Gamera, the Giant Monster (大怪獣ガメラ, Daikaijū Gamera, lit. ’Giant Monster Gamera’) is a 1965 Japanese kaiju film directed by Noriaki Yuasa, with special effects by Yonesaburo Tsukiji. Produced and distributed by Daiei Film, it is the first film in the Gamera franchise. The film stars Eiji Funakoshi, Harumi Kiritachi, and Junichiro Yamashita. In the film, authorities deal with the attacks of Gamera, a giant prehistoric turtle unleashed in the Arctic by an atomic bomb.
The success of The Birds and Toho’s Godzilla films influenced studio head Masaichi Nagata to produce a similar film. In 1964, Daiei attempted to produce Nezura, with Yuasa directing. However, the project was shut down by the health department. Nagata then conceived Gamera to replace Nezura. Due to a low budget and tight schedule, Yuasa was forced to use outdated equipment, faulty props, and faced belittlement from colleagues. Yuasa was determined to complete the film with Daiei’s resources, despite brief talks of hiring Tsuburaya Productions to finish the film.
Gamera, the Giant Monster was theatrically released in Japan on November 27, 1965. A localized version with new footage was theatrically released on December 15, 1966 in the United States as Gammera the Invincible. This was the only film in the original series to be given a theatrical release in the United States. The film was followed by Gamera vs. Barugon, released on April 17, 1966.
— Source: Wikipedia
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