As if you don’t know, Godzilla is a monster that has been created from nuclear detonations and is out to destroy the world. He rises from the sea and attacks Japan, stomping across cities, killing and destroying before returning to his ocean home. There are people who want to save Godzilla and to learn to understand him, and others who want to destroy him and think that when he is gone, the world will be safe once more.
The original film was made in 1952. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened in 1945. The post-WWII US occupation of Japan officially ended in 1952 apart from Okinawa and Iwo Jima. So, it was around the time that Japan was becoming an independent state once more that this film came out – a film which is clearly make strong comments about nuclear detonation (although no actual reference to Hiroshima or Nagasaki is made) as well as humanity and the way people treat other living creatures.
It’s great. Of course, the effects are pretty awful, and much of the acting is over the top and ridiculous, but it is wonderful for what it says and the way it is said. Clearly, it was hugely influential, with Godzilla appearing in numerous films, computer games, novels, comic books and television series.