Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla (1954)(85) The American release, featuring interlaced footage of Raymond Burr, was dubbed Godzilla, King of the Monsters! While that cut suffered from vain attempts to Westernize the action, its moniker aptly describes what Godzilla represents for cinema. Obliterating his predecessors, the mammoth star is never more frightening than here in flickering, grainy black and white. Distinct from its sequels, Gojira is more than spectacle; at times it’s genuinely powerful. For best results: enjoy the film in Japanese. Substitute the American edit if you can’t tolerate subtitles.

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