Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

1,782articles on

Godzilla Films
Mothra vs. Godzilla
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Invasion of Astro-Monster
Toho Kaiju Film
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Directed by
Ishiro Honda
Produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by
Shinichi Sekizawa
Music by
Akira Ifukube
Distributed by
Toho Company Ltd.JP
Not Rated

Running Time
93 minutesJP
(1 hour, 33 minutes)
85 minutesUS
(1 hour, 25 minutes)
Designs Used
MosuGoji, SanDaikaijuRado, ShodaiMosuLarva, ShodaiGhido

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (三大怪獣 地球最大の決戦,   San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen?, lit. Three Giant Monsters: Earth's Greatest Battle) is a 1964 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the fifth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 20, 1964.


A princess from Selgina, a small Himalayan country, becomes possessed by the spirit of a Venusian (a Martian in the American version) and escapes a plane just as it explodes. As this happens a meteorite falls from the sky containing King Ghidorah, the monster responsible for her planet's destruction. At the same time, Godzilla and Rodan emerge from hibernation and not only attack Japan, but each other as well. Mothra, along with its twin priestesses, attempt to convince Godzilla and Rodan to stop fighting each other and to team up to fight the new monster. Meanwhile, the princess is being hunted by a group of assassins, led by Malness, who want to kill her so that her enemies can take over her homeland. Then, just when Malness is about to kill the princess, King Ghidorah crushes him by knocking over a pile of boulders on him. Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra finally drive King Ghidorah off. The movie ends with the princess going back to her home land and Godzilla and Rodan watching Mothra swim back to Infant island.


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Ishiro Honda
  • Written by   Shinichi Sekizawa
  • Produced by   Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Music by   Akira Ifukube, Hiroshi Miyagawa
  • Stock Music by   Akira Ifukube, Hiroshi Miyagawa
  • Cinematography by   Hajime Koizumi
  • Edited by   Ryohei Fujii
  • Production Design by   Takeo Kita
  • Assistant Directing by   Koji Hashimoto, Ken Sano
  • Special Effects by   Eiji Tsuburaya
  • Assistant Director of Special Effects   Teruyoshi Nakano


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Yosuke Natsuki   as   Detective Shindo
  • Yuriko Hoshi   as   Naoko Shindo
  • Hiroshi Koizumi   as   Assistant Professor Murai
  • Akiko Wakabayashi   as   Princess of Sergina, Mas Selina Salno
  • Emi Ito, Yumi Ito   as   Shobijin
  • Takashi Shimura   as   Doctor Tsukamoto
  • Hisaya Ito   as   Chief Assassin Malmess
  • Akihiko Hirata   as   Okita, Chief Detective
  • Minoru Takada   as   Chairman of Board Meeting
  • Kenji Sahara   as   Editor in Chief Kanamaki
  • Somesho Matsumoto   as   UFO Expert
  • Ikio Sawamura   as   Fisherman
  • Kozo Nomura   as   Murai's Assistant
  • Toru Ibuki   as   Assassin
  • Susumu Kurobe   as   Assassin
  • Kazuo Suzuki   as   Assassin
  • Haruya Kato   as   Journalist
  • Shin Otomo   as   Leader of the Assassins
  • Senkichi Omura   as   Hat Retriever
  • Eisei Amamoto   as   Butler Wu
  • Yutaka Nakayama   as   Tourist (Lost Hat)
  • Yutaka Oka   as   Meteorite Scientist
  • Yoshio Kosugi   as   Chief of Infant Island
  • Heihachiro Okawa   as   Astronomer
  • Yoshifumi Tajima   as   Ship Captain
  • Koji Uno   as   Spectators in Crowd
  • Shigeki Ishida   as   Spectators in Crowd
  • Toshihiko Furuta   as   Villager
  • Kotaro Tomita   as   Villager



Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: Gallery:Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.


Main article: Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (Alternate Spelling)
  • Three Giant Monsters: The Greatest Battle on Earth (Literal Japanese Title)
  • Monster of Monsters, Ghidorah (Original International Title)
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: The Greatest Battle on Earth (ゴジラ·モスラ·キングギドラ: 地球最大の決戦?, Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen; Japan Re-Release Title)
  • Alien Monster Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (England)
    • Alien Monster Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Alternate Spelling)
  • Ghidrah, Monster of 3 Heads (Ghidra, Monstruo de 3 Cabezas; Spain; Mexico)
  • Ghidrah, the Monster of Three Heads (Ghidra, el Monstruo de Tres Cabezas; Argentina)
  • Ghidorah, Monster of Monsters (Gidorah, Canavarlar Canavari; Turkey)

Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release

As with previous films, the American version of the film varies greatly from it's original Japanese source. Numerous changes to the editing as well as plot were made.

  • The characters in the original Japanese version refer to King Ghidorah by his full name, in the American version his name is shortened and slightly abbreviated to "Ghidrah", which is because it sounds more like "hydra."
  • The princess claims to be from Venus in the Japanese version while the American version she states she is from Mars.
  • Numerous scenes were rearranged in the order in which they appeared in the original Japanese print, such as the old man whom the Princess trades the bracelet with identifying her in the police station, the battles between Godzilla and Rodan, the Princess originally told King Ghidorah's tale before the monster emerged from the meteorite, the arrival of the assassins happened at an earlier time than they did in the Japanese version, Godzilla's appearance in Yokohama was mistakenly rearranged, in his first shot of the scene he appears on land, in the next shot he is in the water, and then he again appears on land, and Rodan emerging from the volcano was mistakenly rearranged as well. In one shot his whole body can be seen rising out of the crater's wall when in the following shots he is still trying to raise his head out from the rocks.
  • The majority of Akira Ifukube's original score for the film was replaced with music from other American films.
  • Mothra is referred to as a Male in the American version, but is referred to as a Female in the Japanese version.
  • The American version is roughly 7 minutes shorter than the Japanese version.

Several scenes were also altered or removed.

  • Altered: In Godzilla's first appearance Rodan appears in the sky before Godzilla destroys the ship, the scene originally showed Godzilla rising from the sea and then destroying the boat almost uninterrupted.
  • Deleted: Shindo sees Naoko being dropped off by Dr. Murai at their home. Explaining why Shindo was asking his mother about his sister having a boyfriend when returning home.
  • Deleted: Rodan lets out his signature roar when his head emerges from the cave wall.
  • Deleted: Brief shot of Rodan hovering over the Volcano after he emerges.
  • Deleted: Before leaving the hotel room Shindo witnesses a ship exploding in the harbor caused by Godzilla.
  • Deleted: The Assassins are seen trying to escape Yokohama during Godzilla's landing.
  • Deleted: The Shobijin singing the "Happiness" song when calling for Mothra.

Box Office

In the original December 20th, 1964 Japanese release of the film, it had an attendance of 4,320,000 and grossed ¥210,000,000. In the film's theatrical re-issue on December 12th, 1971, it sold 1,090,000 tickets, adding up to a total of 5,410,000 attendees.

When Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was released in the United States, its film rentals added up to roughly $1,300,000.


Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is liked for its monster brawl and respected for being the film that started Godzilla's gradual change into a hero.

Video Releases

Toho (2001)

  • Released: 2001
  • Region: Region 2
  • Language: Japanese

Classic Media (2007)[1]

  • Released: July 1, 2012
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Format: Anamorphic, Widescreen, NTSC, Color, Subtitled
  • Other Details: 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 93/84 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese and American versions

Toho (2010)

  • Blu-Ray
  • Released: 2010
  • Language: Japanese




  • Not once does Godzilla use his atomic breath against King Ghidorah in battle, while he does use it repeatedly, with no apparent effect, against Rodan.
  • An early concept for King Ghidorah had him with rainbow-colored wings and a purple body with his three heads spitting fire from their mouths, instead of lightning which was used in the final draft.
  • In Sinichi Sekizawa's screenplay for the film, all he says in terms of a physical description of King Ghidorah is: "It has three heads, two tails, and a voice like a bell." From this, Eiji Tsuburaya designed it, which proved to be one of his most innovative, and popular, creations.
  • This film is the first Godzilla film to not feature military weapons, such as tanks and jets.
  • This film marks the second screen appearance of Rodan, and the monster's first appearance in a Godzilla film.
  • This is the first film to portray Godzilla as a hero. Also, in the conversation with Mothra he states that he only hates humans because humans hate him, suggesting that he was not really a villain in the first place.
  • When the Shobijin are translating Mothra, Rodan and Godzilla's conversation before Mothra goes on to fight King Ghidorah, the Shobijin exclaim "Oh Godzilla, what terrible language!" indicating that Godzilla was swearing.
  • There is only one Mothra larva in this film, as the second larva died in between the film Mothra vs. Godzilla and this film.
  • The Godzilla suit used in this film was used previously in 1964 for Mothra vs. Godzilla. Nicknamed the "MosuGoji" suit, it is the first Godzilla suit to be used for more than one film.


This is a list of references for Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Kaiju   Films
Godzilla Films Godzilla (1954 film)Godzilla Raids AgainKing Kong vs. GodzillaMothra vs. GodzillaGhidorah, the Three-Headed MonsterInvasion of Astro-MonsterEbirah, Horror of the DeepSon of GodzillaDestroy All MonstersAll Monsters AttackGodzilla vs. HedorahGodzilla vs. GiganGodzilla vs. MegalonGodzilla vs. MechaGodzillaTerror of MechaGodzillaThe Return of GodzillaGodzilla vs. BiollanteGodzilla vs. King GhidorahGodzilla vs. MothraGodzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzillaGodzilla vs. DestoroyahGodzilla 2000: MillenniumGodzilla vs. MegaguirusGodzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out AttackGodzilla Against MechaGodzillaGodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.Godzilla: Final WarsGodzilla (2014 film)Japanese Godzilla Reboot (2016)Godzilla 2Godzilla 3
Gamera Films GameraGamera vs. BarugonGamera vs. GyaosGamera vs. VirasGamera vs. GuironGamera vs. JigerGamera vs. ZigraGamera: Super MonsterGamera: Guardian of the UniverseGamera 2: Advent of LegionGamera 3: Awakening of IrysGamera: The Brave
Daimajin Films DaimajinReturn of DaimajinWrath of Daimajin
Mothra Films MothraRebirth of MothraRebirth of Mothra IIRebirth of Mothra III
Miscellaneous Films GODZILLAKing Kong (1933 film)Japanese King KongKing Kong Appears in EdoSon Of KongThe Beast From 20,000 FathomsRodanThe MysteriansVaranH-ManThe Birth of JapanGorathKujira GamiAtragonMatangoDogoraFrankenstein vs. BaragonWar of the GargantuasGappaKing Kong EscapesSpace AmoebaDaigoro vs. GoliathThe X From Outer SpaceProphecies of NostradamusKing Kong (1976 film)King Kong LivesYamato TakeruPulgasariKing Kong (2005 film)CloverfieldGo! GodmanThe Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 SummitMonsters


Do you like Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster?

This poll was created on August 18, 2013, and so far 138 people voted.
Era Icon - Toho
Era Icon - Showa
Era Icon - Film
Era Icon - Godzilla
Era Icon - Rodan
Era Icon - Mothra
Era Icon - King Ghidorah

Help Wikizilla out by correcting any errors you spot! Your help is greatly appreciated.
Other Wikia sites:

Random Wiki