The Movie: Gojira (1954)
What Is It?: Gojira—or Godzilla, as America renamed him—is a product of nuclear energy, specifically the hydrogen bomb tests that awoke him from hibernation in the depths of the Pacific. Anyone who grew up with the full-color schlock fests in which Godzilla stomped Tokyo while wrestling giant moths and super turtles will be shocked by his eponymous debut. This is a moody, black and white requiem that draws some pretty explicit correlations between the horrible destruction Gojira wreaks on Odo Island and the horrible destruction America rained down on Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than a decade earlier. Gojira is a sad and angry invective hailing from a country that still had much to be sad and angry about.
Why Today?: On this day in 1945, Hiroshima suffers an atomic bomb attack from the U.S.