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The film series began in 1965 with Gamera, the Giant Monster, directed by Noriaki Yuasa, which is the first and only entry in the entire series to be shot in black-and-white. In 1966, the film was released in the United States under the title Gammera the Invincible. A total of seven Gamera films were produced between 1965 and 1971, with one being released each year. These films, several of which were also directed by Yuasa, became popular with child audiences. During this time, five of the seven films were picked up for television distribution in the United States by American International Television. Like Gamera, the Giant Monster becoming Gammera the Invincible, each film (except for Gamera vs. Zigra) was re-titled for American viewers—Gamera vs. Barugon became War of the Monsters; Gamera vs. Gyaos became Return of the Giant Monsters; Gamera vs. Viras became Destroy All Planets; Gamera vs. Guiron became Attack of the Monsters; and Gamera vs. Jiger became Gamera vs. Monster X.

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