Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (1956)

on April 27, 1956 by BOXOFFICE Staff
   Combining most of the frightening features of "King Kong" and the more recent "Creature" and "Monster" pictures, this Japanese-made horror melodrama is a natural for sensational exploitation and should attract the hordes of film fans who delight in pictures that will make them shudder. It is ideal for action houses. Raymond Burr, the only Hollywood actor in the cast, narrates and appears in a few scenes that were obviously added to the original. The Japanese players in the story either speak English or their voices were dubbed into English. A Toho production by Tomoyuki Tanaka, "Gojira" (as it was titled during its 1954 Japanese run) was directed by Terry Morse and Ishiro Honda, and the original story is based on an old Japanese legend about a mammoth creature 50 stories high that has been awakened from a prehistoric past beneath the sea by H-Bomb explosions. Utterly fantastic, of course, the special photographic effects of this 400-foot creature emerging from the sea to stalk on land and crush the tall buildings of Tokyo should elicit gasps or shrieks from youngsters or from the more susceptible women patrons--even though they really love it. Momoko Kochi is a pretty heroine, and the other Japanese actors are adequate. Takashi Shimura, Akira Takarada, Akihiko Hirata and Sachio Sakai co-star.

Raymond Burr is on his way to a news assignment in Cairo but stops off in Tokyo to cover the story of a fabled monster, Godzilla, which is mysteriously destroying ships by fire. The monster, breathing fire that causes buildings, steel and land to burst into flame, comes out of the sea and into Tokyo, which he leaves in ruins. With the civilized world in peril, a young Japanese scientist discovers a compound that will destroy the oxygen in water by chain reaction. The scientist descends into the water in a diving suit to detonate the device and, although the scientist is killed, Godzilla is also destroyed.

With Raymond Burr, featured villain in "Rear Window" and dozens of other Hollywood films, as the only familiar player, this picture must be sold on its sensational angles. Use cutouts of Godzilla or papier-mache reproductions of this monster to attract the horror fans and compare it to "King Kong," "The Creature From Beneath the Sea" and other famed film monsters.

Raging Through the World on a Rampage of Destruction ... Civilization Crumbles As A Monster's Death Rays Blast a City From the Face of the Earth ... See Every Earth-Shaking, Screen-Shattering Thrill. FLASHBACK: MAY 12, 1956
What BOXOFFICE said about...
An Embassy-Toho release, horror/drama, 80 min.

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