G is for Godzilla

Godzilla was definitely a dinosaur. The question is : Which one? And that means, of course, both which kind of dinosaur and which Godzilla, since there were several. Plus, always with the science, the ultimate question is: How do we know?

One thing is known about the Big Guy. Godzilla is the only dinosaur to have both an Oscar and his own theme song.

Which Godzilla

If we’re going to define what kind of dinosaur Godzilla represents, we have to narrow the list to which one we’re talking about. In total, there have been 38 film Godzillas (33 Japanese) beginning with the one in 1954. While I’d love to spend a leisurely post (or ten) about Godzilla’s history, let’s stick with the dinosaur theme. Point being, there have been a lot of renditions of Godzilla which look different, so if we’re going to call him a dinosaur we have to narrow the field to at most three.

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Cleopatra & Godzilla: With or Without Backstory?

Most decidedly epic.

Cleopatra arrives in Rome, photo from 1963’s Cleopatra, 20th Century fox

I had the opportunity to watch both the 1963 Cleopatra and 2019 Godzilla, King of the Monsters this month and found myself loving them both. They share eerie parallels. Both are expensive movies, which also were wildly popular despite getting horrid reviews. Both reflect on the past and are engrossing films, even if you bring no prior knowledge to the viewing. But both really pay off if you know the history outside the story and let that backstory clothe your experience, almost like an extra dimension. Trashy pinnacles of cinema; perfect for summer watching.

History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men…

Blue Oyster cult

The 26th Most Expensive Movie Ever Made

By the time Cleopatra premiered in 1963, the film had overspent its $5 million budget by somewhere between $20 and $39 million. The lavish Roman epics that were popularized in the 1950s were driving up costs, but films like Ben Hur, which were costly and well-received, paved the way for Cleo. Variety puts the ultimate cost of the 1963 Fox epic at $44 million, so even before it came to the screen, it was rumored to be a disaster. Cleopatra was a huge box office success, the highest-grossing film of the year at $57 million, but was considered to have lost money. As you watch the scene where Cleopatra enters Rome on a giant barge, flanked by hundreds of costumed dancers, you can’t help but hear *ca-ching* with every painted golden trumpet.

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