The Return of Godzilla

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The Return of Godzilla, released in Japan as Godzilla (ゴジラ Gojira), is a 1984 Japanese science fiction Kaiju film, set thirty years after the original monster's rampage, as a new Godzilla emerges and attacks Japan.

Directed by Koji Hashimoto.  Written by Shuichi Nagahara.
The Legend Is Reborn.  (taglines)

Steve Martin (U.S. version)

  • General, I hope you succeed. But no matter what happens: Godzilla will live.
  • Godzilla's like a hurricane or a tidal wave. We must approach him as we would a force of nature. We must understand him. Deal with him. Perhaps, even, try to communicate with him. And, just for the record, 30 years ago they never found any corpse.
  • [last lines] Nature has a way sometimes of reminding Man of just how small he is. She occasionally throws up terrible offspring's of our pride and carelessness to remind us of how puny we really are in the face of a tornado, an earthquake, or a Godzilla. The reckless ambitions of Man are often dwarfed by their dangerous consequences. For now, Godzilla - that strangely innocent and tragic monster - has gone to earth. Whether he returns or not, or is never again seen by human eyes, the things he has taught us remain.


Chief Editor: The official line of the police and Maritime Security Agency is that the Yahata-maru with Okamura and 10 others on board, is still missing.
Goro Maki: What are you saying?!
Chief Editor: The government is well aware that the monster exists.
Goro Maki: But why keep it a secret?
Chief Editor: The monster is Godzilla, that's why.
Goro Maki: Godzilla? I knew it...
Chief Editor: Suppose Maki, that we print your story. There would be a mass panic on all levels of society. The stock market would collapse. The cabinet would be out of power. For now, just keep it to yourself.

Goro Maki: What's that you're working on?
Dr. Hayashida: Genetic mutation designs.
Goro Maki: Genetic mutations. No kidding. Does it have something to do with Godzilla? I understand you lost your family to Godzilla thirty years ago. I imagine this has made you a bitter man. Was it vengeance that drove you to study Godzilla?
Dr. Hayashida: At first.  But not now.
Goro Maki: Professor. They say Godzilla's a mutation. A monster made by intense radioactivity. Professor, is that true?
Dr. Hayashida: He's a product of civilisation. Men are the only real monsters. Godzilla's more like a nuclear weapon.
Goro Maki: Nuclear weapon?
Dr. Hayashida: A living nuclear weapon destined to walk the Earth forever. Indestructible. A victim of the modern nuclear age.

Soviet Submarine Lieutenant: The enemy target is approaching rapidly. We must assume from its speed that it will attack us.
Soviet Submarine Captain: Check sonar. Maintain tracking.
Soviet Submarine Sailor 2: [on the radio] Nothing on the starboard, sir. We do not detect any engine noise. We can't analyze the noise.
Soviet Submarine Sailor 1: Distance, 2.5 kilometers. Speed, 40 knots.
Soviet Submarine Sailor 2: [on the radio] We have an active sonar signature!
Soviet Submarine Lieutenant: I don't know...Could it be a whale?
Soviet Submarine Captain: No. Whales don't activate sonar.
Soviet Submarine Lieutenant: Then it must be one of the new American nuclear submarines!
Soviet Submarine Sailor 1: Distance, 2 kilometers. Direction, 12 degrees. It's heading right for us!
Soviet Submarine Captain: [pauses for a while, before speaking on the radio] Fire torpedoes on the port side.





Quotes about The Return of Godzilla

  • For the rebirth of the Godzilla legend, Toho decided to once again portray the King of the Monsters as an evil creature. Thus the 1984 Godzilla would possess the general appearance of the 1954 Godzilla (from Godzilla, King of the Monsters) and the facial expression of the 1964 Godzilla (from Godzilla vs. the Thing), the latter incarnation being arguably the most evil-looking version of Godzilla up to that time. The 1984 Godzilla suit therefore possessed features previously seen only on the 1954 and 1955 (Godzilla Raids Again) suits; fangs, four toes, ears, staggered rows of dorsal plates, and a rough underside of the tail. The detailing in the legs for the 1984 Godzilla was very good, but the musculature for the chest and shoulders were less well-defined, thus diminishing the costume’s overall image of power. The dorsal plates were very well-detailed, but also appeared to be more numerous compared to the 1954 and 1955 costumes. The largest dorsal plate was placed at waist level, which had not been done before or since. The tail was longer than any previous version, the neck was short and the head was fairly large in proportion to the body. The 1964-style eyes, with red-brown irises, looked suitably evil. The 1984 costume also boasted a new feature for a Godzilla suit; the upper lip could curl up in snarl. It was so advanced, one might think it could even read a 3D barcode.
    • Robert Biondi, "The Evolution of Godzilla – G-Suit Variations Throughout the Monster King’s Twenty One Films", G-FAN #16 (July/August 1995)
  • We went back to the theme of nuclear weapons, since that was the theme of the original film. Japan has now learned three times what a nuclear disaster is, but at that time Japan had already had two. The problem was Japanese society was gradually forgetting about these disasters. They were forgetting how painful it had been. Everyone in Japan knew how scary nuclear weapons were when the original movie was made, but it wasn't like that by the 1980s. So in those meetings, we decided to remind all those people out there who had forgotten.
    • Teruyoshi Nakano, as quoted in "EXTRA: The Return of Godzilla 30th / ゴジラ('84) 30周年スペシャル〜EXTRA〜 (SciFi JAPAN TV #36)", CHO Japan (December 11, 2014)
  • One thing I was against was having the white of Godzilla's eye visible between the iris and his lower eyelid to make him look scary. Godzilla had been a hero for a while, but even a hero needs a taste of sadness. Even if he's a villain, I wanted a bit of sorrow in his eyes. I didn't want his eyes to be obviously scary.
    • Teruyoshi Nakano, as quoted in "EXTRA: The Return of Godzilla 30th / ゴジラ('84) 30周年スペシャル〜EXTRA〜 (SciFi JAPAN TV #36)", CHO Japan (December 11, 2014)
Wikipedia has an article about:
  Japanese films     Shōwa series     Godzilla  (1954) · Godzilla Raids Again  (1955) · King Kong vs. Godzilla  (1962) · Mothra vs. Godzilla  (1964) · Ghidorah, the Three-Headed
 (1964) · Invasion of Astro-Monster  (1965) · Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster  (1966) · Son of Godzilla  (1967) · Destroy All Monsters
  (1968) · All Monsters Attack  (1969) · Godzilla vs. Hedorah  (1971) · Godzilla vs. Gigan  (1972) · Godzilla vs. Megalon  (1973) · Godzilla vs.
 (1974) · Terror of Mechagodzilla  (1975)
  Heisei series     The Return of Godzilla  (1984) · Godzilla vs. Biollante  (1989) · Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah  (1991) · Godzilla vs. Mothra  (1992) · Godzilla vs.
  Mechagodzilla II
 (1993) · Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla  (1994) · Godzilla vs. Destoroyah  (1995)
  Millennium series     Godzilla 2000  (1999) · Godzilla vs. Megaguirus  (2000) · Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack  (2001) ·
  Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla  (2002) · Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.  (2003) · Godzilla: Final Wars  (2004)
  Reiwa series     Godzilla Resurgence  (2016) · Godzilla Minus One  (2023)  
  Foreign films     Adaptations     Godzilla, King of the Monsters!  (1956) · Cozzilla  (1977) · King Kong vs. Godzilla  (1963) · Godzilla 1985  (1985)  
  Co‑productions     Monster Zero  (1970)  
  TriStar Pictures     Godzilla  (1998)  
  Legendary Pictures     Godzilla  (2014) · Godzilla: King of the Monsters  (2019) · Godzilla vs. Kong  (2021) · Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire  (2024)  
  Related films     Rodan  (1956) · The Mysterians  (1957) · Varan the Unbelievable  (1958) · Battle in Outer Space  (1959) · Mothra  (1961) · Gorath  (1962) · Atragon  (1963) · Dogora  (1964)
  · Frankenstein Conquers the World  (1965) · The War of the Gargantuas  (1966) · King Kong Escapes  (1967) · Latitude Zero  (1969) · Space Amoeba  (1970) · The War
  in Space
 (1977) · Gunhed  (1989) · Rebirth of Mothra  (1996) · Rebirth of Mothra II  (1997) · Rebirth of Mothra III  (1998)  
  Television     Zone Fighter  (1973) · Ike! Godman  (1972–1973) · Ike! Greenman  (1973–1974) · Godzilla  (1978–1981) · Godzilla Island  (1997–1998) · Godzilla: The Series  (1998–2000) · Monarch: Legacy of Monsters  (2023–present)  
  See also     King Kong