To some Godzilla is simply an imaginary movie monster; some guy in a goofy rubber suit stomping on model cities and battling toy tanks and planes?
To director Ishirō Honda when he created the first Godzilla film in 1954 the monster represented America. Specifically, the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Film critics at the time accused Honda of exploiting the collective damaged psyche of the Japanese people. The film received mixed reviews and achieved only an 8th place that year.
Originally planned as a stop-motion animation it soon became apparent that cost and time would be to high. So a martial artist Haruo Nakajima was chosen to fill the rubber shoes of Godzilla. The effects and suit are considerably well done considering no great leaps and bounds in “man-in-rubber-suit-monster” improvements have been made since then.
I remember watching all the Godzilla films as a child and thinking, “this is so fake, but so cool!” It wasn’t the rubber suit, changing size perspectives or melting models that captured my imagination, it was his roar. Somehow, that sound made all the fake stuff seem a bit more real.
Years later I read that it was created by running a tar covered glove over a cello’s stings. Listening to it now I can hear that the roar to is artificial. Perhaps some things should remain as secrets. I miss you Godzilla.