Godzilla attacks!

How could we misunderstand a 50-metre monster with radioactive breath? How could we fail to really see Godzilla?
The ready answer is Perry Mason. The most popular movie monster ever (25 sequels) came to life in Japan on Nov. 3, 1954. But when the 98-minute film was released here in 1956, it clocked in at a galloping 80 minutes. Despite the trimming, the new version was padded with a 20-minute Hollywood-made subplot. American reporter Steve Martin becomes embroiled in the story of a lifetime — a giant sea beast, riled by nuclear testing, has risen to tear apart Tokyo in the manner of an angry child swatting away toys.
Godzilla was instantly a kid’s matinee phenomenon and, for decades, a staple of Saturday-morning TV. The first thing we noticed, however, wasn’t Godzilla, but Steve Martin, played by pillowy TV lawyer Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). Puffing contentedly on a pipe, he couldn’t help but make a mockery of the anguished Japanese players around him.
The Globe and Mail

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