Thursday, March 21, 2019

1954 U.S. newspaper mention
of "Gojira" (looking skinny)

This might have been the first moment when some Pennsylvanians learned about the Gojira/Godzilla phenomenon. It's a standalone wire photograph from Page 31 of the October 19, 1954, edition of The Plain Speaker of Hazleton.

The caption states:
H-BOMB MONSTER — This huge balloon monster is being moored over Tokyo, Japan. It was made to advertise a movie called "Gojira," which means half gorilla and half whale. The creature supposedly came into being after the U.S. H-bomb tests at Bikini. It then swam into Tokyo Bay, clambered ashore, destroying several large buildings including the Diet.
Toho's Gojira made its silver-screen debut in Japan in late October 1954. Most Americans didn't get to see it, though, until the heavily edited American version (adding Raymond Burr and removing anti-nuclear overtones) called Godzilla, King of the Monsters! hit theaters in spring 1956. That version, and many sillier sequels, were staples of weekend TV in the 1960s and 1970s. Later, there came the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, the Matthew Broderick travesty and now Millie Bobby Brown hanging out with the atomic lizard and his famous kaij┼ź pals this spring.

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