shimura puts a beaming smile on my face. Watched on 35mm at Prince Charles Cinema in London's West-End, and the size of Godzilla, the drama and destruction were amplified! I was frequently unnerved by the terror; often touched by the anti-nuclear sentiment. It's rewatchable, too.
Great social commentary about Japan's fears about total destruction - just take away the A-bomb and replace it with a monster. It has some memorable aftermath imagery that still deliver a punch and is excellent edited. The film is great but it feels copied to death even decades later - making the story a little too slow and predictable today. It is still a classic of it's kind though.