6.4/10
2,243
71 user 29 critic

Jack the Giant Killer (1962)

Passed | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 13 June 1962 (USA)
A farmboy-turned-knight must protect a princess from the schemes of an evil wizard.

Director:

Nathan Juran

Writers:

Orville H. Hampton (screenplay), Nathan Juran (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kerwin Mathews ... Jack
Judi Meredith ... Princess Elaine
Torin Thatcher ... Pendragon
Walter Burke ... Garna
Don Beddoe ... Imp
Barry Kelley ... Sigurd
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... King Mark
Anna Lee ... Lady Constance
Roger Mobley Roger Mobley ... Peter
Robert Gist ... Scottish Captain
Tudor Owen ... Chancellor
Ken Mayer ... Boatswain
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Storyline

The terrible and trecherous Pendragon plans to gain the throne of Cornwall by getting the king to abdicate and to marry his lovely daughter. To help him he has his dreadful witches in his castle and his almost unstoppable sorcery. A giant under his control abducts the princess, but on the way home with her the giant meets farming lad Jack who slays him. This is only the beginning. Be assured Pendragon and his evil magic are far from done. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A pretty princess. An evil sorcerer. A hero for the ages. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Torin Thatcher had been appearing on Broadway in "The Miracle Worker" but quit that role in order to appear in this film. See more »

Goofs

After Jack kills the giant, the watching henchman leans against a house, which wobbles. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The legend of Jack the Giant Killer was born over a thousand years ago in Cornwall, England near Land's End. There was a time when the Kingdom of Cornwall lived in fear and trembling of the Black Prince Pendragon - master of witches, giants and hobgoblins - who ravished the land. But at long last Herla, the Wizard drove Pendragon and his witches from the kingdom and exiled them beyond the reaches of the known world... Here on a misty isle, uncharted and unknown, Pendragon schemed ...
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Alternate Versions

Producer Edward Small re-released this film as a musical. Songs were dubbed onto the soundtrack. Some of the footage was doctored to make it look like some of the original cast were singing rather than speaking their dialog. See more »

Connections

Featured in RiffTrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Irish Washerwoman
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

I saw this movie on February 18th 2004 on Showtime Beyond
18 February 2004 | by brahmulusSee all my reviews

I always fancied myself a connoisseur of classic sword and sorcery movies, but this gem has some how slipped by me for decades. I was very glad I caught it recently on cable. Keeping in mind its 40 plus year old release, I'd have to say this film was pretty solid. Its antiquated effects only heighten its nostalgic value and fantastic feel, but i caution you to still watch this movie with a bit of mercy and leeway.

Surprisingly, the 'demons' in the castle were rather authentic and creepy in a very contemporary sense (check them out), as well as the marching dragon men guards on the bridge, and the make up of the evil witch alter-ego of the princess (complete with way ahead of their time Micheal Jackson Thriller giant yellow demon contact lenses) all of which came off with an eerie modern vibe.

I absolutely love how there were so many unique creatures always lurking about, like the Star Wars cantina scene or a Power Rangers episode. Kudos to the relentless onslaught of evil magical spells and fantastic beasts that were constantly thrown at the heroes until the end credits rolled. If modern screenplays/films of this genre were made with such attention to monsters and battles and true fantasy action versus all the other crapola thrown in to attract non fantasy fans... we'd be in good shape... and maybe even be privy to a simple great fantasy flick that is packaged in an actual 90 minute movie (remember those?)

A non stop eclectic mixture of characters from every conceivable fantasy realm and fairyland mythos intertwine in this flick for a most interesting watch indeed. Also, plenty of fun over the top dialogue about witches and demons and dragons and little people, plus more cheesy stop animation and I Dream of Jeannie dissapearing acts than you can shake your plastic Viking sword at.

A real treat that had previously escaped me, as well as an obvious pre-cursor to the pinnacle godfather of stop motion sword and sorcery movies... Clash of the Titans... all hail.

As a fun bonus, watch for the strange (real?) almost handicapped limp of the evil wizard Pendragon, as well as what appears to be some flaws in the colorization proccess during the demon vs. ship scene.

Sure you could rip this movie to shreds and pick it a part at will, but why? Its older than your mamma and a lot more fun. So grab a beer, gather the kiddies, and sit back and enjoy... and just keep thinking to yourself how this thing screams modern REMAKE!!!


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jack the Giant Killer See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release) (musical)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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