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The first picture of the cow eating scene

The second picture of the cow eating scene

The first of the long-running Godzilla film franchise. Gojira (1954) was a financial and critical success, both in Japan and overseas. However there are some scenes that have been missing from the film for a long time.

Director Ishiro Honda, aided quietly by film legend Akira Kurosawa, wanted a certain look and feel to the production. Denied the stop-motion wizardry used in 1933's King Kong by budget limitations, Honda and effects master Eiji Tsubaraya were meticulous in choosing how each appearance of the 'suit-mation' monster came out, looking for maximum effectiveness in every last glimpse.

Godzilla Eats A Cow

The most often named of various proposed, UN filmed or discarded scenes involves Godzilla's first iconic appearance seen over the hills of Odo 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 is, the cow simply had to go, and the still-memorable scene merely featured Godzilla rising and roaring. 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 missteps and foul-ups. Typically, footage like that of Godzilla and the cow was ordered destroyed. But since at least two stills of the scene endures, so does hope that a Toho alumnus or the studio itself still have it out there, waiting to be discovered.

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