Godzilla


Gojirasaur. No, really! There is one! No spines, and… a lot smaller. Only 18 feet long.

Godzilla. I’d say I’m a huge Godzilla fan, but actually, i’m a little under average height.

But Godzilla… I watched every movie of his I could growing up. He’s cool.

Godzilla is not green. He’s charcoal Gray. His name is Gojira, technically.

The Japanese movie placed him at 175 feet tall. The American edit with Raymond Burr puts him at 400 feet.

The Japanese ignored that error, and proceeded to keep making films of a 175 foot Godzilla. Should have adopted the American version.

Tokyo now is MUCH taller than 1954. Godzilla would actually be dwarfed by many buildings. So… they ended up having to redo the Godzilla series, the Hesei series (am I saying that right? Can’t remember). Godzilla is MUCH taller now. If they’d stuck with the American height, they’d actually never needed to remake the series. By the end, Godzilla looked a lot different, and behaved a lot different. The second suit actor was very difficult to work with, so the third one ended up being the best Godzilla.

by that time, a new company was making the suits, and made the spines out of fiberglass. You have to be VERY strong to work the suits.

The original Godzilla was Katsumi Tezuka, who fell over as they put the suit on the first time, and passed out while filming the first two scenes.

 

 

 

Haruo Nakajima took over filming, and so we count him as the first Godzilla. He remained Godzilla for years. Incidentally, Nakajima also was in another of my favorite movies, the Seven Samurai.

 

The second Godzilla Kenpachiro Satsuma, was the Godzilla of the last part of the 70’s, and early 80’s. Toho felt he was too difficult to work with (apparently, he wanted to be paid more, and was fired), and so, when the Godzilla series was done, they turned to the suit actor who played Mechagodzilla.

The third suit actor, Tsutomo Kitagawa,  like the others is slim (you lose 20 pounds a day filming in the Godzilla suit) and literally bulging in muscle by the end of filming.

Kitagawa, the New Godzilla

He explained in an interview the weight of the fiberglass spines on his back made him walk almost doubled over. He chose wide, crescent steps when walking as it gave Godzilla an impression of immensity. All the Godzilla actors keep to the Nakajima tradition of keeping your elbows close to the body in as many senes as possible. It disguises the fact you’re a man whose arms are longer than Godzilla.

The second Godzilla actor decided on making Godzilla whip his head when he breathed the fire, so Kitagawa kept to that tradition as much as possible. Nakajima was unable to do that, since he was unable to move Godzilla’s head.

In the Newspaper office scene in the 1954 godzilla, both suit actors (Nakajima and Tezuka) are present outside of the costume. The Newspaper editor whos barking orders is Tezuka. the reporter with the pencil behind his ear is Nakajima.

The classic Godzilla.. © Toho Co. Ltd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Newer Gojira! Bigger, faster, meaner.

Best Godzilla movie? The 1954 Japanese original. 2nd best? Gojira vs. Destroyerah.

Fun fact – Tezuka and Nakajima routinely faced off against each other. Nakajima remained godzilla, but lighter suits were constructed, and Tezuka played Godzilla’s opponents. King Ghidorah, Anguiasaurus, etc.

Godzilla sets were contructed at a 1:25 ratio. They ended up in the newer moviers being reduced to 1:60, as Godzilla is taller. To put him at the American 400 feet, they would need to be reduced probably to 1:86, the same as HO scale trains.

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