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Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.

Director:

Don Chaffey

Writers:

Jan Read (screenplay), Beverley Cross (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Todd Armstrong ... Jason
Nancy Kovack ... Medea
Gary Raymond ... Acastus
Laurence Naismith ... Argos
Niall MacGinnis ... Zeus
Michael Gwynn ... Hermes / Priest
Douglas Wilmer ... Pelias
Jack Gwillim ... King Aeetes
Honor Blackman ... Hera
John Cairney ... Hylas
Patrick Troughton ... Phineas
Andrew Faulds ... Phalerus
Nigel Green ... Hercules
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Storyline

Jason has been prophesied to take the throne of Thessaly. When he saves Pelias from drowning, but does not recognize him as the man who had earlier killed his father, Pelias tells Jason to travel to Colchis to find the Golden Fleece. Jason follows his advice and assembles a sailing crew of the finest men in Greece, including Hercules. They are under the protection of Hera, queen of the gods. Their voyage is replete with battles against harpies, a giant bronze Talos, a hydra, and an animated skeleton army, all brought to life by the special effects wizardry of Ray Harryhausen. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatest Odyssey Of The Ages - for the first time on the screen See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jason and the Golden Fleece See more »

Filming Locations:

Campania, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Ray Harryhausen received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award recognizing his contributions to the film industry at the Oscars' Science & Technical Ceremony in 1992, Tom Hanks, the host of the event, said, "Some people say Citizen Kane (1941) or Casablanca (1942). I say 'Jason and the Argonauts' is the greatest movie ever made." See more »

Goofs

When the crew are being recruited, Hercules' arms are alternately crossed/uncrossed between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pelias: Well?
Priest: Zeus, king of the gods of the Greeks, brighten the ashes that I may read the future. I see... a great tree at the end of the world. And in its branches there hang the skull and skin of a ram. They gleam and shine for it is a prize of the gods, a Golden Fleece.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A brief scene was cut from the skeleton fight where the decapitated skeleton is seen feeling around for its head. In addition the UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove the shrieking made by the skeletons from a face-on shot during the initial charge, and video versions featured the same print. DVD versions are uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #22.8 (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful adventure about the legendary Greek hero who sails to Colchis to find the Golden Fleece
13 June 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Hero Jason leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece which has amazing healing powers. Jason sails on the Argo-ship to the land of Colchis seeking for the golden fleece in this mythological romp . This is one of the best sword and sandals film from the history , retelling the legend of Jason in search of the famous fleece for uncharted sea . The film deals with the myth Jason (Todd Armstrong), son of king of Thesaly , the young prince has had his heritage usurped by his nasty uncle Pelias (Douglas Wilmer) who has taken the throne . He travels in search for the fabled Golden fleece located in the Colchis where is guarded by seven-headed hydra . It's based on a poem of Greek poet named Apolonio of Rodas titled ¨The Argonautika¨ (250 B.C) . In order to achieve his throne, Jason must retrieve the magical calf housed from distant land of Colchis and bring it toward city of Iolco . Jason assembles a motley , brave crew formed by a valiant band as Hercules (Nigel Green) , Polydeuces (Crawford) , the traitor Acastus (Gary Raymond) ,Castor and others ; meanwhile , evil Pelias has usurped the kingdom and taken his throne . Jason successfully leads his crew of would-be heroes throughout a series of outstanding adventures . The Argo crew are under the protection of Hera (Honor Blackman) , queen of the gods . They're confronted by a heinous giant bronze named Talos at an island and many other dangers . Jason saves Medea (Nancy Kovack) , priestess of Hecate (who later to be revenged Jason , killing their sons) from waters and both of them go to Colchis . They sail unharmed along sea storm , suffering thirsty , famine and incredible adventures , encountering giant monsters , multitudes of mythological monsters and weird creatures .

This exciting picture contains lots of action, magic , fast-moving , thrills , impressive fights against monsters and lots of fun . It is an exciting fantasy-adventure full of special effects created by means of stop-motion technique by the magician Ray Harryhausen , the Dynamation man . The previous Ray Harryhausen films were generally shown as part of a double feature in "B" theatres , Columbia and the producer Charles H Schneer were able to book this film as a single feature in many "A" theatres in the United States. This time the large list of monsters result to be the following : a huge moving sculpture of Talos , as they battle against harpies , a venomous creature as hydra, and an animated terrifying skeleton army, all brought to life by the special effects masterfully created by the maestro wizardry Ray Harryhausen who regards this as his best film. In the ¨7th voyage of Sinbad¨ , Ray designed a sword-battling skeleton , here we see a whole army of them for Jason and his crew to fight at the ending of the film . It took Ray Harryhausen four months to produce the skeleton scene, a massive amount of time for a scene which lasts, at the most, three minutes . The runtime is adequate with various incidents and sub-plots . Harryhausen works his animation magic around a passable-developed screenplay and engaging acting by the entire performers . The cast is enjoyable with effective but unknown main actors , though important secondary Brit actors as Laurence Naismith (Argo), Niall McGinnis (Zeus) , Honor Blackman (Hera) , Michael Gwinn (Hermes) , Jack Gwillin (Aetes) . As usual in Sword and Sandal films here appears the choreographic girls dancing and lots of action with several adventures including spectacular fights , storms , witchery, and some good effects .

This elaborate recounting was well directed by Don Chaffey although with little relation with the poem by Apolonio of Rodas . The film contains an evocative and powerful musical score by Bernard Herrmann conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra . Colorful and spectacular cinematography by the great Wilkie Cooper . Fun for the whole family though it tends toward the ponderous at times but for the most part , it's a marvelous and entertaining movie . Other adaptations about this classic story are the following : ¨Giant of Tessaly¨ by Riccardo Freda with Ronald Carey and Massimo Giroti , ¨Hercules¨ by Pietro Francisci with Steve Reeves , Sylva Koscina and for TV ¨Jason and the Argonauts¨(2000) by Nick Willing with Jason London , Frank Langella and Olivia Williams .


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