Synopsis: In Jason and The Argonauts. The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.
When King Pelias steals the throne of Thessaly and murders King Aristo. He learns of a prophecy that one of Aristos’ children will seek revenge and take back the throne. In order to prevent this. Pelias orders his soldiers to kill all of Aristos’s children, but one is saved by the Goddess Hera. Many years later. Jason the man with one Sandel sets out on a quest to bring the mythical golden fleece back to Thessaly in the hopes that such a deed would restore the people’s faith in the Gods and allow him to take back the throne.
To that end. Jason holds a games to select the crew of his ship. He then sets sail for the mysterious island of Calcis in search of the Golden Fleece. Along the way Jason and his argonauts fave many hardships and creatures.
This film features an all-star cast, which includes Patrick Troughton who later goes on to play the second Doctor Who. The cast is headed up by Todd Armstrong who cuts a fairly heroic figure in the titular role. But it is very much the supporting cast that makes this film the memorable watch that it is.
Honor Blackman is superb in her role as Hera The Queen of the Gods and Jason’s main source of help in this adventure. However, Zeus decrees that Hera can only help Jason five times, which allows for some creativity on Hera’s part. We also get a brilliantly fun, but brief performance from Nigel Green as Hercules. Green delivers perhaps the most macho Hercules you’re ever likely to see. But also a somewhat flawed Hercules as well. As his actions get his friend killed.
Suffice to say. The whole cast of this movie do a brilliant job of telling this epic tale.
Widely considered the best of Ray Harryhausen’s movies. Jason and the Argonauts pack a wallop and never cease to Entertain. Effects Wise it looks a little dated, but that also works in its favor and helps the film a little.
The Highlights of the movie are the sequences where Jason and his men take on the mighty bronze statue of Talos who comes to life when Hercules and Hylas attempt to steal treasure from the island. However, the best is saved for last when we see the Argonauts confronted by a group of Skeleton Warriors who have been conjured up by King Aeetes to stop Jason and his men from taking the Golden Fleece.
These two sequences truly highlight the artistry of Ray Harryhausen’s clever use of Stop Motion animation. As Harryhausen manages to breathe so much life into the movement and expression of the models that you wind up feeling kind of bad when Jason and his men get the better of them.
Over the years we have seen a few attempts to remake this story. The last of which was the 2000 mini-series, which starred Jason London in the title role. But for my money. This 1963 version is still the best adaptation on both small and big screens.
For more on Ray Harryhausen movies. Check out our review of Harryhausen: The Lost Movies.
- VFX & Stunts7.6
- Incidental Music8.0