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Godzilla

Original Title:
ゴジラ
© 1954 TOHO © 1954 TOHO

Story

Three Japanese fishing boats are reported to have sunk one after another from unknown causes in the region of the Pacific Ocean where H-bomb and A-bomb tests are being carried on. A young superintendent of the Tokyo Bay Salvage Office named Hideto Ogata, having received an urgent message from the Head Office of his company, rushes to the office of the Maritime Safety Board. Newspaper reporter Hagiwara covering the Maritime Safety Board flies on his company’s helicopter to Oto Island, thinking that he will be able to get some information there.
Fisherman Masaji, a native of the island, who has been miraculously saved tells that his boat was sunk by a huge monster emitting fire, but nobody believes him. Only the aged fishermen who believe in old legends allege that their recent poor catch must be due to the appearance of the monster named Godzilla which sometimes lands ashore and devours cattle and men. The islanders hold a sacred music and dance for exorcism at night when the monster assaults the island and destroys everything. Masaji and his mother are instantly crushed under the feet of the monster.
The national diet decides to send an investigation mission to Oto Island to inspect the damage and to find the cause of this disaster. The mission headed by Paleontologist Yamane includes Emiko who is the daughter and assistant, Ogata of the salvage company, Dr. Tabata, a nuclear physicist, reporter Hagiwara and Masaji’s younger brother Shinkichi.
The result of this mission’s investigation has been surprising. It has witnessed a huge monster, so-called “Godzilla”, disappearing slowly into the waters.
At a meeting of the special committee of the diet Dr. Yamane, the paleontologist, concludes that a monster named Godzilla, which about 2 million years ago was being transformed from a sea reptile into a land animal has been living a dormant life all through this long span of countless years, has had its quietude disturbed by the H-bomb tests and has been scattering the radioactive dust which it has accumulated in itself, thereby sinking the boats and working havoc in the island. The house is thrown into indescribable commotion and uproar.
The government sends a frigate to destroy Godzilla by means of depth-charges. Both radio and TV broadcast the actual scene of this fight and the people are relieved to the horror. But their sense of relief does not last long, for the monster reappears and is seen sailing toward Tokyo. An emergency headquarters is established, to which Dr. Yamane is also invited.
Dr. Yamane has an assistant named Daisuke Serizawa, who is a chemist and a friend of Ogata, salvage superintendent. Serizawa who once loved Dr. Yamane’s daughter Emiko has been lonely confined within his secret laboratory, having lost one eye in the war and got deformed. One day Reporter Hagiwara called on him at his laboratory, which furnished the opportunity for Emiko to visit him. He showed her his secret laboratory under her promise that she would ever tell anybody what she saw.
Godzilla lands on Tokyo. Under a shower of machine gun bullets fired by hundreds of armed policemen the monster destroys Shinagawa Railway Station, crushes a number of cars, demolished bridges and crawls back to the sea. The emergency headquarters sets up a barbed wire fence charged with high-voltage current along the seashore and the people begin evacuation. The Self-Defense Force is mobilized.
Godzilla comes ashore again. It breaks through the wire fence, and emitting white-hot light from his mouth, crushes everything in his way and makes his way into the heart of the city. It destroys the diet building, bends a TV tower, and returns to the sea after breaking Kachidoki Bridge. Tokyo is changed in one night and the people have either lost their homes or got wounded with radio-active dust scattered by the monster.
Emiko discloses Serizawa’s secret to Ogata. Serizawa has developed a chemical called an oxygen destroyer which can destroy all oxygen contained in the waters and thus destroy all aquatic life. Being solicited by Ogata and Emiko to make this chemical available for destruction of Godzilla, Serizawa hesitates. Who knows that once its dreadful secret is revealed it will not be used as a weapon of destruction? But has not even Emiko broken her secret promise? He determines to burn all his secret materials and to accompany Dr. Yamane, Ogata and others to the abode of the monster, taking with him his Oxygen Destroyer. He wraps himself in a diving suit and sinks into the waters. In order to confirm the effectiveness of his invention he cuts the rope and the air-pipe after removing safety valve of the Oxygen Destroyer.
The people on board, who have rejoiced on seeing Godzilla destroyed, devoutly pray for the repose of the soul of Serizawa who, giving up his secret love for Emiko, has thus ended his life in his heroic task.

Monsters on Screen

Weapons in screen

© 1954 TOHO

Data

Original Story
Shigeru Kayama
Director
Ishiro Honda
Screenplay
Takeo Murata
Ishiro Honda
Cast
Akira Takarada
Momoko Kochi
Akihiko Hirata
Takashi Shimura
Sachio Sakai
Fuyuki Murakami
Ren Yamamoto
Keiji Sakakida
Toyoaki Suzuki
Tsuruko Mano
Kin Sugai
Takeo Oikawa
Kan Hayashi
Seijiro Onda
Kuninori Kodo
Toranosuke Ogawa
Music
Akira Ifukube
Executive Producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Special Effects
Eiji Tsuburaya
Hiroshi Mukoyama
Akira Watanabe
Kuichiro Kishida
Release Date in Japan
1954.11.3
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