Roars and Recuts: A Comparative Analysis of Japanese and American Versions of Godzilla 1954-1962


This presentation explains how various American distribution companies rebranded the first three Japanese films about Godzilla. I propose these examples offer a unique meeting ground between two film industries and their narrative norms. By textual and industrial analysis with examination of marketing, I reveal the extensive modifications of all three films were done pragmatically. American distributors wanted to insert them into the popular cycle of low-budget monster movies. Hence Godzilla films became comprehensible to the cultural competence of the US audience while still maintaining some of its Japanese specificity. In three sections I examine (I) recutting and shooting new footage for Godzilla, (II) utilising pre-existing footage and dubbing in Godzilla Raids Again and (III) combination of both in King Kong vs Godzilla. These recuts were seldom studied for being considered a secondary product. This article, therefore, understands the US-specific distribution of Japanese science fiction as an extensive and diversified art practice. An approach widening discussions about recuts, adaptations and the concept of the original.

Author Information
Daniel Krátký, Masaryk University, Czech Republic

Paper Information
Conference: KAMC2021
Stream: Film Studies

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon