George Lucas cites this film's miniatures as an inspiration for his effects in the Star Wars films.
Haruo Nakajima could walk about thirty feet in the original costume, which weighed over 200 pounds (91 kilograms). Later costumes were a little lighter but all of the costumes were very heavy. It was also very hot inside the costume. All of the costumes after the first one were easy to work with, as they were made to fit Nakajima, whereas the one that had been built for Godzilla had not been made for his body size.
Tomoyuki Tanaka got the idea for the film while returning from Indonesia. He was looking down at the water and began imagining what was really below the surface.
Eiji Tsuburaya, the film's special effects director, originally envisioned Godzilla (Gojira) as a giant octopus before settling for a more dinosaur-like creature.
Because of the complexity of the production, the entire film was storyboarded. This is believed to be the very first time this was done for a Japanese film.
Because the entire film was storyboarded, additional sketch artists had to be hired for the production. Also, since the actual look of Gojira hadn't been decided upon, the creature's appearance varied throughout the storyboard, depending on who did the individual sketch.
During filming in September of 1954, rain contaminated by a Soviet nuclear test began falling in northern Japan, contaminating vegetables and well water. This may have inspired the scene where Professor Tanabe (Fuyuki Murakami) warned the Oto Island villagers not to drink water from the well.
In 2004, for his 50th anniversary, Godzilla was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
In 2004, Rialto Pictures released the original Japanese version of Godzilla in the U.S. for the first time since 1955. The release included a new print in the original Japanese with new English subtitles.
In one of the early script drafts, Doctor Yemane was written as a very dark and sinister character. In fact, one of the original ideas was to have Yemane sneak into the control room that controlled the electrical towers and sabotage the attempt to electrocute Gojira (Godzilla).
It was not uncommon for a cup of Haruo Nakajima's sweat to be drained from the Gojira suit.
Knowing that this was going to be a very expensive production, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka tried to build it on a solid foundation by hiring Shigeru Kayama, one of Japan's foremost writers of thrillers of the early 1950s to write the story upon which the later screenplay would be based.
One of the first Japanese movies to make it to Korea, after the rivalry between the two neighboring countries.
One of the most famous legends regarding the production of this film has Ishirô Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya on the observation deck of what was then one of Tokyo's skyscrapers. They were planning Godzilla's path of destruction. Other visitors on the deck became concerned when portions of their conversation were overheard. The pair was stopped by authorities and questioned.
One of the original Godzilla designs was a monster with a head shaped like a mushroom, intended to recall images of mushroom clouds. A sketch of this design can be seen on the special edition "Gojira: The Original Japanese Masterpiece" DVD, and on the 2009 Godzilla Blu-Ray release.
One of the potential names for Godzilla was Anguirus. The name was discarded but used in the second Godzilla film, Godzilla Raids Again as the name of the monster that Godzilla fights.
Originally there was a flashback scene filmed showing Emiko and Serizawa as teenagers that was to explain their relationship. However, it was deleted because it was felt that it slowed down the film.
Originally when Gojira (Godzilla) makes his first appearance, there was supposed to be a bloody cow in his mouth. After reviewing the test shots, Masao Tamai, the cinematographer, felt it was far too graphic and convinced director Ishirô Honda to re-film the sequence without the cow.
SERIES TRADEMARK: In the Japanese version, right after Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura) makes his first appearance (at the conference for the Oto Island survivors), he is embarrassed to notice that his tie was loose, and tucks it back into his jacket. This scene, perhaps one of the film's only bits of comedy relief, has become a pop-culture reference to Godzilla fans in Japan. The film Godzilla 2000, pays tribute to this predicament when the character Shiro Miyasaka (played by Shirô Sano) straightens his loose tie back into his jacket at a military briefing.
Since no film like this had ever been made in Japan, they had never attempted a suit like the one needed for Godzilla. Much of the attention on the first version was on visual design. They had neglected to consider the requirements of the performer inside. Some of the poured latex was very inflexible. This factor in the 6 1/2- foot tall and over 200-pound suit made it almost impossible to move. A new suit had to be constructed that would be somewhat lighter and more flexible at the appropriate points.