Celebrate a Monstrous 60th Anniversary with 'Godzilla: The Japanese Original'

Can you believe it was 60 years ago that that glorious Thunder Lizard, "Godzilla" stomped and screamed its way into our hearts? Thanks to Rialto Pictures, "Godzilla: The Japanese Original" has been restored in an uncut, undubbed and uncensored form to thrill old and new generations of fans. This version will premiere at the fifth TCM Classic Film Festival on April 12 in Hollywood, followed a by national release (beginning at New York’s Film Forum, April 18-24) from Rialto Pictures.

"Godzilla" is revered as one of the "greatest science fiction/monster films ever made, boasting still-impressive special effects, as the radiation-breathing prehistoric monster, awakened after millennia by Hydrogen Bomb testing – and impervious to repeated shelling by the Japanese army – wreaks destruction on Tokyo." The groundbreaking film became Toho Studio’s #1 box office hit of 1954.

Here's what we can expect from the restoration, according to the release:

As directed by IshirĂ´ Honda, with special effects by the legendary Eiji Tsuburaya, GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL is much darker in tone than the dumbed-down U.S. release version, which entirely eliminated the original’s underlying theme: in the Japanese version, the monster is clearly a metaphor for the nuclear menace and the film itself a cry for world peace and disarmament. The American version also cut out all of the original’s astonishing Strangelove-like black humor.

The latest modern incarnation of this classic will be in theaters May 16. But, for now, check out the promo for the 1954 original and click here to see if this monster of mass destruction is heading your way.

-Larissa Mrykalo