"Are you going to allow innocent men to die alongside guilty men? You have no right to decide that! That right is sacred!"
The fourth film in the Godzilla
franchise, Mothra vs. Godzilla
marked a brief snap-back in the franchise. While the previous film went on become the highest grossing entry of all time, it was more of an action adventure film with some comedic touches more prominent in the Japanese version. Mothra vs. Godzilla
brings back a scarier, antagonistic Godzilla, who terrorizes Japan, with the only hope being another Toho superstar: Mothra.
One of the most beloved entries and one many fans say that non-fans can enjoy. Currently has a 89 percent out of nine reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film provides examples of:
- Asshole Victim: Torahata, about midway through the film.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Kumayama and Torahata initially form a Big bad duumvirate, while Godzilla shows up later and also shares the role of the main antagonist. Eventually though, Kumayama and Torahata are both killed half-way through the film (the latter of which is killed by Godzilla himself), leaving Godzilla as the sole antagonist.
- Big Budget Beef Up: While the previous film was this to Godzilla Raids Again, Mothra vs. Godzilla continues to up the level of craftsmanship present in miniatures, optical compositing, character design, and the overall scope of the production. It's certainly the best looking of Toho's three 1964 sci-fi flicks.
- Chekhov's Gun: The young reporter is first shown eating hard-boiled eggs.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Torahata uses Kumayama as his pawn and later brushes off their financial partnership as if nothing happened, coveting Kumayama's money and not giving him even a promised cent. When an angry Kumayama confronts him, Torahata murders him with a bullet to the head and tries to use Godzilla's appearance as a getaway, but he is too late.
- Crisis Cross Over: Toho's monster movies began linking here.
- Curbstomp Battle: Mothra holds herself against Godzilla fairly well, subduing him with poisonous pollen, until Godzilla completely changes the tides when he finally scores a hit with his heat-ray.
- Darker and Edgier: Certainly less cheery than the joyrides of King Kong vs. Godzilla.
- Da Editor: Chief Editor Arota, played by Toho sci-fi regular Jun Tazaki.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: The Mothra Larvae against Godzilla.
- Enforced Method Acting: When Haruo Nakajima (Godzilla's suit actor) slammed into the Pagoda during Godzilla's attack in Nagoya, some teeth from the Godzilla suit fell out. Also unknowingly at the time was that the impact of slamming into it also dislocated the jaw on the Godzilla suit, giving it the wobbly muzzle that is seen throughout the movie. SFX director, Eiji Tsuburaya liked the outcome of the shot so much that he keep it in the film.
- Hate Sink: Torahata
- Heroic Sacrifice: Mothra.
- Importation Expansion: Although a few brief shots and scenes were cut from AIP's release, Godzilla vs. The Thing features a deleted scene only present in it and other international releases: Godzilla under fire on the coast from the U.S. Navy's new Frontier class missiles. Are they effective in halting him? Well, you can guess for yourself.
- It Only Works Once: Averted again, though only partially. The military comes very close to actually killing Godzilla with thousand volt currents of crackling death, but a last minute, extremely poor decision lets the trope play itself straight.
- Mama Bear: Mothra.
- Mood Whiplash: When the scientists inspect the reclaimed beachfront for signs for radiation, everything becomes quiet. Cue Godzilla popping out of the ground after being buried in the sand, presumably by the typhoon.
- Running Gag: Nakamura's seemingly unending obsession with eggs.
- Smug Snake: Torahata.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The Shobijin continue to sing Mahara Mothra, while Ifukube's discordant Godzilla theme blares over the soundtrack.
- Stock Footage: Nothing major, but a few shots from the Burial Operation in King Kong vs. Godzilla were mixed in with new footage during the construction of the artificial lighting generators.
- Too Long; Didn't Dub: It would seem Titra Sound forgot to dub Torahata's obscenity ("Chikusho!") during his confrontation with Kumayama.
- Up to Eleven: A less common example of this being a bad thing. The commander orders the technicians to raise the voltage of the lighting generators, even after they warn him about the capacity overload. Cue all the circuitry breaking down and Godzilla breaking free.