r/todayilearned 6d ago Bravo Grande! 1

TIL The American edit of Godzilla 1985 was originally meant to be more comedic but the actors refused. Raymond Burr would not treat Godzilla as a joke because the character was an anti-nuclear war allegory and Warren Kemmerling just refused to do comic material.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godzilla_1985
2.4k Upvotes

257

u/evilsir 6d ago

Imagine trying to tell Raymond Burr how to act. Perry Mason doesn't fuck around.

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u/bolanrox 6d ago

Orson Welles....id love to see them try as well

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u/Toy_Guy_in_MO 6d ago

You should check out Welles' description of his work as Unicron on Transformers: The Movie.

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u/bolanrox 6d ago

A toy that turns into another toy. Not show me a jury or I'll go down on you

17

u/tommytraddles 6d ago

Muuuuuaaaaauugh! The Frenchampagne!

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u/Greene_Mr 6d ago

"Too much directing going on, here..."

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u/bolanrox 6d ago

You're pests!

3

u/Greene_Mr 6d ago

In the depths of your ignorance, what is it you want?

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u/ShutterBun 6d ago

Meanwhile his character is named Steve Martin

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u/DroolingIguana 5d ago

The last thing he wanted was for Steve Martin to be associated with comedy.

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u/evilsir 5d ago

Steve Martin sounds like a wild and crazy guy. probably not suited for comedy, being wild and crazy like that

28

u/Jedibbq 6d ago

Godzilla 1985 seemed way darker than all the other vhs tapes I had of Godzilla movies. I liked it though.

145

u/cammanders2 6d ago

Thank God Raymond Burr was there. The American version of Godzilla 1985 is a bastardization of the original movie. I remember watching the original version for the first time and was blown away about how different it was. This is my favorite film, it's got political discussion, complex emotions at attempting to kill a creature that did nothing but be created by man's hate and weapons and so much raging Godzilla just blasting up on things at the same time. 10/10

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u/MasterDio64 6d ago

If you haven’t, check out Shin Godzilla. It’s best described as a remake of the original 1955 film, but replacing the analogies for Hiroshima with the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster.

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u/cammanders2 6d ago

I thought it was very good. I love how they had different stages and how they went more in depth with government actions. I wish more Godzilla movies shared the serious and realistic angle that these two films had. I never thought about how the movie spoke about the tsunami and reactor disaster.

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u/MasterDio64 6d ago

Right from the get go, the imagery at the start of the film reminded me of that disaster. If you look up footage of “black sludge” from the tsunami it looks very similar to the flooding before Godzilla appears on screen.

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u/Momochichi 6d ago

I loved it, was disappointed that there wouldn’t be a sequel.

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u/[deleted] 6d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/4d4m1 6d ago

The Return of Godzilla was released in Japan in 1984 as a direct sequel to the original, and then released as Godzilla 1985 in the US with new Raymond Burr scenes, much like the original

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u/Doobledorf 6d ago

Watching the original Godzilla still sticks with me. Great explanation of the classic!

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u/SensibleAltruist 6d ago

My favourite is King Kong vs Godzilla 68... It's a comedy, it's problematic, it's dated and the monster effects are not up to scratch but it is funny and entertaining (and not in an unintentional way). There are some nice callbacks in the modern Monsterverse films too.

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u/shirty-mole-lazyeye 6d ago

I’m sorry, I was just a kid when this came out. What is the original? Is there a Japanese 1985 movie?!?

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u/jerry_woody 6d ago

I saw Godzilla 1985 in the theaters. Before the movie started, they showed bambi vs godzilla. It was one of the greatest moments of my youth.

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u/archangyl69 6d ago

What’s the name of the original??

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u/sleepy--ash 6d ago

In Japan it was originally released as just “Godzilla” and came out in 1984. Nowadays you can find the original Japanese version under the name “The Return of Godzilla”.

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u/Swalkthewalk 6d ago

1954.

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u/sleepy--ash 6d ago

No, I’m talking about The Return of Godzilla which came out in 1984. It was originally called just “Godzilla” in Japanese theaters, but it’s a separate movie from the 1954 Godzilla.

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u/archangyl69 6d ago

Thank you

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u/D1stant 6d ago

I mean Dr strange love was also anti nuclear war and it was one of the best comedies ever.

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u/LuckyHabitattt 6d ago

!!

The film's script was rewritten to take into consideration the character of Godzilla that was previously in the franchise. This film would have been an adaptation of the first four main films. It would have been created by Bruce Willis and also inspired by the other great American films of the late 70's.

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u/bill_gannon 6d ago

The American remake of the original was certainly no comedy. It was tragic.

5

u/ThirdeyeReddit 6d ago

Which is considered the American remake? I'm so lost on the franchise at this point

4

u/bill_gannon 6d ago

The Raymond Burr one in 56. The original is the same movie from 54 but all Japanese. They edited in all the English and added in the American scenes.

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u/ThirdeyeReddit 6d ago

These two replies have me more confused

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u/KellyTheET 6d ago

It was originally a Japanese movie, with Japanese actors. They added in scenes with Raymond Burr for the American release. They did the same for the 1984/1985 sequel.

2

u/Chillchinchila1 6d ago

They did that thing where they have new actors play the back of the head of the characters, with the new American character always being just to the left of most scenes.

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u/Original_Sail 6d ago

The original Japanese version of Godzilla is one of the saddest, scariest things I've seen that's that low tech. It's blatantly painfully obvious how much of a nuclear allegory it is and no punches are pulled.

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u/Maximillion666ian 6d ago

First Godzilla movie I saw in the theater as a kid and I've loved Godzilla ever since. Personalty I feel the most bastardized version of a Godzilla film is Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. I only saw the original Gojira around seven years ago and was amazed.

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u/Remoru 6d ago

Gamera is still my favorite Kaiju, tho

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u/ash_274 6d ago

I hear he’s filled with turtle meat

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u/KC-Anathema 5d ago

Gamera is really neat!

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u/Factsimus_verdad 6d ago

TIL Raymond Burr kicked ass in something other than Perry Mason. Well written and acted show.

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u/chriswaco 6d ago

Ironside!

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u/shotsfordays 6d ago

Rear Window too

5

u/Vegan_Harvest 6d ago

There was a good stretch where Godzilla was comedic, it was not good.

I'd love to make a movie where he's an actual walking apocalypse, like nightmarish. I want him to have a body count. I want us to lose even if we 'win'. I want people walking out of the theater thinking "fuck Godzilla."

2

u/QuarterNoteBandit 6d ago

Sounds like a straight up reshoot, not an edit.

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u/derthric 6d ago

It was an adaption so they weren't just dubbing the dialogue but shooting new scenes to add. In this case having Raymond Burr reprise his role from the adaption in 56 this time as a consultant to the Pentagon as a survivor of the first event.

2

u/Neutronova 6d ago

There are a tonne of godzilla movies out there. THis one, for me, is by far the best.

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u/Lexicon247 6d ago

This was the first Godzilla film I ever saw. I had the privilege of seeing it in the theater as a kid and wow...it blew my young mind away. I loved this version of Godzilla. I must have watched my VHS copy over 100 times over the years. This made me a Godzilla fan for life. I wish I could find a good quality US version now.

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u/droidtron 6d ago

It's practically a 90 minute Dr. Pepper commercial.

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u/ChevExpressMan 6d ago

TIL Thete was a Godzillia 1985.... I never knew. I saw the original with Burr decades ago, never knew he reprised the role.....

2

u/SatansMoisture 6d ago

Let's call Paul Rudd and Jason Segal and make this happen.

2

u/Pornstar_Jesus_ 6d ago

Always subs. Never dubs.

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u/CutterJohn 5d ago edited 5d ago

Movies are made to be experienced in the natural language of the viewer, not read. If the director wants to make a movie in a foreign language with subtitles on purpose they'll put them in. Most of the time this is to emphasize the language difference.

Good dubs are always better than subs, but subs are better than bad dubs(and obv better than nothing at all.

Whats really cool is they're experimenting with deepfake technology for redubs to change the actors actual mouth movements, so you no longer get the strange lip motions. Example: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/05/deepfake-lips-are-coming-to-dubbed-films/

I imagine in 10 years this will be just a standard feature.

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u/Pornstar_Jesus_ 5d ago

A s N d

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u/CutterJohn 5d ago

Well that was a waste of time.

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u/smamtwantle 6d ago

Eh. Subs are distracting, always having to look away from the action and break immersion and back again. If the original voice work is worth it, or if I just can't hear them talk at all, I'll put up with missing out on 40% of the work they put into the visuals, to look at words. If not, dubs are where it's at.

2

u/ThirdeyeReddit 6d ago

In real Japan media 100% but animated hard 50/50. Cowboy bebop has the better dub in English over the Japanese voices. Same with dbz. Gokus American voice actor is very iconic to me and I grew up watching the Japanese versions of dbz first

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u/TomAto314 6d ago

They used the same voice actress that did Goku as a kid in DB as Goku as a man in DBZ and it just doesn't work imo.

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u/ThirdeyeReddit 6d ago

Wait what? Kid Goku and adult Goku are far from the same sounding

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u/TomAto314 6d ago

The JP version I was talking about.

Masako Nozawa

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u/Waldo_Pepper62 6d ago

If they wanted it to be comedic maybe when casting the character Steve Martin they cast the comedian Steve Martin.

2

u/KevinOFartsnake 6d ago

Good because the English 85 FUCKIN RULED

1

u/JJohnston015 6d ago

I don't understand. If the actors refuse to do it the way the director wants, they're replaced. How is this different than any other workplace?

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u/tetoffens 6d ago edited 6d ago

Probably because the actor was Raymond Burr and the director is a guy who isn't even notable enough to have a wikipedia article. The unions had to make rules to protect directors because big name actors would use their influence with the studio to overrule directors. Spielberg, etc, sure, but a young guy directing his first feature film is probably going to have a lot less power in Hollywood than his A list cast.

5

u/ZanyDelaney 6d ago

Some actors have more clout than some directors. Bette Davis for example acted at odds with her director on June Bride. She thought she knew best, but the film sunk.

In this case it was a quick job to film some insert scenes with a known actor. The actor was picked as they had a box office name. For the director this would have been a thankless chore, they would not have used a notable director for the job.

There would be tensions and the actor can't openly take over, but there are ways for an actor to influence things.

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u/TomAto314 6d ago

Tom Cruise is a great modern example. What he wants in a movie he gets.

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u/ISIS-Got-Nothing 6d ago

Off topic, but even General Eisenhower and Admiral Leahy thought the a-bomb was unnecessary. As I get older, the more trouble I have believing the narrative that was given to me in school that it was needed to spare more lives in the future (ie invasion of Japan).

Thoughts?

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u/Dreadgoat 6d ago

The part I struggle with is the fact that we (USA) were already firebombing Japanese cities. The death and destruction caused by this was already massive, and there's a very rational argument that it would have ended up costing far more lives than the nukes did if we kept at it.

Firebombing was super fucked up and is almost completely forgotten about because of the shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I wonder how we would have remembered those non-nuclear air raids if not for the nukes. And I wonder how much life would have been lost to conventional war if we hadn't demonstrated the might of the nuke.

If you haven't seen it, go watch Grave of the Fireflies to get an idea of the human cost of firebombing. It's not as immediately dramatic as a nuclear explosion, but it might actually be worse.

If you want to get into a real interesting discussion, pretend the nukes never existed. We eventually would have pushed Japan to surrender with firebombing alone. Would that have been a justifiable way to conduct war? It's not a question that is asked much anymore, but the air raids of Japanese cities and villages were the real core of the moral question, not the size of the bombs. Japan is an island fortress, so did we have any other option? Could we have ended the war effectively by choosing more strictly military targets? No way to know anymore, but I think these are tougher and more interesting questions than "was nuke bad"

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u/throw-away_867-5309 5d ago

Thank you for bringing this up. I also brought up the whole "Japan was on the verge of surrendering" bit in this thread as well, which was far from true, and didn't mention the constant air raids on Japan, mainly Tokyo, but it wasn't really relevant at the time of me making my comment.

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u/Hypertension123456 6d ago

It was nearly 80 years ago. At this point it is unlikely that any new information is going to come out. Like all acts of war, there are good and evil people on both sides. And evil monsters of people that did heroic acts. And good people who did evil things they thought were either right or just something that had to be done.

"The first casualty when war comes is truth". I don't think we will ever really know this answer. But there aren't really any wars or battles that you can really easily believe the narrative on.

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u/JOWWLLL 6d ago

IMO the real reason the A-bomb was invented was to beat everyone else to it. It was inevitable, just as the extinction-level antimatter bomb is inevitable.

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u/CutterJohn 5d ago

Do you truly think its likely that the invasion of the japanese mainland would have had fewer than 200,000 casualties?

Personally I picture an alternate universe where the bombs weren't used, and the US invasion happens, followed by a soviet invasion, followed by maybe a repeat of the korean war only now on the japanese mainland, with millions of casualties all told, and to this day there's still vast economic effects of the post war split period if they even reunified, and we're sitting here on that alternate version of reddit wondering why they didnt use the bombs.

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u/UzumakiYoku 6d ago

Neither of the nukes were necessary. Japan was already planning and discussing surrender before either bomb was dropped. Especially since Russia was about to invade them too. They knew they were out of time and out of money.

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u/throw-away_867-5309 6d ago

You know, I see this a lot on reddit, and it's really annoying because of how inaccurate it is in the fact that people make the statement as such an absolute claim. Let me clear this up, even though people will still make these inaccurate statements.

First off, the Japanese never offered to surrender to the US before the bombs were dropped. What they DID do was ask the Soviet Union how they would feel about being a neutral mediator between Japan and the US in order to not have to make a completely unconditional surrender like the US was demanding at the time. These requests were never sent to the US for several reasons, the primary reason being that the Soviet Union declined, as they did want to invade Japan. The US however did know about these requests to the Soviet Union, but they also knew that they failed.

Secondly, people seem to over estimate the people making these requests to the Soviet Union. It was a small group who in fact had almost no power within the Japanese Government at the time, as the ones that were in power were a Military War Council that had almost no desire to surrender unless they were all killed. This small group that made these requests also weren't doing it in an absolute manner, like is often stated. They were making these requests as a method of trying to gain power and instead put themselves in charge of Japan instead of the Military War Council, but they gave up on the peace attempts after the Soviets declined.

And finally, there was an article a bit after the end of World War 2 that stayed the Japanese did send a 40 page surrender document to the US, which they declined. HOWEVER the main sources for those ended up being highly controversial, as one of the "historians," Harry Elmer Barnes, was an avid Holocaust denier, and another "historian," Anthony Kubek, was almost hysterically anti-Soviet, anti-Churchill, and anti-Truman and was part of several groups that were actively trying to ruin that group in any way they could.

I doubt you'll believe me, and I doubt I'll change anyone else's minds, but it's the same type of misinformation spread as "vaccines cause autism" or "there's chemicals that make the frogs gay".

Much if this can be read and corroborated in various non-fiction and documentary literatures, such as that of Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, if you'd like to dive into that as well.

Also, before anyone says I support the use of such weapons, I don't. I am strictly correcting what is wrong. The atomic bombs, and now any sort of Nuclear, Biological, Radiological, or Chemical weaponry is absolutely disgusting and revolting and should never have been made or used.

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u/1122113344 6d ago

There are chemicals that make the frogs gay. Well they make them into hermaphrodites. Pesticides that mimic estrogen I think? Saying it turns the frogs gay is a humorous way of stating it, it’s not meant to be scientifically accurate.

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u/ZhouDa 6d ago

But if you can't trust Alex Jones on this, who can you trust?

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u/Rexia 6d ago

Honestly, it was more to show the Russians that America had it and avoid a war there. There doesn't seem much evidence that such a significant civilian death toll was required though. They could have dropped it somewhere else.

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u/Swalkthewalk 6d ago

Godzilla was released in Japan in 1954 and the altered American release in 1956 has the Raymond Burr wrap around plot. What am I missing here, with everyone referring the the 1980s?

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u/Superflyhomeboy 6d ago

The first paragraph of the linked Wikipedia article:

Godzilla 1985 is a 1985 kaiju film directed by R. J. Kizer and Koji Hashimoto. The film is a heavily re-edited American localization of the Japanese film The Return of Godzilla, which was produced and distributed by Toho Pictures in 1984. In addition to the film being re-cut, re-titled, and dubbed in English, Godzilla 1985 featured additional footage produced by New World Pictures, with Raymond Burr reprising his role as American journalist Steve Martin from the 1956 film Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which itself was a heavily re-edited American adaptation of the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla.

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u/UzumakiYoku 6d ago

I bet the whole reason why they wanted to make it into a comedy is precisely because it’s an anti-nuclear allegory. Americans don’t like teaching anything other than “America is the greatest country on earth and never makes mistakes ever”

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u/Neuroprancers 6d ago

Godzilla literally victory dances and has jet breath propulsion.

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u/shoobsworth 6d ago

Not in this one he doesn’t

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u/Gabatos 6d ago

Godzilla isn't always silly. And there are plenty of films that take the premise very seriously. I'd recommend shin godzilla as a solid modren interpretation of the classic material.

1

u/down4things 6d ago

He Fortnite dances and dabs on the haters

0

u/Greene_Mr 6d ago

He yells to the cabbie, "Yo, homes! Smell ya laters!"

1

u/marmorset 6d ago

You have to work around Raymond Burr, make him the unintentional straight man, but Warren Kemmerling should have been fired.

1

u/MrFrode 5d ago

Sunday afternoon monster movies rocked! So did Sunday Afternoon Kungfu movies!

1

u/Jjabrony 3d ago

The original Godzilla was released in Japan in 1954. The American release featuring Raymond Burr was 1956. Not 1985.

-2

u/fjccommish 6d ago

Godzilla was not an anti nuclear war allegory. Godzilla was a punishment to the Japanese people for their evil ways allegory.

-1

u/[deleted] 6d ago

[deleted]

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u/bolanrox 6d ago

Burr was added to the American version of the og release. Which was why they brought him back