Here’s one from the pre-history of Hollywood Gothique: I recently rediscovered the artwork above, which is from the Nuart Theatre’s printed calendar for May of 2004 – a couple months before this website began operation. Had we been up and running, we certainly would have given major coverage to this event.
The Nuart was presenting a two-week run of Gojira – the uncut, Japanese-language version of the 1954 film previously released in the United States in 1956 as Godzilla, King of the Monsters. This engagement – part of a lengthy tour of arthouses across the country, courtesy of distributor Rialto Pictures – was the first chance for most American audiences to see the film in its original form, minus English dubbing and additional footage featuring American actor Raymond Burr (as reporter “Steve Martin” – yes, Steve Martin!).
The release helped rehabilitate Gojira‘s reputation after years of disrespect as just another ’50s giant monster movie. Previously, American critics, viewers, and even science-fiction fans had held the film in relatively low regard, considering it a rip-off of King Kong (1933) and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953). The reviews that rolled during Rialto’s 2004 release elevated Gojira‘s critical standing, establishing it as a respected classic, with a current 93% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
I have written in more depth on this subject for a publication that should be coming out later this year, probably sometime this Fall. I will keep you informed….