At last! In January next year Criterion is releasing a high definition digitally restored edition of Gojira [aka Godzilla] — the 1954 daikaiju classic directed by Ishiro Honda — on Blu-ray and DVD.
After the merely half-decent releases that have appeared over the past decade, this will be the first that has been fully restored, and should display a much improved visual quality. There are some fantastic extras, too.
This giant monster classic, which created a fearsome and deeply felt metaphor for nuclear terror, deserves top-notch treatment. Despite having several copies of the film already, I’ll be lining up for this one!
- New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
- Audio commentary by David Kalat (A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series)
- New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original, starring Raymond Burr
- Audio commentary for Godzilla, King of the Monsters by Kalat
- New interviews with actor Akira Takarada (Hideto Ogata), Godzilla performer Haruo Nakajima, and effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
- Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
- Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects
- New interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
- The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo fukuryu maru, a real-life event that inspired Godzilla
- Theatrical trailers
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman
It can be pre-ordered now on the Criterion website.