6.4/10
2,927
55 user 45 critic

Rodan (1956)

Sora no daikaijû Radon (original title)
Unrated | | Adventure, Drama, Horror | 6 August 1957 (USA)
Mutant pterosaurs and prehistoric insects terrorize humanity.

Director:

Writers:

(english version), | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mothra (1961)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Furankî Sakai, Hiroshi Koizumi, Kyôko Kagawa
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After a meteorite unleashes a three-headed beast upon Tokyo, Mothra tries to unite with Godzilla and Rodan to battle the extraterrestrial threat.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Yôsuke Natsuki, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Godzilla battles an irradiated Ankylosaur and destroys Osaka in the process.

Director: Motoyoshi Oda
Stars: Hiroshi Koizumi, Setsuko Wakayama, Minoru Chiaki
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A greedy developer unwittingly hatches a gigantic baby moth upon Tokyo, while Godzilla strikes once again.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Hiroshi Koizumi
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Female aliens take control of Earth's monsters and begin using them to destroy the human race.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Aliens from Planet X request the use of Godzilla and Rodan to fight off King Ghidorah, but have a better use for the three monsters.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Jun Tazaki
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Godzilla comes to the rescue when an alien race rebuilds Mechagodzilla to destroy Earth's cities. A traitorous scientist gives them a second weapon: Titanosaurus.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Katsuhiko Sasaki, Tomoko Ai, Akihiko Hirata
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young man steals a boat to find his brother, but he and his shipmates become shipwrecked on a mysterious island inhabited by a giant sea monster and a slumbering Godzilla.

Director: Jun Fukuda
Stars: Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno, Chôtarô Tôgin
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Apelike aliens build a robotic Godzilla to destroy Japan, and the true Godzilla may not be powerful enough to destroy it.

Director: Jun Fukuda
Stars: Masaaki Daimon, Kazuya Aoyama, Reiko Tajima
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

From Earth's pollution a new monster is spawned. Hedorah, the smog monster, destroys Japan and fights Godzilla while spewing his poisonous gas to further the damage.

Director: Yoshimitsu Banno
Stars: Akira Yamauchi, Toshie Kimura, Hiroyuki Kawase
Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In the midst of another rampage by Godzilla, Mothra emerges to save the human race from Battra.

Director: Takao Okawara
Stars: Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.

Director: Ishirô Honda
Stars: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yû Fujiki
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Kenji Sahara ...
Yumi Shirakawa ...
Kiyo, Shigeru's lover
Akihiko Hirata ...
Professor Kyuichiro Kashiwagi (biology)
Akio Kobori ...
Police Chief Nishimura
Yasuko Nakada ...
Female Honeymooner
Minosuke Yamada ...
Colliery Chief Osaki
Yoshifumi Tajima ...
Izeki, reporter of Seibu Nippou
Kiyoharu Onaka ...
Male Honeymooner, Sunagawa's friend (as Kiyoharu Ohnaka)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ichirô Chiba ...
Chief of police station
Mike Daneen ...
American Soldier Typing
Tsurue Ichimanji ...
Haru, Kiyo's neighbor (as Tazue Ichimanji)
Saburô Iketani ...
News Reader
Saburô Kadowaki ...
Sunagawa's colleague
Tateo Kawasaki ...
Tsunesan, miner
Kanta Kisaragi ...
Suteyan, miner
Edit

Storyline

In the Japanese mining village of Kitamatsu, miners ares starting to disappear deep inside shaft number 8. Some of the men sent to investigate are killed but one who has managed to escape brings back a tale of a giant insect. Soon, the giant prehistoric insects are attacking the village. Not long after, something traveling faster than the speed of sound is found flying in the sky. It is Rodan, a giant flying prehistoric reptile that has come to life. It spreads terror throughout Japan and is seemingly invincible to any weapon they may throw at it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rodan | kaiju | tokusatsu | monster | miner | See All (25) »

Taglines:

Never a Horror Like It! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodan  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (16 mm television syndication prints) | (English dubbed)

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This became the biggest success for the small U.S. distributor DCA. Later material sent to exhibitors for other releases would carry the slogan "From the company that brought you 'Rodan'." See more »

Goofs

In the American version, there are several occasions where the characters are supposed to be speaking but there lips never move. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the U.S. version, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya's name is misspelled "Eiji Tsuburya." See more »

Connections

Followed by Son of Godzilla (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
In either version, "Rodan" is a tremendously stimulating monster movie classic
28 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Rodan" was one of the few Japanese monster movie classics that were not only heavily altered for its release into the United States, but was re-edited with respect and care for the original vision of its director Ishiro Honda. As a result, even though the Japanese and English versions are different, both are highly stimulating and tremendously enjoyable monster mashes and it's no surprise why "Rodan" was such a big hit in both countries. This is one of the most purely enjoyable, yet complex and captivating science-fiction films ever made and also boasts some surprisingly grand special effects sequences, a commendable music score, and fantastic directing by Ishiro Honda.

Rodan, a popular pterodactyl-like monster, had his debut in this 1956 film, although he does not even make an appearance until the movie is nearly over. The picture starts out with a local mining village being placed under attack by giant clawed insects crawling out of the caverns in which they harvest coal for a living. After the prehistoric arthropods brutally slaughter seven people, an investigation is conducted and a more horrifying truth is discovered. Something other than giant bugs may have resurfaced sometime after the testing of the H-bomb and at the same time, an object capable of flying at supersonic speed is spotted attacking aircraft all over the world.

It's the complexity of the story and the plot that I still find really captivating about "Rodan." If it weren't for the title, we would assume that Rodan is not even in the movie at all. We'd think it was about giant bugs. Sort of like a Japanese equivalent of "Them!" the great James Arness flick with giant ants. Rodan does not make a full-fledged appearance until the movie is nearly over and when he does show up, it's with tremendous awe and presence. The fact that Rodan is also created with some surprisingly grand special effects is another key element to his interesting qualities as a movie monster. Instead of plodding through miniature buildings like Godzilla, Rodan whips across the screen with dazzling speed and produces hurricane winds and shock waves to devastate his foes and victims. The audio track is pumped up with earsplitting shrieks as Rodan breaks the sound barrier and his trademark cry here is really a very disturbing and spine-tingling noise. Sequences such as Rodan attacking a plane (inspired by the infamous Thomas F. Mantell UFO incident) and fighting jets in a supersonic dogfight are truly exhilarating. Furthermore, we've got a cast of characters who are worth caring about. The great Japanese actor Kenji Sahara plays the titular role of Shigeru Kawamura, one of the miners who stumbles upon one horrifying event after another. And he has connections with the other characters, most notably with Yumi Shirakawa. Their relationship and chemistry is almost as fascinating as the monsters.

When the movie was distributed into the United States, like with the first Godzilla pictures, changes were made. Unlike however with that film, the changes here were more considerate and honorable. As long as you can forgive the hammy, sometimes irritating narration by Keye Luke, you can respect the distributors' decisions such as improving editing changes and addition or re-arrangement of musical cues. As an overall movie, the Japanese version feels more complete, more wholesome, and is a better picture. But its English counterpart is very nearly on par with its kinetic energy and confidence.

The cast is in terrific shape. Kenji Sahara is a truly talented actor and those who say otherwise (that no Japanese monster movie can have good acting) just look at his expression as he tries to overcome amnesia and try to say that again with a straight face. Yumi Shirakawa is also terrific as his love interest, Akhiko Hirata is once again convincing and commendable as the obligatory scientist wanting to learn the truth, and Akio Korobi not only has the physical appearance of a police chief, but plays one with presence.

"Rodan" is an unfortunately overlooked monster movie masterpiece. Most people who know it are only so because the Rodan character would later become affiliated with the Godzilla franchise. Now that the original Japanese version has been nicely given a DVD release in the U.S., I hope people can truly appreciate how great this genuinely spectacular science-fiction classic is. It is complex, well-written, drawn-out, and the ending of the picture is surprisingly moving.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rodan has CONTRAILS?!!! azmuffy
time for a remake! sea_duck
MCMXXXIV ??? insinyur
Screenplay for Rodan Re-make boris-26
Cloverfield = Rodan? jean_guy2
Did Rodan eat an entire family? Dannyboy966
Discuss Rodan (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?