Media Courtesy of Boise Weekly
Nov 3, 2014 was a landmark day in the history of legendary movie monster Godzilla. The date marked sixty years since the release of the first Godzilla
film in Japan.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal
, cast and crew from the original film recount the struggles of bringing the creature to life decades before the digital age.
Eizo Kaimai, co-creator of the Godzilla costume for the film, reveals that the first suit was constructed with bamboo, cloth, paper, wire, and whatever else the crew could find. For the final version, the costume was cast in rubber. "Back then, when we first created monster movies, we didn’t even have plastic or urethane material available,” the now 85-year-old explains. "It was hard work.”
Actor Haruo Nakajima, also now 85, recalls the challenges of bringing the iconic creature to life inside the 60 kilogram suit which would broil him inside with temperatures of up to 140 degrees.
Another of the film's stars, Akira Takarada, speaks of the anti-nuclear message of the movie, which was made in a Japan still reeling from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Takarada says the cast and crew saw Godzilla as a “sacred beast sent to warn humanity about war and weapons." Takarada also expresses disappointment that much of the anti-nuclear message was lost to audiences outside of Japan due to cuts made to the film by U.S. distributors.
Even though the themes and look of Godzilla movies have changed dramatically over the years, the giant monster is still as popular as ever. The new Godzilla
movie released this year took in $525 million in ticket sales worldwide and a sequel is now in the works. The character is also a consistently popular seller in toys and other merchandise. All signs definitely point to Godzilla living a successful life of havoc and mayhem for many more years to come.
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