Ed. Note/Sidebar: Due to the recent Me-TV affiliation switch in the Frederick/Washington area (Me-TV moved from WJLA-TV 7 to Fox O&O WTTG-5’s sub-channel, along with unsuccessful attempts at receiving WTTG and WBAL’s over-the-air digital signals for Me-TV), the local cable provider near the home office of “Silver Screen Reflections” has still not added WTTG’s new Me-TV sub-channel.
After recent discussions with a rep from my local cable provider, they claimed that it would take a week for them to restore Me-TV to my cable lineup. I have also inquired the management of WTTG to see if they have worked out a deal with my local cable provider to restore Me-TV (as of this writing, I have not received any replies from the management of WTTG/Fox Television Stations).
I do not want to miss out on Sven’s premiere of “Rodan” this Saturday (unfortunately, I missed out on his recent showcase of “Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man”).
I definitely do not want to miss out on another fun live-tweeting session during Svengoolie’s showcase (w/ fellow fans of Sven throughout the country)!
Fingers crossed that Me-TV will be restored to my cable lineup soon (before Svengoolie and “Rodan” this Sat. night)! Now on to the article! –C.H.
“Rodan” was directed by Ishiro Honda, who also directed Toho Studios’ legendary kaiju creature film, “Godzilla” (1954, released in the United States under the title of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters!” in 1956. Sven showcased the 1956 North American dub of Honda’s “Godzilla” during his festival of Godzilla flicks back in Feb. on Me-TV).
According to IMDB, Honda’s “Rodan” was released to theaters in Japan by Toho in December 1956. The dubbed version of the film was released to cinemas throughout the United States in August 1957 by the Distributors Corporation of America, or DCA (RKO Radio Pictures handled the distribution of Toho Studios’ “Rodan” in other territories).
Who was in “Rodan” (1956)?
The actors who appeared in “Rodan” were Kenji Sahara (as Shigeru Kawamura, Sahara was credited as Kenji Sawara), Yumi Shirakawa (as Kiyo), Akihiko Hirata (as Professor Kyuichiro Kashiwagi) and Akio Kobori (as Officer Nishimura).
Two years before “Rodan,” Akihiko Hirata played the role of Dr. Serizawa in “Godzilla.” Thirteen years after “Rodan,” Kenji Sahara played the role of Kenkichi ‘Tack’ Miki in Toho Studios’ 1969 Godzilla entry, “Godzilla’s Revenge.”
Familiar voice appearances (in the North American dub of “Rodan”)
In the North American release of “Rodan,” several familiar actors would dub over the Japanese dialogue track for the film, including a young George Takei, veteran film and television character actor Keye Luke, veteran voice-over/ cartoon narrator Paul Frees and announcer Art Gilmore.
Takei, Luke and Frees would dub over the dialogue for the North American release of “Godzilla Raids Again” (originally released in Japan in 1955, released in the United States in 1959 as “Gigantis: The Fire Monster”), which Sven also showed back in Feb. on Me-TV.
According to Richard Harland Smith’s article for Turner Classic Movies on “Rodan,” the dubbed dialogue sessions were recorded at the studios of Metro-Goldywn-Mayer in Culver City, California (the former MGM lot has been occupied by Sony and its motion picture subsidiaries since 1990).
“Rodan:” Originally known as “Radon?”
According to IMDB’s trivia portal on “Rodan,” the creature’s original name in the Japanese version was “Radon.”
(For fellow fans of Sven who still receive Me-TV): Watch Svengoolie’s premiere of “Rodan” (1956) this Sat. on Me-TV!
If you enjoyed Sven’s salute to Toho Studios’ “Godzilla” films on Me-TV back in Feb., then you will be in for a real treat as the iconic Chicago horror host will showcase another iconic cinematic creature in Toho Studios’ kaiju film franchise (“Rodan” was the studio’s first kaiju monster film that was shot in color). You will not want to miss out on the exploits of the giant prehistoric-style kaiju creature with Sven, Doug and Kerywn (for fellow fans of Sven who are still receiving Me-TV).
Sat., April 8 at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central on Me-TV
In the Frederick/Washington area: WTTG 5.3 (for those that can get perfect or adequate reception of the Fox-owned station in the Frederick/Washington area)
In the Baltimore area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Comcast 208 (“Svengoolie” is time-delayed due to WBAL’s 10 p.m. newscast on their Me-TV sub-channel).
“Rodan” (1956) is also available for free on Shout! Factory’s ad-supported online platform, Shout! Factory TV (under license from Toho Co., Ltd.)
Questions/Comments about Svengoolie or “Rodan” (1956) (including reports of reception problems of Me-TV in the Frederick/Washington area)? Drop a line at the comments section!