Godzilla is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced and distributed by Toho. It is the first film in the Godzilla franchise and the first film in its Shōwa series, Nakajima would go on to portray the character until his retirement in 1972. In 1956, TransWorld Releasing Corporation and Embassy Pictures released Godzilla, a heavily re-edited Americanized version of the original film with additional footage featuring Raymond Burr. In 2004, Rialto Pictures gave the 1954 film a theatrical release in the United States to coincide with the franchises 50th anniversary. When the Japanese freighter Eiko-maru is destroyed near Odo Island, another ship – the Bingo-maru – is sent to investigate, a fishing boat from Odo is also destroyed, with one survivor. Fishing catches mysteriously drop to zero, blamed by an elder on the ancient sea creature known as Godzilla, reporters arrive on Odo Island to further investigate. A villager tells one of the reporters that something large is going crazy down there ruining the fishing and that evening, a ritual dance to appease Godzilla is held during which the reporter learns that the locals used to sacrifice young girls. That night, a storm strikes the island, destroying the reporters helicopter. Odo residents travel to Tokyo to demand disaster relief, the villagers and reporters evidence describes damage consistent with something large crushing the village. The government sends paleontologist Kyohei Yamane to lead an investigation to the island, where giant radioactive footprints and a trilobite are discovered. The village alarm bell is rung and Yamane and the rush to see the monster, retreating after seeing that it is a giant dinosaur, which then roars. Yamane presents his findings in Tokyo, estimating that Godzilla is 50 metres tall and is evolved from an ancient sea creature becoming a terrestrial animal and he concludes that Godzilla has been disturbed from its deep underwater natural habitat by underwater hydrogen bomb testing. Debate ensues about notifying the public about the danger of the monster, meanwhile,17 ships are lost at sea. Ten frigates are dispatched to attempt to kill the monster using depth charges, the mission disappoints Yamane who wants Godzilla to be studied. Godzilla survives the attack and appears off-shore, officials appeal to Yamane for ideas to kill the monster, but Yamane tells them that Godzilla is unkillable, having survived H-bomb testing, and must be studied. Yamanes daughter, Emiko, decides to break off her engagement to Yamanes colleague, Daisuke Serizawa, because of her love for Hideto Ogata. When a reporter arrives and asks to interview Serizawa, Emiko escorts the reporter to Serizawas lab, after Serizawa refuses to divulge his current work to the reporter, he gives Emiko a demonstration of his recent project on the condition she must keep it a secret. The demonstration horrifies her and she leaves without breaking off the engagement, shortly after she returns home, the sound of Godzillas footsteps approaching is heard
Theatrical release poster
The filmmakers took inspiration from various dinosaurs to shape Godzilla's final and iconic design.