Inoshiro Honda


Director

About

Also Known As
Ishiro Honda
Birth Place
Japan
Died
February 28, 1993
Cause of Death
Difficulties Resulting From Respiratory Problems

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...

Photos & Videos

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster - Lobby Card Set
Mothra - Lobby Card Set
The H-Man - Lobby Card Set

Notes

Many reference works give 1956 as the year for Honda's best-remembered film, "Gojira/Godzilla", but this was the year of its American release.

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

Photo Collections

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster - Lobby Card Set
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster - Lobby Card Set
Mothra - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia Pictures' Mothra (1962), the American release of Toho's Mosura (1961), directed by Ishiro Honda. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The H-Man - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia Pictures' The H-Man (1959), the American release of Toho's Bijo to Ekitainingen (1958), directed by Ishiro Honda. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The H-Man - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The H-Man (1958), produced by Toho and directed by Inoshiro Honda. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Rodan (1957) - There's Nothing We Can Do Roll call at the coal mine, engineer Shigeru (Kenji Sawara) worries as three of his colleagues go looking for his missing brother-in-law, still no creatures seen, in Inoshiro Honda's Rodan, 1957.
Rodan (1957) - They're Going To Have Babies Recuperating from his scare with the big nuclear insects, shown two innocuous eggs by his doting girlfriend Kiyo (Yumi Shirakawa), Shigeru (Kenji Sawara) realizes what he really saw underground, in Inoshiro Honda's Rodan, 1957.
Rodan (1957) - A Strange Beast Inside Engineer Shigeru (Kenji Sawara) is taking a shot at reassuring his panicked girlfriend Kiyo (Yumi Shirakawa) when the worm that's been killing miners makes it's first on-screen appearance, in her apartment, in Inoshiro Honda's Rodan, 1957.
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965) - I Am The Controller Astronauts Glenn (NOT John) and Fuji (Nick Adams, Akira Takarada) landing on newfound Planet X, look to plant their “World Space Authority” flag, when they hear, unexpectedly, from Yoshio Tsuchiya, voice of “The Controller,” in the Japanese-made Invasion Of Astro-Monster, (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero)1965.
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965) - Are You Sure It's Safe? The “Controller” (Yoshio Tsuchiya) and humanoids from Planet X were not invited to Earth, but, having proven they can locate both Godzilla and Mothra, astronauts Fuji and Glenn (Akira Takarada, Nick Adams), checking in with sister and girlfriend (Keiko Sawai, Kumi Mizuno), agree they should travel back with them, in Invasion Of Astro-Monster, (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero)1965.
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965) - An Historical Battle Godzilla and Rodan, borrowed from Earth and accompanied by Glenn, Fuji and Sakurai (Nick Adams, Akira Takarada, Jun Tazaki), are sent straight into battle with the monster that’s been dominating The Controller (Yoshio Tsuchiya) and other Planet X weirdos, in Invasion Of Astro-Monster, (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero)1965.
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965) - I Will Show You Monster Zero Earth guys Glenn and Fuji (Nick Adams, Akira Takarada) are now underground on Planet X where “The Controller” (Yoshio Tsuchiya) and his posse explain about “Monster Zero” (which they recognize as “Ghidira” from the previous Toho Studio “Monster Rally” film), in Invasion Of Astro-Monster, (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero)1965.
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965) - World Space Authority A quick prologue, then Hollywood’s Nick Adams and Toho Studios/Godzilla regular Akira Takarada appear as “World Space Authority” astronauts, Jun Tazaki their boss, Keiko Sawai sister Haruno, Akira Kubo her boyfriend Tetsuo, in the Japanese-made Invasion Of Astro-Monster, (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero)1965.
Gojira (1954) - Anything Could Happen Frightened islanders rushing back to the mainland to tell their story, scientist Yamane (Takashi Shimura) makes his first appearance, proposing an expedition, daughter Emiko (Momoko Kochi) at his side, in Inoshiro Honda's original Gojira (a.k.a. Godzilla), 1954.
Gojira (1954) - This Footprint Is Radioactive! From the original Toho Films feature, Takashi Shimura as Dr. Yamane, beginning to realize what they’ve got on their hands, Sachio Sakai as the reporter Hagiwara, Momoko Kôchi as his daughter Emiko, then the first appearance on screen of the monster designed by Teizo Toshimitsu, Akira Watanabe and Eiji Tsubayara, later known as Godzilla, in Gojira, 1954.
Mothra (1962) - Atomic Heat Ray Both Japanese and "Rolisican" officials are pleased when their death-rays appear to have fried the immobilized and cocooned larva, bad guys mocking the twins (Yumi Ito, Emi Ito), who know better, in Mothra, 1962.
Mothra (1962) - Secret Fairies Takeshi Shimura and Frankie Sakai as newsmen, before Eiji Tsubuyara special effects deliver the the tiny twins (Emi Ito, Yumi Ito) to be exploited by "Clark Nelson" (Jerry Ito) for commercial purposes, in Mothra, 1962.

Trailer

Bibliography

Notes

Many reference works give 1956 as the year for Honda's best-remembered film, "Gojira/Godzilla", but this was the year of its American release.