British to See the Original Godzilla Movie Complete with Anti-War Message
When the Japanese monster movie Godzilla was sold to an American distributor 50 years ago, it was re-edited to excise every mention of the strong anti-nuclear message that had made it such a hit in Hiroshima and Tokyo.
Without the politics, the re-cut dubbed story of the dinosaur-like creature with radioactive breath, was an anodyne monster-on-the-loose picture which none the less added the name 'Godzilla' to the lexicon of popular culture.
Such has been the success of the spin-offs, including more than 20 sequels from the Japanese studio that invented him, a major computer-generated Hollywood movie version seven years ago and assorted cartoons, that even fans may not know there was ever a serious point to the plot.
But now British audiences are to get their first opportunity to see the complete Japanese version of the film deemed politically unacceptable for ordinary Americans " and hence the rest of the world " half a century ago.
Next month, in the wake of the 60th anniversary commemorations of the first atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, the British Film Institute (BFI) is releasing this landmark in science fiction movie-making in its original form.
Margaret Deriaz, the BFI's head of film distribution, said the film had proved an important cinematic phenomenon. 'Along with King Kong, Godzilla is one of the most celebrated movie monsters of all time, yet hardly anyone in this country has seen the original that sparked the phenomenon,' she said.
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