Trivia Minute November 3, 2016

Godzilla: Terrorizing the World Since 1954

by Marcus Michelson
Godzilla in a scene from the 1954 "Godzilla." (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Godzilla in a scene from the 1954 “Godzilla.” (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1954, the first Godzilla movie premiered in Japan.

Here are some things you may not of known about it.

Toho, the company that produced Godzilla, was originally slated to do a movie about the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. However due to a breakdown in relations between the two countries, the project was shelved.

Seeking a new idea, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka thought of making a monster movie inspired by the American sci-if movie, “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.”

The original idea was that the monster would be similar to a squid or octopus. The producers considered having the monster be a gorilla or a whale. The Japanese name for the character, Gojira, is a combination of the Japanese words for gorilla and whale.

The producers originally wanted to use stop-motion animation to make the film, but realized that, because of the size of their staff and the technology of the time, it would take more than seven years to finish.

Instead, a technique called suitmation, which involves using humans in monster suits amid scale models, was used.

The first Godzilla suit was made of bamboo and wire covered with metal mesh and latex. It weighed about 220 pounds.

A second, lighter suit was made but the performer inside still lost more than 20 pounds during the making of the film.

In the film, the character of Godzilla is awakened by underwater nuclear bomb testing. The film on the whole, is an allegory reflecting Japan’s experience dealing with the result of the nuclear bomb explosions that ended World War II.

As of 2016, 29 Godzilla films have been made.

Our question: In how many films did actor Haruo Nakajima play the character of Godzilla?

 

Today is Independence Day in Panama, Dominica, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

It’s unofficially National men make dinner day, national sandwich day, and cliché day.

It’s the birthday of “the Father of Texas” Stephen F Austin, who was born in 1793; baseball pitcher Bob Feller, who was born in 1918; and comedian Dennis Miller who turns 63.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1966, the top song in the U.S. was “Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees.

The No. 1 movie was “Way … Way Out,” while the novel “Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.

 

Links

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or our website.

Also, if you’re enjoying the show, please consider supporting it through Patreon.com

Please rate the show on iTunes by clicking here.

Leave a comment

*

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.