32 Godzilla Movies and its Evolution from 1954 to 2014

In 1998, we encountered the biggest and the best Film out of all Godzilla movies ever made. The Movie showed an overall improvement, such as better cinematography, production, Visual Effects etc.

Till date, 31 Godzilla movies had been released and this year, Director Gareth Edwards and Warner Bros, will be releasing the next sequel, let’s say a new Godzilla Movie.

Out of these 32 Godzilla movies, 4 are American Productions and rest are all Toho Productions. The first Godzilla was released in 1854, directed by Ishiro Honda.

Below is a progression of Godzilla Movies ever released from 1954 to 2014.

Godzilla Movies from 1954 to 2014

Godzilla 1954

Godzilla moviesGodzilla 1954 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho, directed by Ishirō Honda, and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. The film stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura.

The plot tells the story of Godzilla, a giant monster mutated by nuclear radiation, who ravages Japan and brings back the horrors of World War II’s nuclear devastation to the very nation that experienced it first-hand.

It was the first of many kaiju films released in Japan, paving the way and setting the standard for future kaiju films, many of which feature Godzilla.

Godzilla Raids Again – 1955

Godzilla 1955

The second film in the Godzilla series, this was a direct sequel quickly put into production to capitalize on the box office success ofGodzilla the previous year. This was the first film in the series to feature a “monster vs. monster” scenario, as it introduced Godzilla’s first foe, the quadruped monster Anguirus. This scenario of Godzilla battling other giant monsters would become a staple for the rest of the series.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the Summer of 1959 by Warner Brothers as Gigantis, the Fire Monster. This American version of the film was heavily edited as it not only gives Godzilla a modified roar and a new origin, but also changes his name from “Godzilla” to “Gigantis”, trying to pass the monster off as a completely new character. This move was considered a failure, and all subsequent American cuts of Godzilla films would use the character’s proper name.

Godzilla, King of the Monsters! – 1956

godzilla 1956

It is an American production incorporating most of the footage of the Japanese film Godzilla, which had previously been shown subtitled in the United States in Japanese community theaters only, and was not known in Europe. For the American production, the original Japanese footage was dubbed into the English language and new footage was shot with actor Raymond Burr.

Although a handful of independent, low-budget films had previously been filmed in Japan after World War II by American companies and featuring Japanese players in the cast, Godzilla represented the first to present Japanese in principal, heroic roles or as sympathetic victims of the destruction of Tokyo (albeit by a fictional giant monster) to the American public in a commercial release given A-picture status and bookings.

It was this version of the original Godzilla film that introduced most audiences outside of Japan to Godzilla and labeled the character as “King of the Monsters”.

King Kong vs. Godzilla – 1962

Godzilla movies

It was the third installment in the Japanese series of films featuring the monster Godzilla. It was also the first of two Japanese made films featuring the King Kong character (or rather, its Toho Studios counterpart) and also the first time both King Kong and Godzilla appeared on film in color and widescreen. Produced as part of Toho’s 30th anniversary celebration, this film remains the most commercially successful of all the Godzilla films to date.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the summer of 1963 by Universal International.

 

Mothra vs. Godzilla – 1964

Godzilla 1964The fourth film in the Godzilla series, it was the first in which Toho began bringing in monsters from other productions, having Godzilla cross paths with Mothra. This trend would continue later in the same year with Rodan, in the film Ghidorah the Three Headed Monster.

The film was released theatrically in the United States and Canada in the summer of 1964 (four months after its Japanese debut) by American International Pictures as Godzilla vs. the Thing.

 

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster – 1964

Ghidorah_the_Three-Headed_Monster_1965It is the fifth film in the Godzilla series and was the second Godzilla film produced that year (production began following Mothra vs Godzilla). This film marked the change of Godzilla from villain to hero in the series and featured the first appearance of King Ghidorah.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the Fall of 1965 by Continental Distributing as Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster.

 

 

Invasion of Astro-Monster – 1965

434px-Invasion_of_Astro-Monster_posterInvasion of Astro-Monster, known in Japan as Kaijū Daisensō, is a Japanese Science Fiction kaiju film that is 6th in the Godzilla franchise. The film was co-produced between the Japanese company Toho, and Henry G. Saperstein’s American company UPA, marking the only time a Godzilla film was co-produced with an American studio. Directed by Ishirō Honda, and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, the film cast included the American actor Nick Adams, and Japanese actors Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno and Akira Kubo. This film is the first in the franchise to feature alien invaders, combining the series with outer space themes, such as civilizations on other planets and interplanetary space travel.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the summer of 1970 by Maron Films as Monster Zero, where it played nationwide on a double bill with War of the Gargantuas.

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster – 1966

435px-Godzilla_vs_the_Sea_Monster_1966

The 7th film in the Godzilla series, this was the first of two island themed adventure films starring Godzilla.

The film was released straight to television in the United States in 1967 by the Walter Reade organization as Godzilla versus The Sea Monster.

Son of Godzilla – 1967

Son_of_Godzilla_1967The 8th film in the Godzilla series, it was also the second of two island themed Godzilla adventures that Toho produced with slightly smaller budgets than most of the Godzilla films from this time period.

Continuing the trend of shifting the series towards younger audiences, the film introduced an infant Godzilla named Minilla.

The film was released straight to television in the United States in 1969 by the Walter Reade organization.

 

Destroy All Monsters – 1968

Godzilla movies

Destroy All Monsters, is a 1968 Japanese Science fiction Kaiju film produced by Toho. The ninth entry in the original Godzilla series, it stars Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi and Yoshio Tsuchiya. Produced in celebration as Toho’s 20th kaiju film, it was also originally intended to be the final Godzilla film, and as such, was given a bigger budget than the past few productions. Set at the end of the 20th century, the film features many of Toho’s earlier monsters, eleven in all.

The film was also the last to be produced by the main creators of the Godzilla character, with Ishiro Honda directing, Eiji Tsuburaya supervising the special effects (with Sadamasa Arikawa actually directing), Tomoyuki Tanaka producing, and Akira Ifukube handling the film’s score.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the Spring of 1969 by American International Pictures.

All Monsters Attack – 1969

Godzilla Movies

The 10th film in the Godzilla series, this was also the first film specifically geared towards children. While credited with the special effects work, Eiji Tsuburaya was not directly involved with the production of this film. The “Special Effects Supervised by” credit was given out of respect, since he was still the head of the Visual Effects Department. The effects were handled by Ishirō Honda himself, with assistance from Teruyoshi Nakano.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the winter of 1971 by Maron Films as Godzilla’s Revenge, where it was paired up nationwide on a double bill with Island of the Burning Damned.

Godzilla vs. Hedorah – 1971

Godzilla Movies

The 11th film in the Godzilla series, the film had a strong anti-pollution message with director Banno being inspired after visiting a polluted beach near Yokkaichi.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the Spring of 1972 by American International Pictures as Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster

Godzilla vs. Gigan – 1972

Godzilla Movies

The 12th film of the Godzilla series, this film featured the return of Godzilla’s greatest foe King Ghidorah. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was displeased with the previous film, Godzilla vs Hedorah, and wanted to return the series to the more traditional route of well known monsters and an alien invasion plot.

This was the last film in which Godzilla was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima who had played the character since the first film in 1954.

The film received a limited theatrical release in the United States in 1978 by Cinema Shares as Godzilla on Monster Island.

Godzilla vs. Megalon – 1973

Godzilla Movies

It was the thirteenth film in the Godzilla franchise. Heavily influenced by the tokusatsu superhero TV shows of the time, the film had Godzilla essentially acting as a costar to a huge robotic superhero character called Jet Jaguar.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the summer of 1976 by Cinema Shares. Afterwards it became the only Godzilla film to receive a television premiere on a major U.S network, as NBC aired it on prime time television in the summer of 1977, where it was hosted by actor John Belushi dressed in a Godzilla costume.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla – 1974

Godzilla_vs_Mechagodzilla_1974

The 14th film of the Godzilla series, it featured a slightly bigger budget with higher production values then the previous few films of the series.

The film introduced a mechanical version of Godzilla called Mechagodzilla, and also introduced a character called King Caesar based on the legend of the Shisa.

The film received a very limited theatrical release in the United States in early 1977 by Cinema Shares as Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster. After roughly a week into its release, the film was reissued with the altered title of Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster.

Terror of Mechagodzilla – 1975

Terror_of_MechaGodzilla_1975

This film was the 15th and final film in the original series of Godzilla films, before the series reboot in 1984.

A direct sequel to the previous year’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, this film was the least successful commercially of the entire Godzilla franchise.

The movie takes place between Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Destroy All Monsters. This was the last Godzilla film directed by Ishirō Honda.

In the United States, it received a very limited theatrical release in the summer of 1978 by Bob Conn Enterprises as The Terror of Godzilla.

The Return of Godzilla – 1984

Godzilla_1984

The sixteenth film in Toho’s Godzilla series, it marked the beginning of a rebooted series of Godzilla films that ignores all the films from 1955’s Godzilla Raids Again through 1975’s Terror of Mechagodzilla. The film acts as a direct sequel to the original 1954 film Godzilla. Produced as part of Godzilla’s 30th anniversary, the film returned the series to the darker themes and mood of some of the early films and returned Godzilla to his destructive antagonistic roots.

The film was used as the basis for Godzilla 1985. Edited and with new scenes shot in the United States, Godzilla 1985 was released theatrically in the United States in the Summer of 1985 by New World Pictures. The American version of the film featured Canadian actor Raymond Burr reprising his character Steve Martin, from the film Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which was also made in the same way.

Godzilla 1985

Godzilla1985

Both the New World Pictures and Toho versions of the film serve as direct sequels to the original Godzilla film however, while Toho’s version serves as a sequel to the 1954 original, Godzilla 1985 serves as a sequel to Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, the 1956 Americanization of the original film which starred Raymond Burr. The film uses the same editing method used in Godzilla, King of The Monsters where the original Japanese footage is dubbed and cut together with newly filmed footage featuring American actors, with Burr reprising his role as Steve Martin who has been summoned by the United States military to aide them in a counterattack against Godzilla after he resurfaces 30 years after his initial attack. In addition to keeping Reijiro Koroku’s original score, the film samples cues from Christopher Young’s Def-Con 4 film score.

The film was met with mainly unfavorable reviews upon its release in the United States. Just like Godzilla, King of The Monsters, a majority of the nuclear themes and political overtones featured in the Japanese version were removed from the English version. Godzilla 1985 was the last Godzilla film to be distributed theatrically in the United States until the release of Godzilla 2000.

Godzilla vs. Biollante – 1989

GodzillaBiollante

This was the first “monster vs monster” film from this rebooted series. It featured a new monster called Biollante, with producer Tomoyuki Tanaka desiring new monster opponents for Godzilla rather than using characters from the original films.

As part of pre-release publicity, Tanaka solicited script ideas from the public with 5,000 entries being received. The winning entry that was selected was from Shinichiro Kobayashi, a dentist and occasional science fiction writer. Director Ōmori then adapted it into the film’s script.

The film was released direct to video in the United States in November 25, 1992 by HBO Video.

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah – 1991

GXKG_Poster

Tomoyuki Tanaka had originally desired to create new monster opponents for the series, but after the box office disappointment of 1989’s Godzilla vs Biollante, opted to bring back classic foes instead.

The film was a box office hit, with sequels released on a yearly basis until 1995. It won a Japanese Academy Award for special effects.

The film was released direct to video in the United States in 1998 by Columbia Tristar Home Video as Godzilla vs. King Ghidora.

Godzilla vs. Mothra – 1992

Godzillamothra1992

After the success of the previous year’s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, Toho decided to bring back Mothra, their second most famous creation. Composer Akira Ifukube won a Japanese Academy Award for his score.

The film was the second highest grossing film in Japan in 1993, second only to Jurassic Park.

The film was released direct to video in the United States in 1998 by Columbia Tristar Home Video as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth.

 

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II – 1993

GVMGII

The film featured the return of classic characters from the original series such as Rodan and Mechagodzilla, as well as introducing an infant Godzilla named BabyGodzilla.

Although it shares a title with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, the film is neither a remake nor a re-imagining of the earlier film. Despite its North American title, the film is not a sequel to the original Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, nor does it share any connections or similarities with the original.

The film was released straight to pay-per-view satellite television in the United States in 1998 by Sony Pictures Television.

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla – 1994

space godzilla

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is a 1994 Japanese science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Kensho Yamashita and featuring special effects by Koichi Kawakita, the film starred Megumi Odaka, Jun Hashizume, and Akira Emoto. It was the twenty-first film in the Godzilla series. The film featured Godzilla battling an evil doppelgänger from outer space called SpaceGodzilla.

The film was released direct to video in the United States in 1999 by Columbia Tristar Home Video.

 

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah – 1995

god 1995

This twenty-second installment in the Godzilla franchise was the final film in the Heisei, or second, series of films. The film received publicity around the world for Toho’s announcement that they would kill Godzilla.

Toho ended the series to make way for an American Godzilla film, which was ultimately produced in 1998. Toho would begin a new series of Godzilla films in 1999 with the film Godzilla 2000, which began the Millennium series.

The film was released direct to video in the United States in 1999 by Columbia TriStar Home Video.

Godzilla – 1998

Godzilla_(1998_Movie_Poster)

Godzilla is a 1998 American science fiction monster film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. It was a reimagining of the popular Japanese film monster of the same name. The screenplay was written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The plot of the film revolves around a giant reptilian monster, mutated by nuclear tests in the French Polynesia, who migrates to New York City to nest its young. The cast features Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn and Jean Reno.

The film was a co-production between Centropolis Entertainment and TriStar Pictures, with TriStar distributing theatrically, and Sony Pictures Entertainment for home media. On May 19, 1998, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released Epic Records. It features songs written by several recording artists including The Wallflowers, Rage Against the Machine, Silverchair, and Foo Fighters. The film score was composed and orchestrated by David Arnold.

Godzilla premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on May 20, 1998 grossing $136,314,294 in domestic ticket receipts. It earned an additional $242,700,000 through international release to top out at a combined $379,014,294 in gross revenue. The film was met with a negative reception from critics and fans alike. The negative reception highlighted by critics included the film’s thin plot, acting, and directing while fans targeted the film’s drastic reinvention of the titular character, which included its radical redesign and departure from the source material. Because of this, the film was nominated for and won multiple Raspberry Awards, including Worst Remake or Sequel, but received recognition in the field of computer-generated imagery by winning the Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. Planned sequels were abandoned, despite a well-received animated series airing September 12, 1998 on the Fox Kids network.

Godzilla 2000 Millennium – 1999

Godzilla2000jap

Godzilla 2000: Millennium is a 1999 Japanese science fiction kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara and written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura.

It was the twenty-third film released in the Godzilla series, and is the only film to feature Orga. The film was released on December 11, 1999. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s TriStar division, having the rights to the franchise at the time, released the film in the United States and Canada in August 2000 as Godzilla 2000; the last in the main Godzilla series to make a North American theatrical run until the Legendary Pictures remake.

The film ignores continuity established by any previous films, aside from the original. The film was released on DVD by Sony Pictures on December 26, 2000, also under the title Godzilla 2000.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus – 2000

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, was the twenty-fourth film released in the Godzilla franchise, and the second film in terms of the franchise’s Millenium series.

It premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on November 3, 2000. While the film shares the suit used in Godzilla 2000, it is not connected to the previous film.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack – 2001

Godzilla movies

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is the twenty-fifth installment released in the Godzilla film series as a part of the Millennium series. Set nearly 50 years after the events of Godzilla, the film tells the story of a revived Godzilla possessed by the spirits of the Japanese soldiers that died in World War II. Godzilla returns to destroy Japan. Taizo Tachibana, admiral of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, intends to attack Godzilla. Meanwhile, his daughter Yuri searches for the three guardians, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Baragon. They must stop Godzilla from obliterating the country.

The film was released in the United States on cable television on August 31, 2003 then followed with a DVD release in early 2004.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla – 2002

GXMG_Poster Godzilla movies

26th installment in the Godzilla franchise and the fourth film to feature Mechagodzilla. Unlike much of the Millennium Series and like Godzilla 2000, the film takes place in continuity with other Toho films, notably Godzilla, Mothra, War of the Gargantuas, Space Amoeba and its successor, Tokyo S.O.S.

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. – 2003

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., released in Japan as Godzilla × Mothra × Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS, is a 2003 science fiction kaiju film directed by Masaaki Tezuka. It was the twenty-seventh film to be released in the Godzilla series.

It is the twelfth film to feature Mothra, the second film to feature Kamoebas, and the fifth and latest film to feature Mechagodzilla. Unlike the Millennium Series and like Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the film takes place in continuity with other Toho films, notably Godzilla, Mothra, War of the Gargantuas, Space Amoeba and its predecessor, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla.

Godzilla: Final Wars – 2004

GodzillaFinalWarsPoster Godzilla movies

The film is set in a future where mutant soldiers are in the ranks of the Earth Defense Organization. An invasion by the alien Xiliens unleashes a legion of giant monsters across the world, leaving behind only a few surviving humans. The survivors travel to the South Pole to free Godzilla from his frozen prison while another group attempts to infiltrate the alien Mothership and take out the Xiliens.

As a 50th anniversary film, a number of actors from previous Godzilla films appeared as main characters or in cameo roles. In addition, various Kaiju (monsters) made reappearances, as most were last seen more than 30 years earlier. Godzilla: Final Wars premiered on November 29, 2004 in Los Angeles, California and was released on December 4, 2004 in Japan. Before the world premiere, Godzilla received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Director Ryuhei Kitamura has compared Godzilla: Final Wars to that of a musician’s “Best of” album, stating “We picked lots and lots of the best elements from the past and combined it in a new way. It’s what I love about Godzilla and what I don’t love about recent Godzilla movies”.

Godzilla 2014

Godzilla movies

Godzilla is an upcoming American science fiction monster film featuring the Japanese film monster of the same name in a reboot of the Godzilla film franchise.

The film retells the origin of Godzilla in contemporary times as a “terrifying force of nature” in a style faithful to the Toho series of Godzilla films. The film is directed by British filmmaker Gareth Edwards, written by Max Borenstein and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.

The film is a co-production between Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, the latter of which will also distribute the film worldwide, except in Japan where it will be distributed by Toho. It is the second Godzilla film to be fully filmed by an American studio, the first having been the 1998 Godzilla. This film is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 16, 2014 and Japan July 25, 2014 in 2D and 3D.

Data Collected from Wikipedia.

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