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 <email@example.com>
This British / American film was released in the waning years of the Italian-produced sword-and-sandal / mythological muscleman movies. Many of those productions dealt with Jason. Most unusual for the time was the casting of British actor Nigel Green as Hercules. Although he was very tall, Green lacked the bodybuilder physique that moviegoers were used to seeing for this character. The film may not have been able to match the scale of many of the European spectacles, but the elaborate special effects by Ray Harryhausen gave it the look of a more expensive production, contributing to its box-office success. See more »
When Jason is being held in the Hydra's tail, he strikes the tail with his sword, but the sword bounces off the tail as if the tail is made of rubber. See more »
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.
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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 »
Fans of Ray Harryhausen's stop motion animation process will have a field day with JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, which Harryhausen considered his best work. And certainly Harryhausen's special effects are the highlight of this film, which is generally based on the ancient Greek myth of Jason's search for the golden fleece.
The film as a whole is very much like a superior sword-and-sandal epic of the 1950s and 1960s, very colorful and over-run with manly men and beautiful dancing girls. A bit slow to start, once the story line is established the pace leaps forward--and we are treated to some of Harryhausen's most enjoyable creations, including Talos, the bronze statue; two of the most evil looking harpies you can imagine; a really nasty hydra; and Harryhausen's most famous (and his own personal favorite) bit of work: an attack by skeleton warriors.
In the wake of computer generated graphics, Harryhausen's work may strike some as dated, but this is actually part of its charm, for we will never see its like on screen again; it has a certain visual appeal not found in contemporary films, and Harryhausen's creations always have remarkable personality. On the downside, however, some of the film's other techniques have not aged as well, and the use of rearview projection is extremely noticeable (and often annoying) to the modern eye. Still, even those who aren't overly enthusiastic about these types of special effects will find the film an excellent choice as a "family night" film. As for Harryhausen fans--the film is a must-see, must-own, and must-watch as often as possible! Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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