Though sometimes dismissed by critics, particularly in the United States, the Godzilla movies are some of the best-loved but least understood films in the world. The modifications made by American distributors - adding unsuitable footage, making changes in the musical score, even altering the plot - take away from the subtlety that makes the movies so popular in Japan. Then there are the dubbed voices - a matter of ridicule for American audiences and critics alike.
This work is a thorough and critical account of the Godzilla movies focusing on how differences in American and Japanese culture, as well as differences in their respective film industries, underlie the discrepancies in the Japanese and American versions of the film. For each film, there are exhaustive filmographic data for both the Japanese and American versions, including plot synopses, cast, credits, and detailed production notes. The various political and social subtexts of the movies are also thoroughly covered.
This thoroughly updated and revised critical account of the Godzilla movie franchise explores the fascinating story behind Japan's most famous movie monster and its development from black-and-white arthouse allegory to international commercial juggernaut. Reviled by critics but boasting a dedicated cult following, the films of the Godzilla franchise provide a unique window into the national identities of both Japan and the United States. This work focuses on how differences in American and Japanese culture, as well as differences in their respective film industries, underlie the discrepancies between the American and Japanese versions of the films. It features detailed filmographic data for both the American and Japanese versions of each film, including plot synopses, cast, credits, and detailed production notes.