Clash of the Titans (1981) Poster


Bubo, the mechanical owl of Athena, was introduced to capitalize on the popularity of R2-D2 from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). The name "Bubo" is a scientific term for the genus of eagle owls and horned owls, which is interesting because the robot Bubo is modeled on a barn owl, which is the genus Tyto, and not a Bubo at all. Bubo makes a cameo appearance in this movie's remake Clash of the Titans (2010).
Harry Hamlin and Ursula Andress had a relationship during the production of this movie which produced a son, Dimitri, born in 1980 after completion of principal photography.
Despite being listed on posters and having main title billing, Ursula Andress has only one line to say.
The original script called for Perseus to cut off Medusa's head simply by throwing his shield at her, in an attempt to appease UK Standards and Practices censors (as the producers felt that the hero decapitating someone wouldn't be appropriate for children in the audience). Harry Hamlin was apparently resistant to the idea from the beginning, as it wasn't in keeping with the actual Greek Mythology. When the day came to film the scene and it still hadn't been changed, he threatened to quit the film and fly home, and remained in his trailer, much to the producer, director, and Ray Harryhausen's annoyance. In the process of trying to coax him out, he was gradually able to get some of the other crew members on his side, which resulted in the scene being rewritten accordingly.
Actress Maggie Smith, playing Thetis, was married to the film's scriptwriter, Beverley Cross, who had previously written another mythology movie, Jason and the Argonauts (1963), for the same producer, Charles H. Schneer. It was due to her friendship with Laurence Olivier that she was able to convince him to join the cast as well.
Greek hell-hounds traditionally had three heads, but Dioskilos in this movie has only two, because it would have taken Ray Harryhausen too much time to animate a third head.
The character Calibos, Lord of the Marsh and son of Thetis, does not appear in Greek mythology, and is based on Caliban, an antagonist created by William Shakespeare in 1611 for his play "The Tempest". In Greek mythology the son of Thetis was Achilles, Greece's best warrior in the fight against Troy.
In an interview with 'Cinefantastique' magazine, scriptwriter Beverley Cross said: "I had the idea for 'Clash of the Titans' in 1969 while I was living in Greece, on an island called Skiathos. It's very close to Seriphos, the island where legend has it that Perseus, the son of Zeus, was washed ashore in a trunk."
Despite the film being notable for its stop-motion special effects, the picture was not Oscar nominated for either Make-up or Visual Effects.
Screenwriter Beverley Cross was a student of mythology. He developed a storyline centering on Perseus and Andromeda which linked together a number of myths. He took the idea to producers Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen. The story was modified to add more creatures.
Originally filmed in 1979.
According to Harry Hamlin, prior to choosing to do the film, he was considering doing another project with distinguished actor Richard Burton, a film adaptation of Tristan & Isolde. He ultimately gravitated towards what became Clash Of The Titans despite not knowing anything about it, as it would have been an opportunity to work with Laurence Olivier, the one actor he considered probably even greater in stature than Burton. Tristan + Isolde (2006) ultimately wouldn't be brought to the screen until 2006.
Laurence Olivier was so ill during the making of the film, he would often go and lean on his tall, burly co-star Pat Roach, saying "Let me draw some of your strength, dear boy".
The Titans were the gods who preceded the Olympians in power. Kronos (also spelled Cronus) and Atlas were the most famous Titans. Ironically, none of the Titans from Greek mythology appear in Clash of the Titans (1981). In the movie the Titans are the Norse Kraken (who never appeared in Greek mythology at all) and Medusa (who was never considered a Titan by the Greeks).
The final feature film of producer Charles H. Schneer, actor Donald Houston and actresses Flora Robson and Freda Jackson who played two of the three Stygian Witches. This big budget 1981 release also became the last feature film for which Ray Harryhausen created the special effects. It was also the only one in which he had assistants.
Initially, Calibos had no dialogue and was a purely stop motion character. After a rewrite to the script, dialogue was added and the role was given to Neil McCarthy.
The sea monster seen at the start of the film that destroys the city of Argos was derived from Norwegian mythology. In Greek, the sea monster that threatened Andromeda's people was called Cetus (whale). The Norwegian/Swedish name Kraken is now used as a synonym for the giant squid.
According to Ray Harryhausen's official website, a sequel to this movie entitled "Force of the Trojans" was pitched to MGM in 1984 but further development of the picture never eventuated.
Harry Hamlin was given his first lead roles in this and another film which released the same year, King of the Mountain (1981).
Many of the cast were stage and screen actors notable for performing in William Shakespeare plays.
According to mythology, after Medusa's head was severed from her neck, two offspring sprang forth: the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor.
Monster characters appearing in this movie include: Forest Scorpions; the Kraken sea monster; three Stygian Witches; Dioskilos, the two-headed dog; the Gorgon Medusa; and Calibos, Lord of the Marsh.
Rex Harrison was asked to play Poseidon but rejected the role as being too tiny.
A novelization of this movie was written by Alan Dean Foster and was first published in 1981.
Producer Charles H. Schneer said of this film: "We have given form to what has been in the eye of people who have read the story of Perseus and Andromeda since the Greek myth was first put on paper."
Although Laurence Olivier plays the indomitable Zeus, he was in fact quite ill at the time of filming.
Greek God and Goddess characters appearing in the film include immortals Zeus (the Supreme Father of Gods & Men); Hera (Goddess of Marriage and Maternity); Thetis (Goddess of the Sea); Aphrodite (Goddess of Love); Poseidon (God of the Sea); Hephaestus (God of Fire, Metalworking, Stone Masonry, and the Art of Sculpture) and Athena (Goddess of Wisdom, Warfare, Divine Intelligence, Architecture and Crafts).
Neil McCarthy only played Calibos in head shots and half-body shots. All full body shots of Calibos were played by a stop-motion model.

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