The 1956 Toho Studios kaiju creature entry was directed by veteran film director Ishiro Honda. Two years before “Rodan,” Honda directed the landmark Toho Studios kaiju creature monster epic, “Godzilla”/Gojira” (1954, released in the United States two years later under the title of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” in 1956 with additional sequences directed by Terry Morse for the North American cut, Morse’s sequences featured actor Raymond Burr of TV’s “Perry Mason” fame).
This will mark Sven’s second broadcast of “Rodan” (1956) on Me-TV. He previously showcased Honda’s 1956 kaiju creature feature back in April 2017*.
Who was in “Rodan” (1956)?
The actors who appeared in Ishiro Honda’s 1956 Toho Studios kaiju creature entry were Kenji Sahara (of “Godzilla”/”Gojira” fame as Shigeru Kawamura, Sahara was credited in the film as Kenji Sawara), Yumi Shirakawa (as Kiyo, this was one of Shirakawa’s earliest film roles), Akihiko Hirata (as biology Professor Kyuichiro Kashiwagi), veteran Toho Studios stunt performer Haruo Nakajima (of “Godzilla”/”Gojira” fame in the “Rodan”/”Radon” suit), Akio Kobori (as Officer Nishimura), Minosuke Yamada (as Osaki), Yoshifumi Tajima (as Izeki, reporter of Seibu Nippou), Yasuko Nakada (as a honeymooner), Kiyoharu Onaka (as a honeymooner, Onaka was credited as Kiyoharu Ohnaka in the film), a pre-“Star Trek” George Takei (in an uncredited role for the English dubbing of Akihiko Hirata’s character), veteran character actor Keye Luke (in an uncredited role for the English dubbing of Kenji Sahara’s character), veteran voice-over artist Paul Frees (in an uncredited role for the English dubbing of Akio Kobori’s character) and veteran voice-over artist Art Gilmore (in an uncredited role as the narrator).
According to Richard Harland Smith’s article on “Rodan” (1956) for Turner Classic Movies, George Takei, Keye Luke, Paul Frees and Art Gilmore’s dubbing session for the North American release of the Toho kaiju creature entry was recorded at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio lot in Culver City, California (today, the former MGM Culver City lot is home to Sony Pictures Entertainment/Columbia Pictures).
The name of Toho Studios’ flying kaiju creature was altered for the North American release
According to IMDB’s trivia section on “Rodan” (1956), Toho Studios released Honda’s 1956 kaiju creature feature under the name of “Radon.”
Ishiro Honda’s first Technicolor feature
According to additional details from Richard Harland Smith’s TCM article on “Rodan” (1956), this was the first Technicolor feature film for director Ishiro Honda.
Haruo Nakajima’s injury on the set
During the production of “Rodan” (1956), stunt actor Haruo Nakajima’s suspension line broke during the bridge sequence in the film. According to additional details from IMDB’s trivia section on “Rodan,” Nakajima (in the “Rodan”/”Radon” suit) fell approximately 25 feet from the suspension cable. Toho Studios special effects technicians repaired the suspension cables to Nakajima’s “Rodan”/”Radon” suit, yet the cables almost broke again due to the weight of the “Rodan”/”Radon” suit and water damage.
Distributors Corporation of America (DCA) licensed the North American releasing rights to “Rodan” from Toho Studios
One year after the original release of “Rodan” (“Radon”) in Japan, independent film distribution firm Distributors Corporation of America (DCA) acquired the North American releasing rights to Ishiro Honda’s “Rodan” in 1957 (according to IMDB’s listing of company credits). One year before distributing “Rodan,” DCA distributed the rock-and-roll revue film, “Rock Rock Rock!” (1956, with Little Richard, Tuesday Weld, La Vern Baker and Alan Freed).
Be sure to watch or record Svengoolie’s big broadcast showcase of “Rodan” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Highlight reel from “Rodan” (1956). This modern highlight reel was produced when Classic Media licensed the North American distribution/syndication rights to the majority of Toho Studios’ films at the time.
Have fun with Svengoolie’s showcase presentation of “Rodan” (1956), this Sat. on the airlanes of Me-TV! With the magic of Sven, Doug Graves and Kerwyn, you will not want to miss out on his upcoming showcase of a classic kaiju creature feature! Highly recommended to all fellow SvenPals!
*Ed. Note: I missed out on Sven’s April 2017 Me-TV premiere of “Rodan” (1956), due to the Washington, D.C./Frederick, Maryland area Me-TV affiliation switch at the time (when Me-TV moved from WJLA to WTTG). At the time (Sven premiered “Rodan” on Me-TV on April 8, 2017) Me-TV (via WTTG 5.3) was not restored on my cable provider until April 21, 2017 (WTTG’s over-the-air digital signal does not reach the home office of “Silver Screen Reflections”). This will be my first time watching Sven’s upcoming showcase of “Rodan” on Me-TV (for Sat., Sept. 15) with all my fellow coast-to-coast SvenPals! -C.H.
Sat., Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central on Me-TV
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 fun and live-tweet with all fellow #Svengoolie SvenPals (via Twitter) everywhere during Sven’s Sat. Me-TV big broadcast showcase of “Rodan” (1956)!
For our fellow Chicago/Berwyn SvenPals and fellow SvenPals who are traveling to Chicago/Berwyn: Svengoolie will be making an appearance at the Lemont Area Historical Society’s “A Night of Magic and Mystery Masquerade Ball” on Sat., Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Slovenian Cultural Center/14252 Main St., Lemont, Illinois 60439! Ticket prices will include photo sessions autographs with Sven, plus psychic readings, an open bar, a wandering magician and much more! Information on tickets can be found on Sven’s official Facebook site for the event and on the official Lemont Historical Society online flyer! NOTE: Must be 21+ or older to attend!
Cameo mention of a fellow super SvenPal!
Second big week (Sept. 14, 15 and 16)! For our fellow Berwyn/Chicago, Illinois SvenPals, travelers to Berwyn/Chicago and fellow Berwyn/Chicago readers of “Silver Screen Reflections:” Be sure to see fellow super SvenPal Jamie Lee as Elaine and the entire PM&L players for the PM&L Theatre stage adaptation of Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth’s “Calendar Girls” in Antioch, Illinois! The the PM&L production of “Calendar Girls” occurs on Fri. evenings (Sept. 14 and 21) at 8 p.m. (local time), Sat. evenings (Sept. 15 and 22) at 8 p.m. (local time) and Sun. afternoons (Sept. 16 and 23) at 2:30 p.m. (local time, 877 Main St., Antioch, Illinois 60002)! Additional information and ticket purchasing options can be found on the official PM&L website! Fellow Svengoolie SvenPals everywhere are cheering for Jamie and the entire PM&L cast! Three cheers! –C.H.
And be sure to give generously and spread the word to help one of Jamie’s PM&L friends through the GoFundMe site to help offset the high costs for recent/additional medical treatments, every amount helps! -C.H.
To all fellow East Coast Svengoolie SvenPals: You may have heard recently that Hurricane Florence has been reduced to a Category 3 storm. Be sure to take all safety precautions seriously in case of severe weather conditions. –C.H.