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Yes, we have to remember that after the first few films, the Godzilla series
became family-oriented, and should be appreciated as such, while the first
four films were serious, except for King Kong vs...--that was intended to be
a comedy, even though the American recut makes most of the humor look
unintentional.  He cast people who were considered akin to Laurel and Hardy
(Tadao Takashima and Yu Fujiki) and Charlie Chaplin (Ichiro Arishima).
Raymond Burr is about as well integrated into the film as one can home, due
to a clever use of stand-ins to make it seem like he's actually in Japan.
R.J. Kizer, who directed the American version of Godzilla 1985, where this
technique is tacked on, doesn't even like it, but he's a Godzilla fan, so he
figured it was his shot at immortality.

As Christopher suggests, Honda was much better thought of in Japan than the
U.S. (where fewer than half the films he directed are available), and Akira
Kurosawa delivered his eulogy.

Scott Andrew Hutchins
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Examine The Life of Timon of Athens at Cracks in the Fourth Wall
Theatre & Filmworks
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/scottandrewh

"But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and
stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice
and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all...why then perhaps we
*must* stand fast a little--even at the risk of being heroes." --Sir Thomas
More, _A Man for All Seasons_, by Robert Bolt


----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Nuzzi" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: 40 for DVD--not likely


> On Thursday, January 30, 2003, at 10:45 PM, Scott Andrew Hutchins wrote:
>
> > Matango (Ishiro Honda, 1963)
>
>
> Obviously, the list is in no particular order, otherwise Matango, the
> Fungus of Terror (AKA Attack of the Mushroom People) would be first. :-)
>
> Seriously, Ishiro Honda is a director who is often overlooked,
> dismissed as "the director of those awful Godzilla movies" by most. In
> fact, he was a great filmmaker who worked as assistant director with
> Kurosawa on some of his later films, such as Kagemusha and Ran.
>
> As for the Godzilla films, before you criticize, see the original
> Japanese versions, in widescreen for the ones that were filmed that
> way. They are very different films than the badly dubbed, re-edited,
> panned-and-scanned versions that most Americans have seen on TV in
> their childhood. In particular, see the original Japanese version of
> Godzilla (1954), which features Takashi Shimura of Seven Samurai fame
> as the lead. The American version was butchered of about half of its
> footage in order to make room for poorly integrated scenes featuring
> Raymond Burr as an American reporter.
>
> Chris Nuzzi
>
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