From 1955 to the 1960s, Godzilla played in theaters catering to Japanese-Americans in predominantly-Japanese neighborhoods in the United States. An English-subtitled version was shown at film festivals in New York, Chicago, and other cities in 1982. An 84-minute cut of the Japanese version was theatrically released in West Germany on April 10, 1956, as Godzilla. That version removes the Japanese Diet argument, the acknowledgement of Godzilla as a "child of the H-bomb," references to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and an altered translation of the mother holding her children. The film was re-released theatrically in Japan on November 21, 1982, to commemorate Toho's 50th anniversary. Since its release, the 1954 film remained unavailable officially in the United States until 2004.
After the film's success in Japan, Toho sold the American rights to Joseph E. Levine for $25,000. A heavily-altered version of the film was released in the United States and worldwide as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! on April 27, 1956. This version trimmed the original down to 80 minutes and featured new footage with Canadian actor Raymond Burr interacting with body doubles mixed with Honda's footage to make it seem as if he were part of the original Japanese production. Many of the film's political themes were trimmed or removed completely. It was this version of the original Godzilla film that introduced audiences worldwide to the character and franchise and the only version to which critics and scholars had access until 2004, when the 1954 film was released in select theaters in North America. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! grossed $2 million during its theatrical run, more than what the 1954 film grossed in Japan. 2b1af7f3a8