There was an Americanized version in 1956 by Terry Morse, “Godzilla, King of Monsters”. That version uses footage from the original, but adds stuff with Raymond Burr as an American journalist. In fact, about 40 minutes were pulled and essentially deletes any reference to the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is totally worth your time, but it’s the old school Ishiro Honda‘s version you really need to see.
Both are now available from the Criterion Collection on blue-ray and DVD. (for those not familiar with Criterion, they take classic movies and release them in definitive remasters) Both are in the same packaging along with a good offering of commentary and extras.
Honda’s version is less a monster story and more a dark tale about Japan after the nuclear attacks that ended World War II.
Of course Godzilla launched an almost endless stream of monster movies and was the origin of the stereotypical japanese, poorly dubbed, rubber suited, destruction of cardboard cities. But when you get to watch these two versions back to back, you get a totally different feel for what Godzilla was meant to be.
- DVD Review: Godzilla (1954) – The Criterion Collection (blogcritics.org)
- Criterion Collection to Release Digitally Restored ‘Godzilla’ on Blu-ray and DVD in January (slashfilm.com)
- GeekOut on Gojira (1954) from Berin Kinsman’s Dire Blog ” rpg (berinkinsman.wordpress.com)