Godzilla King of the monsters 1954 trivia and facts


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  • Contrary to popular belief, Godzilla is 50 meters (164 feet) tall, not 400 feet, as stated in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956.
    Also contrary to popular belief, Godzilla is charcoal gray, not green.
  • Eiji Tsuburaya, the film’s special effects director, originally envisioned Godzilla (Gojira) as a giant octopus before settling for a more dinosaur-like creature.
  • The idea for Gojira (aka Godzilla) was spawned after producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was forced to cancel a planned Japan-Indonesia co-production called Eiko kage-ni (Behind the Glory). The story was inspired by a real-life nuclear accident in which a Japanese fishing boat ventured too close to an American nuclear test and was contaminated.
  • Tomoyuki Tanaka originally wanted Godzilla to be a giant fire-breathing ape.
  • The name Gojira is a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla (gorira) and whale (kujira). It was originally a nickname given to an immense man who worked as a press agent for Toho.
  • Haruo Nakajima could walk about thirty feet in the original costume, which weighed over 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Later costumes were a little lighter but all of the costumes were very heavy. It was also very hot inside the costume. All of the costumes after the first one were easy to work with, as they were made to fit Nakajima, whereas the one that had been built for Godzilla had not been made for his body size.
  • There were three cables coming out of the back of the costume. Two were for the operation of the eyes, and one was for the operation of the mouth. Eizo Kaimai was responsible for the movement of the eyes and the mouth. Batteries were installed in the Godzilla costume that was made for the second Godzilla movie. They were for the operation of the eyes and the mouth. The batteries made the costume even heavier than the one that had been constructed for the first Godzilla film.
  • The sound department tried numerous animal roars for Godzilla but felt they were unsuitable for an animal of such immense size. Akira Ifukube came up with Godzilla’s roars by rubbing a coarse, resin-coated leather glove up and down the strings of a contrabass (double bass), and reverberated the recorded sound. Also, Godzilla’s thunderous footsteps were made by beating a kettle drum with a knotted rope.
  • The electrical towers that Godzilla melts with his radioactive breath were actually made of wax. The special effects crew melted them by blowing hot air on them, as well as shining hot studio lights on them for the white-hot effects.
  • Director Cameo: [Ishirô Honda] The man in the electric room who pulls the switch, activating the 300,000-volt tower lines to electrocute Godzilla.
  • In 2004, Rialto Pictures released the original Japanese version of “Gojira” in the U.S. for the first time. The release included a new print in the original Japanese with new English subtitles.
  • The scenes of the troops going to the coast to face Gojira were actual Japanese Defense Force troops. They were on maneuvers when Honda shot the footage of them.
  • Revealing mistakes: You can see the wires leading from the planes as they attack Gojira.
  • Factual errors: When Professor Yemane is addressing the Diet on Gojira, he says that Gojira was a creature of the Jurassic Age and is over two million years old. The Jurassic Age was 50 million years ago meaning that there was no way the dinosaurs were around two million years earlier.
  • The name of the first two ships destroyed by Gojira were the Nankai-Maru and the Bingo-Maru.
  • Originally when Gojira (Godzilla) makes his first appearance, there was supposed to be a bloody cow in his mouth. However, director Ishiro Honda didn’t like how it looked so he decided to refilm the sequence without the cow.
  • There were supposed to be more scenes filmed on Odo Island. One was to have Emiko and Ogata visit the graves of those that died during the typhoon when Gojira (Godzilla) came ashore. Another scene was to have been filmed on the beach and in that one Emiko and Ogata become frightened when the get their first glimpse of Gojira (Godzilla) as they see his tail splashing in the water.
  • Godzilla (Gojira) is a giant, amphibious, dinosaur-like fictional creature first seen in the Japanese-produced 1954 tokusatsu (kaiju specifically) film Gojira produced by Toho Film Company Ltd… In total, 28 films have been made by the Toho Film Company and a further two made unofficially (not related to the Toho Film Company). The most notable unofficial movie is the 1998 film Godzilla, directed by Roland Emmerich. Despite being the highest grossing film of the year factoring in overseas profits, the film has been widely panned by cult followers of the Godzilla franchise, critics on both sides of the Pacific, and movie-goers in general and has since been dubbed GINO (Godzilla In Name Only). Ironically, the Americanized Godzilla featured in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) was killed by the “true” Godzilla from a hit to the tail, and its radioactive breath. In this film, the American Godzilla appeared simply as “Zilla”. Godzilla has three primary abilities: regeneration, amphibious mobility, and an atomic fire beam.
  • Godzilla is also extremely durable and can resist almost all physical assaults. The atomic fire beam is Godzilla’s trademark skill. Although much of Godzilla’s significance as an anti-war symbol has been lost in the transition to pop culture, the nuclear breath remains as a visual vestige of the creature’s early Cold War politics
  • Born on the coastal regions of Oto Island (located near the Bikini Atoll, where he was affected by nuclear tests), Godzilla became a modern god, feared by the fishing villagers on that island, and ultimately, all of Japan. Standing at a towering 50 meters (164 feet), he is a powerful demon of destruction.
  • Among his popular characteristics: His iconic design (a charcoal-colored dinosaur-like figure with small pointed ears, rough bumpy scales, powerful tail, and bony white dorsal fins shaped like maple leaves).
  • He is virtually indestructible, impervious to all modern weaponry.
  • He can release a powerful atomic energy beam, usually blue but in some films red, from his mouth (which is ominously signaled when his dorsal fins glow/flash in the same color as the atomic beam).
  • The name “Gojira” is a combination of “gorilla” and kujira, which means “whale” in Japanese. The name was allegedly originally a nickname of a large worker at Toho Studios. But since Gojira was neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name “Gojira” was devised in a different way for the film’s story; Gojira’s name was “originally” spelled in kanji, but for sound only. The combined characters, oddly enough, mean “give you net”!
  • Gojira was first released in the United States in 1955 in Japanese-American communities only, under Toho’s international title,Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. In 1956, it was adapted by an American company into Godzilla, King of the Monsters (based on Toho’s international title), edited and with added, principal scenes featuring Raymond Burr, and this version became an international success. As a result, the monster came to be known as “Godzilla” also in Japan.
  • While it has been a misconception that the American distributors were responsible for the name “Godzilla” in America, it was Toho who came up with the name for international markets to begin with.
  • Godzilla was originally an allegory for the effects of the hydrogen bomb, and the unintended consequences that such weapons might have on Earth. The Shinsei series have largely continued this concept. Some have pointed out the parallels, conscious or unconscious, between Godzilla’s relationship to Japan and that of the United States; first a terrible enemy who causes enormous destruction, but then becoming a good friend and defender in times of peril.
  • Films have been made over the last five decades, each reflecting the social and political climate in Japan. All but one of the 29 films were produced by Toho; a version was made in 1998 by Columbia Pictures and set in the United States by the directors of Independence Day (ID4) and is somewhat despised by Godzilla fans, many of whom refer to it as GINO (Godzilla In Name Only), a term that would refer to all monsters modeled after Godzilla. Toho immediately followed it with Godzilla 2000: Millennium, which began the current series of films, known informally as the Mireniamu or Millennium series.
  • Much of Godzilla’s popularity in the United States can be credited with TV broadcasts of the Toho Studios monster movies during the 1960s and 1970s. The American company UPA contracted with Toho to distribute its monster movies of the time, and UPA continues to hold the license today for the Godzilla films of the 1960s and 1970s. Sony currently holds some of those rights, as well as the rights to every Godzilla film produced from 1991 onward. The Blue Öyster Cult song “Godzilla” also contributed to the popularity of the movies. Also made an appearance in the Nike commercial where Godzilla went one-on-one with NBA star Charles Barkley.
  • The Japanese version of Godzilla was greatly inspired by the commercial success of King Kong, and the 1953 success of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Godzilla would go on to inspire Gorgo, Gamera, and many others. The American version is just an iguana-turned -dinosaur.
  • In 1996, after his then-final appearance in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla received an award for Lifetime Achievement at the MTV Movie Awards. Creator and producer Tomoyuki Tanaka accepted on his behalf via satellite but was joined by “Godzilla” himself.
  • On his 50th (Japanese) birthday, on 29 November 2004, Godzilla got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This website is for noncommercial use only and is not affiliated with, or authorized or endorsed by Toho Co. Ltd. Toho is the owner of all copyrights and trademarks in its respective films and characters, and all of its rights are expressly reserved. © 1943-2014 Toho Co. Ltd. and its related entities. All rights reserved. Godzilla, Gojira, the character designs and King of the Monsters are trademarks of Toho Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. Any reproduction, duplication or distribution of these materials is expressly prohibited.

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