Jason and the Argonauts
  • Jason and the Argonauts
  • Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts

4.6 16
Director: Don Chaffey

Cast: Don Chaffey, Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond

     
 

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This cinematic rendition of ancient Greek mythology has always been a family favorite, thanks mainly to Ray Harryhausen's groundbreaking special effects, and Columbia TriStar has worked hard to do the film justice with this DVD edition. For an older film the picture quality is surprisingly crisp, and the sweeping landscapes and rippling oceans are perfectly captured… See more details below

Overview

This cinematic rendition of ancient Greek mythology has always been a family favorite, thanks mainly to Ray Harryhausen's groundbreaking special effects, and Columbia TriStar has worked hard to do the film justice with this DVD edition. For an older film the picture quality is surprisingly crisp, and the sweeping landscapes and rippling oceans are perfectly captured in enhanced widescreen. The mono sound is also better than expected, Bernard Herrman's majestic score sounding better than ever. The special features on the DVD include the quaintly amusing original theatrical trailer and very brief filmographies. More interesting, though again brief, is an interview with Harryhausen by John Landis in which Harryhausen talks about the film and explains the basics of his stop-motion photography techniques. But the crowning glory of this DVD is "The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles," an hour-long documentary about the life and work of the great man. This includes extensive clips from many of the films on which he worked, endorsements from the likes of George Lucas, and detailed insight into his meticulous work methods. Although the extra features on this DVD are devoted more to Ray Harryhausen than to Jason and the Argonauts specifically, they do complement the film nicely, and the main feature itself is presented well enough to make this a pleasing DVD edition for fans of the acclaimed adventure tale.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bruce Kluger
Greek mythology has been grist for the movie mill since the beginning -- from the 1918 Hungarian silent Aphrodite to Woody Allen's fractured fable Mighty Aphrodite in 1995. But what makes the 1963 screen adaptation of Jason and the Argonauts stand out from the pack is the special-effects mastery of Ray Harryhausen who, in a time before Industrial Light & Magic and Pixar, stood alone as the one-man-band of movie magic. Having already treated film fans to a smorgasbord of dazzling eye candy -- from the murky inhabitants of It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) to the soaring spaceships of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) -- Harryhausen pulled out all the stops for this popular Greek myth. Jason (Todd Armstrong), in an honorable quest for the Golden Fleece, receives aid from the goddess Hera -- portrayed by Honor Blackman, one year before her turn as Pussy Galore in the Bond thriller Goldfinger. Despite Jason's derring-do, it is Hera's divine intervention that spares him in a series of encounters with Harryhausen-inspired nemeses, including: a multi-noggined hydra, a statue-come-to-life and, in the film's most memorable segment, a septet of sword-fighting skeletons. Parents will admire the rich cinematic history of Jason and the Argonauts; kids will just find it a blast to watch.
Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
This entertaining screen version of the ancient Greek epic quickly became a staple for hordes of fantasy-minded moviegoers everywhere. Amid hordes of monsters and mythological evil, usurped heir apparent Jason (Todd Armstrong) battles his way to the ends of the earth to retrieve the infamous Golden Fleece and regain his father's throne. Like all entries in the fantasy genre of that period, Jason and the Argonauts offers plenty of campy pleasures, yet it is strong enough to stand on its own as a straight-up adventure tale -- the myth has stood the test of time, after all. The great Bernard Herrmann provides one of his typically evocative scores, and film buffs will enjoy hints of other Herrmann pieces that are weaved into it. The film's greatest claim to fame, however, is the special-effects wizardry of Ray Harryhausen, who also provided his fantastic stop-motion effects for the infamous Clash of the Titans and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. In Jason, watch for a splendid bit of swordplay between the heroes and a pack of fighting skeletons. Harryhausen's creations -- wonderfully detailed and very much alive -- are seamlessly integrated into the thrilling action sequences that have made Jason and the Argonauts a fantasy genre favorite.
All Movie Guide - Ryan Shriver
A quintessential Ray Harryhausen/Charles Schnerr fantasy adventure, Jason and the Argonauts also holds up relatively well as a representative genre film, considering the vast achievements in technological effects since the film's 1963 release. While the story and direction are ably accomplished, the real draw of this film -- as with any Harryhausen endeavor -- are the legendary stop-motion special effects that influenced scores of subsequent filmmakers and helped pave the way for the fantasy/science fiction blockbusters of the 1980s and beyond. On the other hand, the human cast of the film -- while delightful in their own little ways -- never comes close to matching the impressiveness of the effects, with acting that is more often than not overwrought and just plain silly. As an entertainment, however, Jason and the Argonauts remains a light and engaging diversion for the entire family, worthy of afternoon viewings even after all these years.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/14/1998
UPC:
0043396002593
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
G
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:44:00

Special Features

Languages: English [mono], Spanish, French; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; Theatrical trailer; Scene selections; Widescreen and full-screen formats; Interview with Ray Harryhausen by John Landis

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Todd Armstrong Jason
Nancy Kovack Medea
Gary Raymond Acoustus
Laurence Naismith Argus
Michael Gwynn Hermes
Niall MacGinnis Zeus
Honor Blackman Hera
Douglas Wilmer Pelias
John Cairney Hylas
Patrick Troughton Phineas
Andrew Faulds Phalerus
Nigel Green Hercules
John Crawford Polydeuces
Douglas Robinson Euphemus
Nando Poggi Castor
Jack Gwyllim King Aeetes

Technical Credits
Don Chaffey Director
Wilkie Cooper Cinematographer
Beverley Cross Screenwriter
John Dark Production Manager
Geoffrey Drake Production Designer
Ray Harryhausen Associate Producer,Special Effects
Herbert Smith Art Director
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Red Law Sound/Sound Designer
Jack Maxsted Art Director
Mario Nascimbene Musical Direction/Supervision
Syd Pearson Special Effects
Jan Read Screenwriter
Maurice Rootes Editor
Toni Sarzi-Braga Art Director
Charles H. Schneer Producer

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Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:50]
2. Reading the Future [2:04]
3. Hera [3:38]
4. In Olympus [1:44]
5. 20 Years Later [4:46]
6. Hermes [2:36]
7. "Welcome to Olympus" [3:22]
8. Selecting a crew [1:06]
9. Hercules vs. Hylas [2:03]
10. The Argo [1:47]
11. The voyage begins [2:38]
12. Asking Hera's help [2:43]
13. Isle of Bronze [2:48]
14. Treasure Chamber [1:44]
15. Talos [10:07]
16. Rebuilding the Argo [4:15]
17. Tormenting Phineas [4:56]
18. Making Phineas master [4:46]
19. Clashing Rocks [5:09]
20. Triton [4:32]
21. Medea [2:47]
22. Acastus vs. Jason [4:17]
23. Temple of Hecate [4:09]
24. Aeetes' Palace [6:19]
25. The Golden Fleece [:49]
26. The Hydra [8:48]
27. "Rise Up!" [1:45]
28. Children of the teeth [6:04]
Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:50]
2. Reading the Future [2:04]
3. Hera [3:38]
4. In Olympus [1:44]
5. 20 Years Later [4:46]
6. Hermes [2:36]
7. "Welcome to Olympus" [3:22]
8. Selecting a crew [1:06]
9. Hercules vs. Hylas [2:03]
10. The Argo [1:47]
11. The voyage begins [2:38]
12. Asking Hera's help [2:43]
13. Isle of Bronze [2:48]
14. Treasure Chamber [1:44]
15. Talos [10:07]
16. Rebuilding the Argo [4:15]
17. Tormenting Phineas [4:56]
18. Making Phineas master [4:46]
19. Clashing Rocks [5:09]
20. Triton [4:32]
21. Medea [2:47]
22. Acastus vs. Jason [4:17]
23. Temple of Hecate [4:09]
24. Aeetes' Palace [6:19]
25. The Golden Fleece [:49]
26. The Hydra [8:48]
27. "Rise Up!" [1:45]
28. Children of the teeth [6:04]

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