Different beasts

A scene from the 2014 film, Godzilla

GODZILLA has always had a complicated relationship with the USA. His very first film, Godzilla (1954), was the result of American attentions from above and below – the horrors wrought by Fat Man and Little Boy, dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945, and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, a 1953 creature feature brought to life by the genius of Ray Harryhausen and stopped by a rifle wielded by Lee Van Cleef.

More direct inspiration came the year of the film’s release, when a Japanese fishing boat with the mildly portentous name of The Lucky Dragon was inundated with fallout from a US nuclear test. The war was over, but radiation remained a persistent spectre; invisible, intangible, insidious.

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Films , Godzilla , disaster films


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