Sunday, 24 August 2014

Carry on Godzilla (cert X)

Everyone's heard of the US release of the original 1950s 'Godzilla' movie which featured a young Raymond Burr (mere years away from TV fame as 'Perry Mason') as a news reporter unceremoniously edited into scenes of death and destruction at the claws of the young giant radio active lizard. 

What isn't really know is the very rarely (if ever) seen UK version of the movie. Exclusive Films acquired the rights to the Toho film and decided to take a leaf out of their American counterpart's book and re-edited the movie with some British actors. Step forward Sidney James, Shirley Eaton and the diminutive Esma Cannon - all of whom would find legendary status as early stars of the 'Carry On' series. 

Val Guest took on the directing chores and spent three days filming the three actors in a selection of ruined sets at Bray Studios and one day on location in London's blitzed docklands. 

It was released very briefly in the south through a number of cinemas but ran into legal problems when the US distributors of the Raymond Burr version struck a deal with Rank to take their version. It hasn't been seen since.

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