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October 27, 1954 (Nagoya)
November 3, 1954 (Japan)

Godzilla (Japanese: ゴジラ, Hepburn: Gojira) is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho Co., Ltd, it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise and the Shōwa era. The film stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, Japan's authorities deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster, whose attacks trigger fears of nuclear holocaust during post-war Japan.

Godzilla entered production after a Japanese-Indonesian co-production collapsed. Tsuburaya originally opted for a giant octopus before the filmmakers decided on a dinosaur-inspired creature. Godzilla pioneered a form of special effects called suitmation, in which a stunt performer wearing a suit interacts with miniature sets. Principal photography lasted 51 days, and special effects photography lasted 71 days.

Godzilla was theatrically released in Japan on November 3, 1954, and grossed ¥183,000,000 (equivalent to ¥1,130,160,652 in 2019) during its original theatrical run. In 1956, a heavily re-edited "Americanized" version, titled Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was released in the United States. The film spawned a multimedia franchise, being recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running film franchise in history. The character Godzilla has since become an international pop culture icon. The film and Tsuburaya have been largely credited for establishing the template for tokusatsu media. Since its release, the film has been regarded as a cinematic achievement and one of the best monster films ever made.

Storyline

A giant flamethrower monster terrorizes Japan after an atomic bomb awakens it after being asleep for several centuries.

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