Even though it was significantly altered from the original [essentially, the majority of the "action" scenes were retained, but almost the entire backplot was rewritten], the "Americanized" version retained much of the somber feel of the original Japanese version. It stands alone as the only Godzilla movie to actually frighten me (O.K. -- so I saw it when I was 10). Although many people claim that the original Japanese version was ruined by the addition of the American footage with Raymond Burr, I found that the first person narration of Burr's Newspaper reporter character added to the realism.
Movie Name: Gojira (original Japanese version)
The original Japanese version. Without a doubt, the best movie ever made. Filmed in glorious black and white, this first Godzilla film has a somber feel which heightens a very real sense of suspense and terror. The terror is palpable throughout, as one attack follows another and the death toll begins to rise almost exponentially. The anguish of the survivors is realistically portrayed and very believable, and the entire film stands as a credible allegory for the horror of nuclear war.
Running Time: 98 minutes