DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
GOJIRA
March 23, 2017  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

In the United States, the giant lizard monster Godzilla was introduced to us via 1956’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, one of many 1950s movie presenting giant, atom-bomb-mutated creatures as allegories for fears of nuclear disaster. Raymond Burr starred in that movie, old-time monster movie fans may recall, playing an American reporter named, believe it or not, Steve Martin. But Burr’s scenes were all shot two years after the release of the original Japanese lizard-monster film, Gojira, and added to the film for an American release, while other scenes were dubbed into English, and many scenes about Japanese society simply edited out. But tonight, at the start of a wonderful night of monster and sci-fi classics, TCM presents the original, Japanese 1954 version of Gojira. And if “Godzilla” is merely a lost-in-translation version of Gojira, that’s not the last time such a pop-culture misunderstanding led to a mislabeling of a famous brand. According to legend, the landmark videogame Donkey Kong actually was designed after the simian character in the movie King Kong, and, to avoid copyright issues, was named “Monkey Kong” – a name that somehow changed to “Donkey” somewhere along the way. If that’s true, the videogame’s name, and design, actually makes a lot more sense…

 
 
 
 
 
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