Godzilla Turns 58

by Armand Vaquer

Above, the King of the Monsters stands guard at the main gate of Toho Studios.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
In movie history...

On November 3, 1954, Godzilla was unleashed in theaters throughout Japan, thus inaugurating a whole new genre of science-fiction movies: daikaiju eiga.

The genre has had its ups and downs over the span of 58 years.  It has seen good movies and bad movies.  But it has managed to weather them all.  Hollywood is currently in the process of producing a new Godzilla movie under the wings of Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers.  Hopefully, it will be true to the spirit of the Japanese version and not the abomination that was released in 1998 by Sony/Tri-Star.

Above, the Godzilla statue in Hibiya, Tokyo.  Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Toho Co., Ltd., citing dwindling box-office returns for its third series of Godzilla movies, had decided to stop producing them eight years ago.  There are no plans to resurrect their most famous character.  If the new U.S. version is a hit, they may change their minds...eventually.

Above, Godzilla approaches the Kachidoki Bridge in 1954.  Photo: Toho Co., Ltd.
The original Godzilla suit-actor, Haruo Nakajima, age 83, will be appearing at the Mad Monster Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this coming March 22-24.

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