Gojira (lost deleted scene of Kaiju film; 1954)
The first of the long-running Godzilla film franchise, Gojira was a financial and critical success both in Japan and overseas. However, there are some scenes that have been missing from the film before it was even released.
Director Inoshiro Honda, aided quietly by film legend Akira Kurosawa, wanted a certain look and feel to the production. Denied the stop-motion animation used in 1933's King Kong by budget limitations, Honda and effects master Eiji Tsubaraya were careful in choosing how each appearance of the 'suit-animation' monster came out, looking for maximum effectiveness in every scene.
The most often named of various proposed, unfilmed or discarded scenes involves Godzilla's first iconic appearance seen over the hills of Ohto Island. The originally filmed scene showed Godzilla with a cow in his mouth as he eats it. While the scene was effective in creating terror, it brought to mind too many questions about Godzilla's relative size, chief among them: "How could the cow even be visible if Godzilla was the size and menace they wised to convey?" They feared that, in the minds of the audience, either the cow was of unusually large size, or Godzilla simply wasn't that big. Since continuity and suspension of disbelief are inversely important to how "fantastic" the premise was to the crew, the cow scene ended up being cut, and the scene just featured Godzilla rising and roaring, though this scene is still iconic to fans. Keeping the cow might also have taken Godzilla down a notch from the force of nature this first film portrayed him as, making him merely a hungry beast.
The Scene's Fate
Like many directors of his era, Honda did not enjoy being reminded of his mistakes. Typically, footage like Godzilla eating a cow was ordered to get destroyed. But since at least two stills of the scene survive, we hope that a Toho alumnus or the studio itself still have it the scene in original master on their vaults.
- Space Monster Wangmagwi (lost South Korean kaiju film; 1967)
- Wolfman vs. Godzilla (partially found footage from unfinished fan film; 1981)
- Gogola (lost Bollywood monster movie; 1966)
- King Kong Appears in Edo (lost Japanese monster film; 1938)
- Wasei Kingu Kongu (lost silent Japanese short; 1933)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (lost NBC John Belushi skit bumpers for film; 1977)
- Ryfle, Steve; Godziszewski, Ed (2006). Gojira Audio Commentary (DVD). Classic Media.