harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

movie reviewed: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956)


Godzilla: King of the Monsters!

Starring: Raymond Burr, Takashi Shimura, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata
DIR: Ishirô Honda & Terry O. Morse

Blurb: A rampaging beast of unstoppable power levels Tokyo, while reporter Steve Martin reports to the West what is happening, while also trying to survive.

My Blurb: Finally. Godzilla reviews make it onto my site. I'm in love with the suitmation atomic terror, even though as the 1970's proceeded the movies got cheaper and tackier and more childish. And this film is where, like many of my contemporaries, first cut our teeth on this Japanese monster movie-thing. I will be reviewing Gojira - a brilliant film of its own, but before foreign movies became widely available, we had films such as this one: The foreign film that was dumbed down a bit for American sensibilities, and had redubbing done to them. In the case of this film, Gojira was also altered to include an American character - because otherwise, Americans couldn't relate to anyone. Because.

Thankfully, I've always found Godzilla: King of the Monsters! to be one of the more carefully handled alterations. Yes, we'll see the Japanese characters represented by only the back of their heads when dealing with Steve Martin and not all of his scenes are well-incorporated to the original film, but this still isn't a bad movie as far as that goes. But Gojira is, naturally, the superior film so we'll start with this one.

Sc01: We open on the sound of pounding footsteps over a black screen, before we see the surface of the sea. A glowing flash of light comes from just under the surface, and we're presented with the title.

We hear a distorted roar.

Sc02: We now transition to Tokyo, lying in smoking ruins. A man, gravely injured, lies among the wreckage. Steve Martin narrates floridly about the incredible events beyond human imaginings [okay... we have to deal with a LOT of Steve narrating things; get yourselves comfortable with that before you look this one up]. The man who is pinned by wreckage and with a soot-covered face is, in fact, our American reporter on the international beat of United World News.

Steve reports to us that he was on his way to Cairo, when he stopped off in Tokyo on a social call. Obviously, he'll come to find a much bigger story than whatever he was going to Cairo for... and it almost kills him.

He's able to get himself free and crawls over to a fellow reporter, but the man didn't make it. Steve looks around for other survivors or anyone for help. He tries to get up, but collapses unconscious.

Sc03: We cut to a hospital, which is overflowing with the wounded and dying as emergency services and army personnel try to get everyone help despite the devastation around them. Steve narrates that about everyone being afraid that the attack could resume at any time.

In a hallway filled with patients, a doctor runs a geiger counter over a child. He shares a glance with who we'll find is Emiko Yamane - volunteering. He shakes his head as prognosis of the child's chances. Elsewhere, another child stares down at their dead parent lying on the floor, awaiting someone to come and take her away.

Steve tells us that it was hours before an auxiliary hospital unit found him in the wreckage. We see him being carried on a stretcher to the overflowing hospital, as the corridors echo with the sound of a child's wailing. He comes to, to the smell of scorched human flesh permeating the air. Steve's stretcher happens to be placed down at the wall nearby his acquaintance's daughter, Emiko, so he can call her over [and we can get the back of her head as she horribly dubs his name].

She asks Steve what could have brought this disaster upon them all [in a horribly delivered bit of dialog], but there is no answer. He asks after her father, to find that he's safe and is meeting with government officials. Steve offers us that he couldn't believe that he was lying so injured in a hospital of a ruined city, when only two days ago he'd been on his way to Cairo.

Commentary: Okay. Yeah, there are some rough patches here for the setup narrative device. But the film retained a shocking amount of grim footage from the original, including radiation burns and sick and dying children. Considering the lengths the film went to in order to cover the fact that Godzilla is a metaphor for the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it's admirable that they didn't edit the aftermath of the radiation attack by Godzilla much more heavily.

Steve's narration does wear on me, since even when he's nearly unconscious, he makes sure to have the strength to keep talking to himself/us. This narration device is also a bit clumsy for this particular scene, since Steve is narrating to nobody, but himself, in real time while lying on a cot on the floor. One can only think he's already writing articles in his head... maybe planning a book already.

But honestly, once we get into the Godzilla part of the film, which is coming soon, it becomes a bit less awkward... mostly.

Sc04: We flashback to Steve on his airliner, where everyone is free to enjoy a smoke, and everyone else's second hand poison. [Ahh, the good ol' days.]

Steve tells us that he was looking forward to meeting with an old friend, Dr. Serizawa. Steve puffs away for the benefit of everyone sleeping around him, who can't light up on their own at the moment. He monologues that he had no idea of the terror lurking far below the ocean underneath him.

Sc05: We join a fishing crew, while Steve intones that there was about to be an incident that would shake the foundations of the modern world.

Aboard the ship [which is in no way the Lucky Dragon No. 5 ... no, definitely not], the crew is playing music and enjoying some downtime. They are interrupted by a sudden flash of white light coming from beneath the ocean, and an unearthly screech-roar of something yet unseen.

Wonderment and confusion turns to terror and pain, as the boat finds itself bathed in a blinding light, and crewmen fall with yells. There is a burst of something, and suddenly the unlucky vessel is covered in flames.

Below decks, the radio men transmit an S.O.S., despite the flames burning around them. They're overtaken by sea water as the vessel flounders. The signal, brief as it is, reaches land before the still burning vessel slips under the waves.

Commentary: Look, if I have to stop at every juncture to point out how the original movie references the American Nuclear Tests, and the pain that it caused to Japan or talk about how Godzilla himself is an embodiment of the nuclear bombs we'll never get through this. There is PLENTY of online resources examining this aspect of the original film, and commentary on the changes to this Americanized version to blunt any perceived criticism of America's actions. Even in the original, it should be noted that nobody says, "America did this horrible thing to us!" but even the perception that the film may be obliquely commenting on American use of weapons of mass destruction had to be stamped out for "us".

I have the two disc, boxed set of Gojira and Godzilla from Classic Media, and I recommend it, if you're interested. I'd also see if the commentary by Steve Ryfle and/or Ed Godziszewski is available online for a listen. But we need to focus on the movie, rather than the behind-the-scenes and production.

Sc06: Steve arrives in Japan the next morning. He's met by an assistant to Dr. Serizawa, who regrets that something urgent has stopped him from coming himself. The assistant is vague on the details. As Steve's luggage is getting the once over by customs, an airport security official arrives to inform Steve that he'll need to come to the security office. Again, the reason for his detainment is awfully vague, but he is assured that he's not under arrest.

Sc07: Steve has been brought to the security office to be asked about his flight. He's asked if he noticed anything unusual. Steve notes to Dr. Yunane that he knows everyone on his flight is being questioned, and presents his press credentials. Rather than immediately clamming up with 'no comment', our gentleman instead tells him that they're not sure about what they're dealing with.

He does tell Steve about the vessel that had been wiped from the surface of the ocean, apparently in a matter of seconds. He tells Steve the radio report from the ship reported a blinding flash of light, and the ocean turning to flame. He had been hoping that someone aboard the flight overhead had seen something to explain what that meant. Steve suggests a mine or collision, but that would be something reported in a more obvious manner by the radiomen. Steve is intrigued and offers that he'd like to find out what happened, and our very accommodating security officer is all, "Sure. We love nosy American reporters tagging along on official investigations! Come with me".

Alas for Steve, this means he won't be flying back out of Japan.

Commentary: Okay, so I guess I also have to admit here that Steve's habit of being invited along by everyone he meets to witness Godzilla's discovery can also be a bit clumsy. It's necessary, because of the conceit of Steve's being the main character in this interation, but that doesn't make it any more believable. We'll also never be given any detail to explain Yunane's doctorate, so don't bother asking me why he's called Dr. Yunane.

Sc08: At the fishing company, there is chaos in the hallway as family members demand to know what happened to their loved ones.

Dr. Yunaga translates for Steve, but the news is that the ship is just gone and though a rescue vessel is on its way, it's still a few hours out.

Sc09: Meanwhile, another ship is plying the waters - it's unclear if this is the rescue vessel, but too close to it, we see the bright, white light under the water and the roiling sea. The ship suddenly explodes in a fireball and is quickly sent bow first to the bottom.

Sc10: Back at a shared room being used by the reporters who are interested in covering the story of two ships suddenly vanishing without a trace, there is a flurry of activity as newsmen report to their home countries. Steve Martin joins the others, there. He phones a cable into his editor at the United World News via the operator.

He reports a staggering death toll, and informs his editor that he'll be staying in Tokyo, rather then moving onto his current assignment unless he hears differently from him.

Sc11: We skip over to the shipping headquarters, where more family members are trying to get answers as to any survivors, or what happened to their loved ones. One of the little girls accompanying her mother is the little girl in the hospital hallway from the flashforward -- the one who will get a sad shake of the head from the doctor after he waves a geiger counter over her head.

At the Operations Center, more men continue to send out rescue to try to find any trace of either ship.

Sc12: Sometime the following day, survivors are found clinging to wreckage! Finally, they'll be able to find out what happened to the doomed vessels!

Three men are plucked from the waters, but as they shout delirious warnings of some kind, Steve reports that they all died in a matter of minutes of being rescued of shock and burn wounds.

Commentary: This movie is so grim, thanks to the original's dark and serious tone that couldn't be watered down too much -- even if most of the nuclear-bomb metaphor was blunted for the Americans. And that is why I love it. Even though it is the knockoff version. Since my first foray into Godzilla was the more action packed, child-friendly version of The Big G saving the world from other monsters, this was quite the shock. And when I finally was able to see the restored, original Gojira... wow... not at all the Godzilla I had been led to expect.

The real strength of this version, along with the original, is that this was filmed with seriousness that you'll only find here. This monster movie doesn't have the goofy dubbing 'comedy' voicing. It doesn't have Godzilla making wacky hand gestures. It doesn't have kid heroes. And the black & white photography reinforces this seriousness, by later helping to cover for (well, somewhat) the primitive special effects in some scenes (they can't cover puppet-G looking bad).

What I also like about this, though I'm sure it was only a cost saving measure, is that the Japanese isn't being overdubbed or having subtitles for our convenience. We only know what is happening in many scenes because we can read the room with the visuals, or because Steve Martin's mouth has trouble not running - even about things which are happening out of his viewpoint. But I like the feel that we are witnessing this growing tragedy as outsiders looking in, without being able to grasp every social norm, every interaction and every detail that is being spoken. Like I say, I'm sure this was just to cut production costs but this forced perspective, I think, adds to the film.

Sc13: Back at the Operations Center, the recovery of the men, and their subsequent deaths are reported in. Men who are trying to do their jobs, have to find through the crowds of horrified family that are still demanding answers. Steve reports (needlessly and redundantly) that they were demanding something be done about these mysterious losses (Thanks, Steve).

Sc14: Next, Steve is in a meeting being covered by a group of reporters, in which government representatives and scientists are together to discuss what is happening out in the ocean. Shipping schedules have had to be cancelled or radically changed to avoid an entire area of the sea to the South of Japan. Among the guests are Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura), one of Japan's leading paleontologists (?the hell?). Steve, luckily for later, is familiar with Dr. Yamane through his still-not-seen friend, Dr. Serizawa.

Commentary: The only real weakness, in retrospect, to trying to cram Steve into the action, is Serizawa's role. The entire reason for Steve's stopover is literally to visit his friend. And yet, Steve and ... lets call him Akihiko... NEVER seem to catch up with one another. Why they chose the reclusive scientist to be Steve's "in", when they couldn't find a way to force-perspective Mr. Martin with the Doctor is a mystery to me. Especially, when they could've just made the security contact, Dr. Ikomo Yunaga as Steve's 'old friend'.

Sc15: In the meeting, Dr. ... lets call him Takashi... Yamane is given the floor (first names are not used much). Since it's all in Japanese, we're not getting much outta this - and neither is Steve. But thankfully, he's been rejoined by Ikomo, who can give him/us the jist. Dr. Yamane has suggested that they speak to the islanders of Odo (or Oto) Island, who are close to the site of the ship losses.

Sc16: Steve voiceovers for us that Odo/Oto Island was a bleak patch of land in the ocean, with an isolated fishing community. They were 'half-paralyzed with fear', as we see the islanders gathered on the beach and staring out at the sea. Off the coast, they can see the destructive white glow underneath the waves. From the hilltop, a boy and an old man are keeping watch. They spot something floating toward the island, and shout out a call of alarm. It turns out that there is a makeshift raft drifting inward to their island, and men are sent swimming out to guide it to the beach.

On the raft, is a single survivor, who everyone tries to manhandle awake. He barely survives long enough to recognize that he'd made it to land before perishing as well.

[Our 'dead' guy does get one last dying wince, as one of the other actors is over-emoting and shouting right in his ear.]

Sc17: The following morning, a helicoptor arrives from the main island. Steve was able to get an invite on the crew with security officer Ikomo. They share a flirty smile with one another [okay, that may be subject to interpretation].

While the officials spread out among 'the natives', Steve and Ikomo do the same, with the latter playing translator again. The 'native' (I really wished they used 'resident'... these may be remote islanders, but they're still Japanese citizens) animatedly shouts something before hurrying off and Steve asks Yunaga if they made him angry. Ikomo replies that he's afraid. He reports that he claimed to have seen a monster, and Ikomo tells Steve that the islanders are very superstitious.

Sc18: That evening, the investigators and Steve remain overnight on Odo/Oto. The locals enact a near-forgotten ritual (so Steve says - how he'd know that the ritual was nearly forgotten to history is anyone's guess) to appease the monster that the islanders are convinced is lingering off of their coast and putting them and their fishing livelihood in danger.

Dr. Yunaga tells Steve that the islanders have had a legend for ages about a monster in the seas around the island, and in the old days, they'd send out a woman on a raft as a sacrifice. Now of course, they just ritualize dance in masks and robes to help protect the island. Steve asks the name of this monster, and a old man coicidentally shouts out the name to one of the investigators nearby: Godzilla.

Commentary: I object to this. I also don't understand the choice. Godzilla's proper Japanese name is Gojira, and since none of the Japanese dialog has been dubbed, I don't understand why they wouldn't stick with the original name for the islander. Other than Americanizing the name of the monster, but it seems like they'd missed an opportunity to have Steve Martin dub the creature as Godzilla for his readers back home, instead of sticking the Americanization into the mouth of a local. It's such a little thing, but it struck me as weird.

Sc19: That night, Steve is smoking in his tiny pup tent. When there is the sound of a rumbling wind, Steve shares glances with his tent-mate, Yunaga. They listen as the wind picks up, and under the rumbling is punctuated 'booms' which are getting progressively louder. The weather quickly worsens out of nowhere, as rain and wind strike the surrounding village. Waves crash against the coast, and the wind continues to pick up to typhoon strength.

Sc20: In the village, a family lies restless listening to the growing storm. They sit up to the worsening conditions out of nowhere, while Steve and Ikomo have to abandon their blowing down tent to grab hold of a tree for support.

With our representative family, we see the boy from the hilltop, Seiji. He runs out into the storm to investigate the underlying pounding being heard - and presumably felt. His father chases him to the doorway to call him back inside, but sees something horrible, just before there is a burst of that awful white light.

He reacts with terror, and retreats inside his home to his wife. But around them, the walks and ceiling start to buckle. Out of the night comes the unearthly roar of something....

Commentary: There are a few things that are simply iconic about Godzilla, and one of these is that wonderful roar. It is exciting to hear it, finally! In addition, the Godzilla theme from Akira Ifukube is fantastic, and I fell in love with it from my first hearing it. It's easy to dismiss Godzilla as childish-men-in-monster-suits for those who simply can't love B-Movies, but for those of us who can, The Big G is an icon for a reason. And that is largely due to the creators coming up with such incredible sounds to introduce our monster. Akira cannot get a big enough KUDO for his music in general for all of the Godzilla films he was involved with. Each monster was always given a unique theme for their introductions that helped to have the monsters each their own individual personality, their own stamp to reflect their differing natures. The care that went into the music and sound direction during the monster creation behind the scenes help make me a Kaiju fan, even when later entries got cheap, tawdry, tacky and childish.

Sc21: With Steve and Ikomo, they're also flashed by bright white light from the village and hear the roar. But how much they actually see if difficult to tell through the wind driven rain that is soaking the area.

With our family, something moves against the house in the background, and the entire thing collapses to the sounds of our son screaming out into the night as he watches his home destroyed with his parents still inside. He's joined by more villagers also trying to understand what is happening/seeing their monster-god come ashore.

The village, in minutes, lies devastated. Steve admits that whatever happened out in the dark, it was more than just rain and wind and lightning. We see their arrival helicoptor lying crumpeled before it is blown over onto its side.

Commentary: Uh. The first really unfortunate use of a toy to represent a full-size object. I can ignore the model house being collapsed. I can look past the boats that are clearly models in a tank. But that helicoptor close-up was exactly the type of thing that detractors of the Godzilla films as "silly" can legitimately point to [along with the cheaper and more ridiculous later film moments]. A more distant shot would've helped... or simply not including the shot at all.

Sc22: Steve reports for us that the next morning, some of the islanders were transported to Tokyo to report what they witnessed in person before the government committee. The stories are similar, but with enough differences that it is obvious that the great storm covered for what may have been on the island. The only thing the residents are in agreement on, is that there was a living creature who caused the destruction.

Dr. Yamane is called up to speak following their testimony. His contribution is that we don't know too much about the deep oceans, and a survey team should be sent to Odo/Oto Island. This gets applause.

Sc23: Sometime later, in the hallway, Steve pontificates by repeating Dr. Yamane's point that we don't know everything. When Dr. Yamane leaves the conference room, Steve intercepts him. The two, as established, know one another so Takashi is happy to speak to him [via the back of his head to the camera -- this scene is a bit wordy to have a stand-in when there aren't any other angles to cover for the fact this is an insert shot]. Steve asks if he can accompany the doctor to the island, and offers that he's been cleared by the security department. Takashi says of course he may.

Sc24: As the expedition is loading up at the docks, well-wishers swarm the area to cheer on the scientists. [It's more than a little over-the-top.]

Among the scientists are selected reporters, including Steve, of course. But also aboard the expedition is Emiko Yamane, daughter of the doctor, who is acting as official documentarian. Steve tells us of the anxiety aboard, as the ship headed out to the island, knowing that they could just as easily end up a victim of whatever destroyed the previous vessels.

As Steve is lighting up his pipe on the upper deck, he spots Emiko and a marine officer in conversation. This officer is [Akira] Ogata. Steve observes that Akira and Emiko seemed to be spending a little too much time together, when the last that he'd heard, she was engaged to Dr. Serizawa [you remember, that friend that Steve has never even had a conversation with].

Their conversation doesn't seem entirely pleasant [so the inferences of Steve don't seem entirely founded -- even though they are].

Sc25: On the island, the expedition first surveys the remains of the village.

Men with geiger counters pick up radiation sources among the wreckage, and they survey deep depressions in the earth tracking the path of destruction. A central well is found to have contaminated water. After some time, Dr. Yamane points out that the deep depressions in the soil are actually footsteps of an immense creature. What's more, more radiation is found in the water running through the footprints. Despite this, Emiko continues to stand in the soil without any protective gear, as does Dr. Yamane and the half dozen reporters crowding the survey mission [Steve and Ikomo Yunaga are not in the thick of the action this time out].

Having just confirmed radioactivity where he's standing, Dr. Yamane then proceeds to handle items contaminated with his bare hands, including putting his hands into the contaminated water to pluck out a dead trilobyte. The discovery of the presumed extinct animal that had been living until very recently doesn't provoke as much wonder and excitement as you may think.

Dr. Yamane is reminded not to handle contaminated creatures with his bare hands, and he packs it up in a case that Emiko is carrying, along with a sketch pad. Having just been reminded that the groundwater and anything in it is radioactive, Dr. Yamane proceeds to run his hands around the water some more to shift the soil looking for any other signs of what may've been left behind by what can be confirmed now to be a creature from the sea -- without any gloves -- when there are technicians standing at his shoulder, who are wearing protective gowns and heavy gloves. There is also surprisingly little concern for Emiko's future child-bearing.

Steve asking Ikomo a [dumb and obvious] question [to butt them into the scene] is interrupted by a sentry on the hilltop striking the warning bell.

Sc26: This causes a mass flight away from what remains of the village for the relative safely of the heavily forested hills. Everyone stops about halfway up, and stares in the direction of the hilltop, they were all running toward, as those pounding footsteps get louder and louder.

From over the rise, everyone gets their clear look at the gigantic beast that so recently raided the island - this time accompanied by only clear skies. Everyone turns and runs the opposite way, back down the mountain, or throws themselves into the high grasses to hide. Steve stands transfixed, while Ikomo tries to urge him to flee.

Both Emiko and Ikomo trip over their own feet, but Ogata is there to grab up Emiko and rush her to hiding, while Steve drops to Ikomo's side so they can stare at the beast from the sea gazing at them from behind the hilltop.

Just as suddenly as the monster appeared, he turns away - uninterested in the fleeing humans beneath him and disappears the way he came with his pounding footsteps receding toward the ocean.

Commentary: The first sight of Godzilla is pretty impressive, and the unique signature roar of his always captures attention. But alas, this is a hand puppet and the mouth is all sorts of wrong when the camera insists on holding on him during a roar. His neck is also appallingly gangly, so the Big G isn't able to really fully impress on his first clear view... which actually, is an issue throughout when it comes to Godzilla, himself. The various stand-ins for him are of varying quality, so we'll have shots of him that are really pretty good for the time period, but these are surrounded by more puppetry heads that are... less so.

Sc27: Later, back in Tokyo, Dr. Yamane gives a presentation on his theory that Godzilla originates from the Jurassic Age. He then turns attention to how such an animal could have re-appeared in modern days with no sign of him until now.

He can only give vague theories which sound like what they are -- pulled out his ass. And that really isn't the point, anyway, as the over 400' creature is there and they'll have to deal with it.

[And whoever English-dubbed Dr. Yamane really should not have been allowed to use the word, 'phenomena' or its variations. He cannot pronounce the word without it sounding goofily funny, but they keep having him say it. (Sammee Tong)]

The doctor does offer that the radioactive signature of the creature's passing suggests that it was subject to the blast of an H-Bomb test, and that could have driven it up from the depths where it was hidden. [Well... he what he actually says is that he believes this Godzilla was resurrected by multiple H-Bomb blasts... but since he isn't an expert in radioactivity, and therefore has no explanation to how something dead - and presumably fossilized - in the ocean muck could be turned back into organic matter and then given life, I'm choosing to ignore that unfortunate choice of word.]

Dr. Yamane's pinning the blame on H-Bomb experiments, which Japan had no hand in, causes an uproar of recriminations throughout the Diet.

Sc28: Steve gets in touch with his editor in Chicago, whom we finally meet, and gives the rundown on the 'monster story' from Japan. Steve informs Editor that the Japanese Government is going to depth bomb Godzilla. Editor asks how they'll be able to do that, if they can't see him. Steve offers that sonar exists.

After Steve is instructed to stay on the story, he receives a note and immediately reaches for the phone again. His call is to the elusive Dr. [Akihiko] Serizawa, who has finally reached out to his friend. Steve asks if his call is about his experiments, and Akihiko confirms. They arrange to have dinner the following evening, after Dr. Serizawa mentions that he's meeting with Emiko that evening.

Sc29: As we see Emiko and Dr. Serizawa meet that late afternoon, and rather awkwardly and restrained, Steve fills us in on the fact that their engagement was an arranged marriage prepared when they were both still children.

With hindsight, Steve knows that this is the meeting where Emiko was to tell Akihiko about her being in love with [Akira] Ogata & that she respected the scientist immensely, but just wasn't that into him. Before she can broach the topic, though, we see Akihiko wanting to show her the results of his experiments.

In his basement lab [as all good scientists should have, if they're worth the name of course], Dr. Serizawa leads Emiko through his work. This is the first time that Emiko has been allowed access to Serizawa's lab and she finds many large tanks of fish, and the usual assortment of beakers, flasks, tubes, etc. of the typical home-lab, along with what appears to be one hella large electrical generator.

[I OBJECT! Akihiko's fish tanks are barebones and that water is repugnantly cloudy. There seems to be almost no water circulation, or any means of filtration. I'm appalled.]

Wordlessly, the doctor retrieves a tray of something, which he brings to one of the fish tanks. He drops what appears to be a silver ball into the tank, and pulls a switch, which causes a high pitch hum. In the tank, the device he switched on activates the silver ball. Emiko watches with growing horror as something, well horrible, happens. We don't witness it, but we do hear the gong-of-doom, and Emiko screams before nearly collapsing.

Sc30: Outside of the lab, Emiko is left unsteady on her feet, as she processes whatever she saw in the lab. Serizawa swears Emiko to secrecy. She doesn't get the chance to broach calling off their engagement.

Sc31: It's late when Emiko finally returns home. Ogata and the adopted by him - island boy, Seiji are there to greet her, but Ogata's joy is quickly replaced with concern at Emiko's demeanor. He asks about her visit to Akihiko, but is disappointed when she won't talk about it. He leaves, pretty sure that she hasn't called off the engagement as she had apparently promised him. [It could probably be inferred that this was the discussion on the research vessel.]

Sc32: Sometime later, the naval forces of Japan carry out their sonar sweep and depth charging of Godzilla.

Commentary: This is another theme that will be carried over with some variation into future Godzilla films to represent Japan's military. I really like this theme too, as it's filled with pageantry and optimism, so sure that the proud navy of Japan can resolve this crisis, now that they know what they're hunting for.

Sc33: That night, the Yamanes, Ogata and Seiji are watching footage of the operation on television. Dr. Yamane is dour. He rushes off, and when Emiko opens his study door, she finds him sitting in the dark. He's upset at the pointless slaughtering of a unique, never-before-seen lifeform without any thought to finding a way to contain and study this once-in-a-lifetime [well, okay - he can't know that giant monsters are about to be a dime a dozen] opportunity.


Tags: review kaiju films

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