Episode 114 – The King of the Monsters

This week, we cover the rise to global fame of one of Japan’s greatest cultural ambassadors: Godzilla. How did a monster designed as a metaphor about the bomb become emblematic of postwar Japan? Find out this week!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

NY Times obituary for Honda Ishiro

An NY Times history of the franchise

Another NY Times piece on the original movie, focusing on its low budget

Images

Honda Ishiro (left) on the set of the original Godzilla.
Honda Ishiro (left) on the set of the original Godzilla.
The cheap effects of the original Godzilla didn't hold it back from success; after all, low overhead meant the franchise needed a smaller fanbase to succeed.
The cheap effects of the original Godzilla didn’t hold it back from success; after all, low overhead meant the franchise needed a smaller fanbase to succeed.
Raymond Burr was very carefully inserted into a recut of the original film for the 1956 US release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Raymond Burr was very carefully inserted into a recut of the original film for the 1956 US release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Nakajima Haruo, the man in the Godzilla suit in the original movies, still does fan tours and is generally just a great guy.
Nakajima Haruo, the man in the Godzilla suit in the original movies, still does fan tours and is generally just a great guy.
Pulgasari, a masterpiece of socialist filmmaking.
Pulgasari, a masterpiece of socialist filmmaking.
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