Rodan TALKBACK

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

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Rodan TALKBACK

Postby lhb412 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:40 pm

So I'm trying to get back on my Talkback threads, which is because of my life-long dream of watching all the Godzilla films in order (everyone needs a dream), but after watching Gojira and GRA I decided to watch Rodan. For some reason or other I haven't had the time to watch the Japanese version of Rodan since I got the new DVD (probably for the same reason I haven't had time to watch any Godzilla movies). So this was a real treat.

For me as a little kid, Rodan and King Kong Escapes were the only non-Godzilla Japanese monster films (I was about 10 or 11 before I started catching WOTG, FCTW and Gamera GOTU on TV). I must have rented it from the local Mom & Pop video rental over a dozen times.

Seeing the original cut was interesting because I'm so familar with the film. I was constantly going, "I haven't seen this shot before" and "I've never seen this scene!" I thought the narration in the U.S. version was great, but Honda's direction really tells the same story without the dialogue. I love the establishing shots of the mining town. Pre-Mothra, the Toho movies really tried to place these monsters in the real world. Also, the Japanese print is in such better shape. It's great to see it so clear and with vibrant color.

One thing that always bothered me about Rodan was that Rodan starts flying around full-grown so soon after it hatches as a chick - and just during this watching did it hit me: the Rodan that Shigeru sees hatch doesn't emerge untill the attack on the city in the third act! The Rodan that is causing all the U.F.O. reports is the second Rodan and has been around for a little while beforehand!

:D
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Postby Joseph Goodman » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:57 pm

In addition to providing an eloquent eulogy for the Rodans in the fires of Mt. Aso, the narration in the US version also helps cover up a major (in my opinion) flaw in the script of the Japanese version... Shigeru simply disappears from the film for a good chunk of it's running time, depsite getting most of the development early on. By having the character narrate in the US version, he's kept "in the action".
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Postby Xenorama » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:22 pm

i read once someone had put forth the theory that the "baby" wasn't as old as it's parents, that there were actually three Rodans and that it was the two adults that were killed.

i just like the movie, no matter how many monsters! the first part was pretty darn scary watching it at night on tv in the 70s.

and having seen a great print of this on the big screen, it looks astounding that way, too.

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Postby kiryugoji04 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:39 pm

The Meganuron scenes STILL creep the hell out of me. Love this movie to death. :D
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Postby kpa » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:04 pm

I've told this story before, but when my dad was 16 he worked as an usher in a movie theater. The theater played RODAN and the manager loved the movie, so he held onto the print and would run it each night as the crew was closing up the theater.

Many years later, my dad used to joke that constant exposure to RODAN affected his genes and was the reason I loved Japanese monster movies. And, of course, the original RODAN has always been one of my favorite Toho films. So I was thrilled that in 2004 I was able to help set up a screening of RODAN at the Egyptian Theatre. Seeing it in a theater for the first time felt like things had gone full circle.
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Postby MouthForWar » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:07 pm

A classic slice of sci-fi/horror. Makes a great double feature with the equally great THEM!, which highly influenced Rodan.
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Postby INVINCIBLE HASTUR » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:02 am

An Ultimate Monster movie.

RODAN truly is Toho at their best. Love it !!!!
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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:44 pm

this is a talkback I'll be skipping, i guess.

i just watched this relatively recently, and we ALL remember how that went

(I found it boring, everyone else disagreed, I was right :wink: )
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Postby Gwangi » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:55 pm

kpa wrote:I've told this story before, but when my dad was 16 he worked as an usher in a movie theater. The theater played RODAN and the manager loved the movie, so he held onto the print and would run it each night as the crew was closing up the theater.

Many years later, my dad used to joke that constant exposure to RODAN affected his genes and was the reason I loved Japanese monster movies.


Very interesting story Keith. As for me, well, my mom loved Frankie Avalon in her day, so I don’t know where I got my kaiju loving genes! :D

kpa wrote: And, of course, the original RODAN has always been one of my favorite Toho films. So I was thrilled that in 2004 I was able to help set up a screening of RODAN at the Egyptian Theatre. Seeing it in a theater for the first time felt like things had gone full circle.


Yes it was and with George Takei in person! If didn’t thank you Keith for that, then I will thank you now, eventhough it is five years later! :)
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Postby DannyBeane » Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:31 pm

Rodan is my favorite Non godzilla Kaiju movie. The rodan suit design just looked so magestic. Its a pity I don't have a Japanese copy of the film. The Japanese version is so much better. I might have to go watch my crappy classic media copy.
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Postby TXKaiju » Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:30 pm

I have always liked Rodan without a doubt its my fave non Godzilla Daikaiju movie. What I really like about Rodan is that it seems to be the first kaiju movie that has 2 kaiju of the species that try and survive in a modern world then one dies and the other joins it rather than living alone without its mate.
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Postby Destroysall » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:05 pm

TXKaiju wrote:I have always liked Rodan without a doubt its my fave non Godzilla Daikaiju movie. What I really like about Rodan is that it seems to be the first kaiju movie that has 2 kaiju of the species that try and survive in a modern world then one dies and the other joins it rather than living alone without its mate.


Its like a love story, so beautiful!!!!! :cry:

Other than that, I love the movie, Sahara-san acting was superb! I love everything about this movie! It is one of my favorite daikaiju films out there!
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:47 pm

Ah, one of my favorites. This is definitely one of the best from Toho's Golden Age.

The story is pretty engaging. I like the "amnesia" angle, and it's played up pretty well. Some of the effects are kind of "meh," but for the most part they're terrific. I love the design for Rodan. Terrific music, especially at the end. Cool beans.
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Postby heroforhirerob » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:25 am

Remarkably enough, this is one of the few kaiju films where the Americanized version holds up well against the Japanese version. The narration works well in this one, adding tension to parts of the film and pathos to the ending. In fact...I might dare say the American version comes off as superior to the original. There...I've said it...and I'll never say that about another kaiju film. lol
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Postby TXKaiju » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:52 am

I wish I had an original Japanese Rodan movie poster. But for now the Rodan movie poster I have will have to do. I would have loved to have seen Rodan the Flying Monster here in America back in 1957 along with The Giant Claw 1957 and see which movie movie goers would have liked more. Imo I think probley fans would have enjoyed Rodan more because the movie was in color and the Giant Claw was in black & white.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:49 pm

TXKaiju wrote:I would have loved to have seen Rodan the Flying Monster here in America back in 1957 along with The Giant Claw 1957 and see which movie movie goers would have liked more. Imo I think probley fans would have enjoyed Rodan more because the movie was in color and the Giant Claw was in black & white.


Going on information I've heard before (but forgotten who and where), I'm pretty sure that "Rodan" was either the highest-grossing science fiction film in the States in 1957 or came really close, so I'd say it was probably more successful than "The Giant Claw."
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:55 pm

I love Rodan. Took me awhile to enjoy it for the first viewing because I didn't think it would have any kind of horror elements to it, I thought at first it'll be a monster film like Godzilla. Over time, I love it and I only watched the Japanese version. The US cut is pretty annoying I mean you don't really need a narrator to tell you what's going on when there's a image showing you the action.
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Postby TXKaiju » Sat Jul 25, 2009 1:28 pm

I just saw Rodan a few days ago i guess because of getting to meet Kenji Sahara at G-Fest a few weeks ago. I really enjoy watching that movie. I dont know why but I am getting the urge to buy a Rodan movie poster. I already have 2 of them.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:47 pm

TXKaiju wrote:I just saw Rodan a few days ago i guess because of getting to meet Kenji Sahara at G-Fest a few weeks ago. I really enjoy watching that movie. I dont know why but I am getting the urge to buy a Rodan movie poster. I already have 2 of them.
Haha. Well maybe there's different versions of Rodan posters. Like what versions of Rodan posters you have?
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Postby TXKaiju » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:09 pm

The Rodan movie posters I have are a 1970 release German Rodan movie poster and an original 1957 Argintine Rodan movie poster. The Argintine poster has the same artwork as the American Rodan 57 poster. But the Argintine poster is 2inches wider and longer and it has a yellow background. Very nice poster imo!
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:14 pm

Just finished watching this again. Rodan, along with Mothra were the only non-Godzilla kaiju moves I saw as a child. Most of what stuck so well with me in Rodan was the awesome opening. The drama at the mine works so well to draw you into the world of giant monsters. Something horrific and small that blossoms into a full fledged Kaiju flick. The Rodan of course, has never looked as awesome or powerful as they do in this film, and that's reason enough to love the film. Something about the super sonic speed, and the unique means of destroying the creatures have always stayed in my mind.

Rodan is an excellent addition to the giant monster genre, and by far one of my favorite of the 1950s non-Godzilla fare. Though it's only really beaten by Gojira. Love this movie.
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Re: Rodan TALKBACK

Postby Flame of Udin » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:43 pm

lhb412 wrote:So I'm trying to get back on my Talkback threads, which is because of my life-long dream of watching all the Godzilla films in order (everyone needs a dream)


I actually watched the Japanese versions of all the Godzilla films back to back and in order last year, I think I watched one a day but in the end it took about a month to do. Oh how I miss the joys of being single :D .

When I saw Rodan as alittle one I remember covering my eyes through half the Meganuron scenes. When Rodan appeared and started eating them I felt oddly calmed, probably because I was already familiar with Rodan having seen him in GTTHM and Monster Zero. But all in all amazing film, best looking Rodan EVER, and Tsuburaya/Ifukube/Honda's work was groundbreaking as always.
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Postby Giganfan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:47 am

I like to watch Rodan every few moths or so. Either version will suffice, although admittedly, I have dozed off during the Japanese version. As well-made as it is, I've always felt that it has a rushed quality to it. Ifukube's score is very sporadic, much like Masaru Sato's for Godzilla Raids Again, and there are some pretty glaring imperfections in the effects work. I mean, the flying Rodan prop is literally dangling from a wire in one shot. How it got into the finished film, I'll never know. Perhaps Tsuburaya didn't have enough effects shots in the can. Like I said, the original film feels like it was extremely rushed. Be that as it may, I still feel that it's a well-rounded story. The script is basic monster movie stuff, with texture, and Ishiro Honda's careful hand guides well enough. I tend to consider Sora no Daikaiju Radon an imperfect masterpiece. You have to remember that the genre was still in its infancy at the time. When you take that under consideration, it's actually one of the better fantasy films that Toho has made.

The U.S. version is alot of fun. It was the first non-Godzilla, Toho monster flick I had ever seen, so it holds quite a bit of sentimental value for me. Unlike many Americanizations, the distributors didn't try to re-write the movie for state-side movie-goers. They just beefed it up a bit. The narration here, while nothing to rave about, is a hell of a lot better than Gigantis, and it actually fills out the more sleepily-contructed sequences. And even though the final death sequence is moving on its own, Shigeru's "eulogy" for the dying Rodans was lovingly-written. Stock footage, stock music, the dubbing, etc. It all works well enough. This is one of the best U.S. versions of any Toho film, and one of my very favorites.

Rodan is a classic, in either version. There is no denying that. The monster itself is one of Toho's finest creations (my favorite, second only to Godzilla) and it serves as an indelible inspiration for all of the 'kaiju eiga' that came in its wake. Those aerial dog-fights, like the city destruction in Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, and the monsters waging war amid Osaka City in Gigantis The Fire Monster, were done first, here, and in miniature form no less. And given the time period, I'd say that Tsuburaya got it right the first time, because alot of those effects sequences are astounding for what they are, and the time in which they were staged. We can debate the merits of either version all day, but the simple truth is that Rodan is one of the best films that Tanaka, Honda, Tsuburaya, Ifukube, etc. ever made, even if by default. It's that important to the genre.
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Postby Green Dragon » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:02 pm

The 50's color Toho sci-fi films have a special look to them. Vivid yet elegant and full of atmosphere, and the miniature work and photography is complete eye candy, meticulousness, flaws and all.

And ditto, Rodan's appearance or character here has never been equalled. In some sequels he looks downright clownish...( I remember seeing a letter to the LA Times many years ago, complaining about Cher's weird feathered getup that she wore to the Oscars that made her look like Rodan :lol: )

I love the opening credits with the abstract and blurred out background (love that recurring thing in Toho Showa credits) and Ifukube's eerie theme (the wee bit of Ifukube music to survive the American edit) and then that roar when his name appears. 8-) His roar/screech is one of the greatest kaiju sounds.

Seeing the Japanese version for the first time only when it came out on Classic Media DVD was a real pleasant surprise. And, seeing in in a cinema was a real treat as well (American Cinematheque, with George Takei as a guest, at that) :D


OH.... When in Chicago, eat at Rodan... http://www.rodanchicago.com/gallery.html
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Re: Rodan TALKBACK

Postby lhb412 » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:34 am

TCM is showing the 1961 prehistoric animal-based sci-fi flick Valley of the Dragons right now. Amid the other copious stock footage: Rodan taking to the air, subbing for a more traditional pteranodon.
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