Ishiro Honda


Director
Ishiro Honda

Biography

Best known for bringing in a steady income to Japan's Toho Studios in the 1950s and 60s with a series of enjoyably campy sci-fi films featuring oversized monsters which wreak mass destruction upon the urban landscape. Still the most popular of these is Honda's (and the genre's) first and one of the best, "Godzilla" (1954). Honda followed its international success with "Rodan" (1957), "Th...

Biography

Best known for bringing in a steady income to Japan's Toho Studios in the 1950s and 60s with a series of enjoyably campy sci-fi films featuring oversized monsters which wreak mass destruction upon the urban landscape. Still the most popular of these is Honda's (and the genre's) first and one of the best, "Godzilla" (1954). Honda followed its international success with "Rodan" (1957), "The Mysterians" (1959, a rather more serious effort), "Mothra" (1962), "King Kong vs. Godzilla," "Matango--Fungus of Terror" (both 1963), and the all-star "Destroy All Monsters!" (1966).

Honda's films are generally fast-paced, chock-full of action and directed with a poker-faced tone which suggests a self-aware sense of humor. The special effects, often by a regular and talented collaborator of Honda's, Eiji Tsuburaya, vary from the skillful to the obvious, sometimes with actors in rubber monster suits stomping on miniature city sets. A longtime friend of Akira Kurosawa, Honda has regularly played key collaborative roles with the master behind the scenes of his films of the 70s and 80s.

Life Events

1933

Landed a job with the production department of P.C.L. (Photo-Chemical Laboratories) Studios a few months before graduation

1949

Served as Kurosawa's assistant director on "Stray Dog"

1951

Directed first fictional feature film, "Aoi Shinju"

1953

Collaborated with special effects technician Eiji Tsuburaya on the war film, "Taiheiyo no Washi"

1954

Directed his best-known film, "Gojira/Godzilla" for which he also co-wrote the screenplay

1967

Was involved in the making of the children's TV series, "Ultraman", created by Tsuburaya

Videos

Movie Clip

Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1965 1964) - A Prophet Has Appeared Craziness in the newsroom, with meteor showers and a heat wave then Naoko (Yuriko Hoshi) is sent to cover a mystical person (Akiko Wakabayashi, whom we recognize as a fugitive foreign princess who was somehow captured en route to Japan) creating public panic, in Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, 1964.
Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964) - ..Identified As King Ghidorah! Professor Miura (Hiroshi Koizumi) and his crew have been staking out the hot swelling meteor that landed in the opening scenes which finally cracks open, revealing the title character, causing panic in nearby Matsumoto, in the fifth Godzilla-franchise feature, Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, 1964.
Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (1956) - Fabulous Discovery Dr. Yamane (Takashi Shimura), with daughter Emiko (Momoko Kochi) now leading the expedition on Odo Island, American reporter Steve (Raymond Burr) and sidekick Iwanaga (Frank Iwanaga) observing, as the star makes his first appearance, in Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, 1956, edited from the original 1954 Japanese feature.
Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (1956) - Tokyo Has No Defense Relatively safe in a newsroom, American reporter Steve (Raymond Burr) sets up his tape recorder, maybe for posterity, as the monster gets down to business in Tokyo, in the original U.S. version of Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, 1956.
Gojira (1954) - What Could Have Caused This? The opening of the original feature by Ishiro Honda for Toho Films, with trouble at sea, followed by the introduction of Akira Takarada as sea salvage worker Hideo and Momoko Kôchi as girlfriend Emiko, in Gojira, 1954, re-cut and released two years later in the U.S. as Godzilla.
Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (1956) - Unexplainable Phenomenon After a night of big trouble on an outlying island, American reporter Steve (Raymond Burr) returns with the natives to Tokyo, wise Dr. Yamame (Takashi Shimura) offering testimony, his first appearance, in the original Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, 1956.

Bibliography