'Godzilla' Returns Steve Ryfle is a former Los Angeles Times reporter. Fifty years ago Godzilla, Japan's giant radioactive reptile, made his first film appearance. Japanese director Ishiro Honda made the original Godzilla movie in 1954. The film is coming back to theaters in a new uncut version. Ryfle's book about Godzilla is Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of 'The Big G.'