Prophecies of Nostradamus (ノストラダムスの大予言?, lit. Nostradamus' Great Prophecies) is a Nosutoradamusu no Daiyogen1974 tokusatsu film produced by Toho Company Ltd. It was released to Japanese theaters on August 3, 1974, and to American theaters on July 13, 1979.
In 1835, Gentetsu Nishiyama begins preaching the prophecies of Michel de Nostradame using a copy of his book, "Centuries." When Nishiyama gets persecuted by the Tokugawa Shogunate for supposed heresy, his wife and son flees with the book in hand, passing down the knowledge to future generations. At the onset of World War II, his descendant, Gengaku, is interrogated by an Imperial Japanese Army officer about the family's continued preaching of the prophecies, which predicted the rise of Nazism and the Axis defeat.
In the present day of 1999, biologist Dr. Ryogen Nishiyama is called in to analyze recent scientific phenomena, such as the appearance of giant mutant slugs, children wielding advanced abilities, and large ice packs just north of Hawaii. He is also a leading figure in the fight against environmental pollution and the global arms race, as well as global disasters. The UN sends a research expedition to New Guinea to investigate a radioactive dust cloud that appeared over the island, but the team suddenly goes out of contact. Nishiyama joins a second team to find them and discover that the area around the team's last known position is now infested by mutant bats, one of whom kills a team member. Nishiyama's group finds the remains of the original team, but are disheartened that some of them are barely alive; they are forced to kill the survivors. After cannibals attack the team's dead colleague, they bury all the members.
An SST explodes in the atmosphere over Japan, with the explosion puncturing the ozone layer and unleashing ultraviolet rays below. The polar icecaps melt triggering massive floods in Japan. After more natural disasters hit the country, the civilian populace turns to looting as rationing takes effect. Society breaks down further, with several people committing suicide. The panic escalates until nuclear war breaks out and mutated survivors fight each other for food.
It is revealed that the nuclear war is one of many nightmare scenarios Nishiyama is explaining before the Japanese Cabinet. As the prime minister explains a resolve to find a solution, Nishiyama, his daughter Mariko, and her boyfriend Akira (Nishiyama's colleague) leave the Diet complex.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Toshio Masuda
- Written by Toshio Yasumi, Yoshimitsu Banno, and Tsutomu Goto
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka and Osamu Tanaka
- Music by Isao Tomita
- Cinematography by Rokuro Nishigaki
- Edited by Nobuo Ogawa
- Assistant Directing by Yoshimitsu Banno, Koji Hashimoto, Tadashi Masamori, Tsunesaburo Nishikawa, Fumisake Okada, Takao Okawara, and Shindo Yasuda
- Special Effects by Kenichi Eguchi, Yasuyuki Inoue, Koichi Kawakita, and Teruyoshi Nakano
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Tetsurô Tanba as Doctor Nishiyama
- Toshio Kurosawa as Akira Nakagawa
- Kaoru Yumi as Mariko Nishiyama
- Yôko Tsukasa as Nobuo Nishiyama
- Katsuhiko Sasaki as Yoshihama - Assistant to Nishiyama
- Akihiko Hirata as Environmental Scientist 1
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Environmental Scientist 2
- Takashi Shimura as Pediatrician
- Sô Yamamura as Prime Minister Kuroki
- Tappei Shimokawa as Captain of Defense Forces
- Mizuho Suzuki as Director General of Environment Agency
- Masaru Ryuzaki
- Kazuo Katô as The Scholar
- Taketoshi Naitô as Chief Cabinet Secretary
- Jun Hamamura as Kida
- Kyôko Kishida as Narrator (Japanese version)
- Tatsu Nakamura as Katsuko Nakagawa - Akira's Mother
- Franz Gruber as Doctor Wilson
- Osman Yusuf
- Kuniyasu Atsumi as The Scholar
- Ralph Jesser as Party member 2
- Shunsuke Kariya as Leader in Crowd
- Toshizô Kudô as The Man who Asks a Question
- Chico Roland as Nigerian ambassador
- Masahiko Tanimura as Tayama
- Jack Ryland as Narrator (American version)
- Yasuko Agawa as Kida's Daughter (as Tomoe Mari)
- Mikizo Hirata as Sanji Nakagawa - Akira's Father
- Kazuko Inano as Hamako Tayama - Tayama's Wife
- Sayoko Katô as Bus Girl in Shikoku
- Shôsei Mutô as Ihara
- Gorô Naya as TV News Caster
- Yuji Osugi as Akira's Brother
- Kumeko Otowa as Kida's Wife
- Kaori Taniguchi as Orin
- Toshiko Yabuki as Housewife who Asks a Question
- Mayako Yoshida as Wife of Akira's Brother
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Prophecies of Nostradamus/Gallery.
- Main article: Prophecies of Nostradamus (Soundtrack).
- Nostradamus' Great Prophecies (Nosutoradamusu no Daiyogen; Literal Japanese Title)
- Catastrophe 1999 (English Japanese Title)
- The Last Days of Planet Earth (United States)
- Nostradamus' End of the World: 2000 (Fin Du Monde Nostradamus - An 2000; France)
- The Prophecy of Nostradamus World Disaster in 1999? (Die Prophezeiung des Nostradamus Weltkatastrophe 1999?; West Germany)
- The End of the World: The Prophecies of Nostradamus Fulfilled! (El Fin del Mundo ¡Las Profecías de Nostradamus se Cumplen!; Mexico)
- Japan - August 3, 1974 [view poster]
- United States - July 13, 1979
- France - September 25, 1974 [view poster]
- West Germany - May 22, 1975 [view poster]
- Mexico [view poster]
Prophecies of Nostradamus was released in the United States by Toho in 1979. Toho had been forced to cut the film's runtime from 116 to 92 minutes for international distribution. In the 1980's UPA acquired the rights to distribute the film on home video. UPA cut down the already cut and censored 92-minute version of the film to 72 minutes and released it as The Last Days of Planet Earth. This version remains the only legitimate release of the film to be available in the United States.
- Following the film's release, various anti-nuclear and atomic bomb survivor advocate groups filed a complaint to the Eirin Board, which was in charge of censoring films in Japan. They protested that the scenes depicting the mutant humans created by nuclear fallout were offensive towards survivors of the atomic bombs. Toho was forced to cut out several minutes of footage from the film and add in lines of dialogue to humanize the mutants. After the film finished showing in theaters, Toho was forced to remove even more footage for subsequent international releases, cutting the runtime down to 90 minutes. In 1980, Toho aired the uncut 116-minute version of the film on television, which was the last time the film was ever shown. In the United States in the 1980's, the film's runtime was cut down to 72 minutes and it was released as The Last Days of Planet Earth. Toho has since banned the film in Japan, while only cut versions are available overseas. Bootlegs of the uncut film do still circulate around the world.