Fellow Svengoolie SvenPals from coast-to-coast will be looking forward to the return of one of the iconic Japanese cinematic kaiju creature films.
The legendary Berwyn/Chicago-based horror film host will ring in the year of 2018 with his presentation of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters!” (the 1956 dub of 1954’s “Godzilla”/
“Gojira”). The fun starts this Sat., Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV.
This will be the “kick-off” film for the return of vintage “Godzilla” films throughout Jan. on Sven’s Me-TV showcase. Other films will include “Godzilla Raids Again” (1955, released in the United States in 1959 as “Gigantis: The Fire Monster” on Jan. 13), “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964, a.k.a. “Godzilla vs. The Thing” on Jan. 20) and “Godzilla’s Revenge” (1969, a.k.a. “All Monsters Attack” on Jan. 27).
The original 1954 Japanese cut of the film, “Godzilla” (“Gojira”) was directed by Ishiro Honda, while the segments for the 1956 North American cut, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters!” was directed by Terry Morse.
This will mark Sven’s second showing of the 1956 North American dub of “Godzilla” on Me-TV. He originally showcased the feature as part of his Feb. 2017 salute to vintage (dubbed) “Godzilla” features produced by Japan’s Toho Studios.
Who was in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (the 1956 United States dub of 1954’s “Godzilla”/”Gojira”)?
The players who appeared in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” were Raymond Burr (as Steve Martin), Takashi Shimura (as Dr. Yamane), Momoko Kochi (as Emiko Yamane), Frank Iwanaga (as Tomo Iwanaga), Akira Takarada (as Ogata), Akihiko Hirata (as Dr. Serizawa), James Hong (who did the English dubbing for Akira Takarada and Akihiko Hirata; Hong was not credited), Sammee Tong (who did the English dubbing for Takashi Shimura, Tong was not credited) and Paul Frees (who did the English dubbing for an unidentified character, Frees was not credited). Stunt actor Haruo Nakajima appeared in the Godzilla/Gojira suit for the film.
Notable personalities of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (the 1956 dub of 1954’s “Godzilla”/”Gojira,” at-a-glance):
Shortly before appearing in the “Godzilla”/”Godzilla” suit, Haruo Nakajima appeared in the role of Bandit in another landmark Toho Studios film, “Seven Samurai” (1954, directed by Akira Kurosawa). Nakajima appeared in in twelve Toho “Godzilla” features from 1954-72.
Actor Raymond Burr would go onto greater fame for playing the title role in the successful CBS television adaptation series of Erle Stanley Gardner’s “Perry Mason” from 1957-66 (Burr reprised his role several NBC made-for-TV movie adaptations from 1985-92). Burr’s other notable title role was in the 1967-75 series “Ironside” (as wheelchair-bound detective Robert T. Ironside).
In 1984, Burr reprised his role of Steve Martin in the North American cut of Koji Hashimoto’s “The Return of Godzilla,” “Godzilla: 1985,” which was released in the United States by New World Pictures. The North American scenes were directed by R.J. Kiser.
Character actor James Hong would be later known for his roles, including the villainous sorcerer David Lo Pan in John Carpenter’s action-adventure comedy hit, “Big Trouble in Little China” (1986). Hong would also be known for his appearance of maître d’ Bruce in the 1991 “Seinfeld” episode, “The Chinese Restaurant” (from the second season of the series).
Paul Frees would be known for his voice-over roles in animated cartoons, most notably for the role of Boris Badenov for Jay Ward’s “Rocky and His Friends” from 1959-61 and the original voice of the stop-motion “Pillsbury Doughboy” in television ads for Pillsbury products from 1965 until his death in 1986).
The Godzilla “Roar” sound effect
According to a 2014 National Public Radio “All Things Considered” article on the creation of the iconic “roar” sound effect cue for Godzilla, the roar sound effect cue was created by composer Akira Ifukube. Ifukube used a double-bass with a pine-tar finish-based leather glove to create Godzilla/Gojira’s signature “roar.”
Be sure to watch (or record) Svengoolie’s upcoming showcase of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (1956 dub of 1954’s “Godzilla”/”Gojira”), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Kick off the new year with Svengoolie and the return of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (the 1956 dub of 1954’s “Godzilla”/”Gojira”), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Whether you have seen the 1956 dub of “Godzilla” (“Gojira”) before (during Sven’s Feb. 2017 salute to vintage Toho Studios Godzilla kaiju features) or if this is your first time watching Svengoolie or “Godzilla” on the airlanes of Me-TV, you will not be disappointed (with extended fun facts by Sven, maestro Doug Graves and his song of the evening and Kerwyn’s “mail call”)!
Highly recommended for all fellow Svengoolie SvenPals and fellow aficionados of classic Toho Studios kaiju creature features!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/Fios 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248
Have some fun by live-tweeting with all fellow #Svengoolie SvenPals (via Twitter) everywhere during Sven’s Sat. showcase of “Dr. Cyclops” (1940) on Me-TV!
Flashback to Jan. 31, 2017 on “Silver Screen Reflections:” An extended article on Sven and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters!” (Sven’s Feb. 2017 Godzilla Me-TV festival, when Me-TV was on a different channel at the home office of “Silver Screen Reflections”).
In relation to “Godzilla” (1954)/”Godzilla: King of the Monsters!” (1956):
“Godzilla”/“Gojira” (1954) with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (1956) is available on Blu-Ray (single-disc set) and DVD (twin-disc set) from Janus Films’ “The Criterion Collection” (by arrangement with Toho Co., Ltd.)
The North American rights to the majority of the showa-era “Godzilla”/”Gojira” films are currently managed by Janus Films by arrangement with Toho Co., Ltd. (according to a Nov. 4, 2017 article from the fanzine site, “Godzilla Movies”). The North American rights were previously held by Dreamworks Classics/Classic Media.