The Godzilla suit had actually been a last resort. Tsuburaya had been deeply impressed with the stop-motion animation method used in King Kong. However, that method was far too costly and time-consuming (even though stop-motion would be used briefly, in one scene where Godzilla destroys the Nichigeki Theatre with his tail). It was decided that the easiest way to go was a stuntman in a monster suit, and a scale-model of Tokyo. This also proved difficult. Stunt actor Haruo Nakajima volunteered to play (the full suit) Godzilla. Nakajima would play Godzilla in later sequels until his retirement from the character in 1972. The first attempt at a Godzilla suit was far too stiff and heavy, nearly impossible to use. They finally hit on a design that worked; but even that was grueling. The stuntman would suffer numerous bouts of heat exhaustion and dehydration. The suit had to have a valve to drain the sweat from it. Also, in order to avoid suffocation, the suit could have only been worn for three minutes. It has also been said that, at one point, Nakajima passed out in the suit due to heat exhaustion.
The man in the suit became a national treasure. He was an actor yet in the sweat box of a suit he was not acting. Grueling is the only word to describe his role.
Would you take this job. Imagine getting into that suit and knowing the cruelty of the job. Sounds like fun?
Of note is there are two versions of this file. The first is the Japanese version sans Raymond Burr. The second has Burr in it for American audiences. I believe he was paid ten grand for his performance. He is not in the movie a lot. They filmed his scenes and inserted them in.
I remember seeing this movie and for the time it was pretty well made. Now with CGI and new technologies there is much more stuff available to make it seem real.
Do we look forward to the reboot? I guess so. The last one just did not do it justice. Most of the kids of today would make fun of the old Godzilla but to me it still stands the test of time.
There was a lot of controversy at the time of this movie. It was supposed to represent the United States and the A-bomb which was used to destroy two Japanese cities and end the War. If you look at this picture of destruction of the bomb you can understand Godzilla.