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Jason and the Argonauts Reviews

Page 1 of 43
Phil H

Super Reviewer

August 22, 2007
The classic mythological Greek tale of Jason, the good ship 'Argo' and its brave Argonauts, sailors of the Argo. This is most probably Harryhausen's greatest accomplishment in film, probably his most well known film and most probably his best film alongside the other Greek classic 'Clash of the Titans'.

The plot? surely we all know it by now, 'Jason' and his warrior sailors venture off to find the legendary Golden Fleece of 'Colchis' battling various obstacles on the way. Like most films the plot has been altered somewhat obviously for dramatic effect and simply because Greek mythology is quite complex offering many problems for film makers of the time. In no way does this deter from the films excellence at any point, you can easily enjoy the adventure knowing nothing of Greek mythology.

Without trying to cast a shadow over the films director or the decent cast throughout the film, but this is pretty much the Harryhausen arts n crafts show. All the cast put in sterling performances, as you would expect of the era, with director Chaffey clearly doing something right. I must admit to always feeling a tad sorry for the cast and crews in films like this as they do tend to be known as Harryhausen flicks and nothing else.

For me the Nigel Green as some bloke called 'Hercules' stood head and shoulders above the rest. Now not only was his performance quite amusing and gloriously tongue n cheek in that stout old fashioned way, but his thick curly hairstyle was quite impressive too hehe. His whole look was burly, gruff, jolly and fun, yet not bulging with muscles. I also liked how the Argonauts in general weren't all big muscle bound meatheads, and the hero Jason (Todd Armstrong) was quite a regular looking guy, not some pretty boy. It gives the film a little sense of reality amongst all the fantasy. You know in this day and age the entire crew would be more pumped than the Michelin Man.

Of course the real interest kicks in when we see the mighty 'Talos' come to life and surge across the beach attempting to stomp the Argonauts. Is this the best sequence in the film? hmmmm it comes damn close despite nothing much happening. The entire sequence just looks so damn good and intimidating you can't fail to love it, how fudging cool is 'Talos'!!.

After this its a virtual onslaught on awesomeness as Harryhausen moves into fifth gear. The 'Harpies' were probably the weakest of the creature creations in the film, they don't look quite as sharp as the rest really. But rest assured the 'Hydra's' brief moment in the spotlight got things right back on track. A shame that no sooner does this classic creature appear 'Jason' kills it off pretty quickly...and easily really. But even then when you think you'd seen the best the film has to offer in terms of shadow fighting monsters we get the greatest sequence by Harryhausen ever!.

Yeah you all know what I'm talking about, the famous battle between the skeleton warriors and the Argonauts must be one of the most influentially inspiring sequences of all time. It wowed me as a youngster and it still does today, the film has become known for that sequence alone really but its understandable. I loved how the 'Hydra' sequence leads into this epic undead sequence via the 'Hydra's' teeth being sown. I love how one scene gives meaning to the other without resorting to crowbarring in random monsters just for the sake of it.

Again a small sequence involving live action is used here like 'One Million Years B.C.' only this time it looks much much better. I'm glad they didn't use this option too much as it is a bit dubious looking against the obvious models and out of scale water but they just about get away with it. Would have been interesting to see a full stop motion 'Triton' though, much like the 'Kraken', I guess cost came into it.

Creatures aside the film in general is fine, a steady pace, not overly exciting but not dull either. The Mount Olympus sequences are cheesy as hell, the Argonauts battle armour costumes are superb and appropriately heroic looking (love those outfits) and location work is truly stunning in the film. Rough mountainous terrain and pure blue seas under a clear blue sky, it looked hot. After all these thrills the film does end rather abruptly like many of these oldies tend to. Not too much of a problem though, after seeing some of the greatest stop motion sequences ever committed to film.

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2011
Before he tackled Greek mythology in Clash of the Titans, Ray Harryhausen put his immense talents to work in Jason and the Argonauts. The movie concerns the Greek myth about Jason, and his quest for the Golden Fleece.

The story itself is a pretty fun and entertaining adventure tale, but it is made even more awesome thanks to Harryhausen's stop-motion creature effects. They're the true highlight of the film, and they don't disappoint, especially the climactic 4 plus minute battle between 7 skeleton warriors and Jason (plus two of the Argonauts). Aside from the effects, the other major show stopper is the score by Bernard Herrmann. It's not really like some of his great work he did for Scorsese of Hitchcock, but it's still some really rousing music that really fits a story filled with adventure, danger, and fantasy.

This is really just a B-movie, but it's spectacular stuff that is very entertaining and extremely watchable. The acting is a little blah, but decent enough, given the circumstances. The film may be almost a haalf century old, but it has a very timeless and charming quality to it, and the effects are still really impressive, even to this day. In fact, this film is just impressive because it shows how far we've come with special effects, and a movie like this makes you appreciate the hard work and passion that it took in the pre-CGI days.

Give this one a watch- it's really good, dopey fun.

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
This movie is so cool, the special effects are awesome, and the story is a classic epic tale. This is a really good movie.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 20, 2006
I absolutely love Jason and the Argonauts. This one's got it all--well told Greek mythology, Ray Harryhausen's fantastic special effects, great monsters, great fights and vintage foxiness. Admittedly, the stop motion effects are probably laughable by today's standards but the storytelling more than makes up for it.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2010
Greek mythology has a lot of great stories, one of the most famous being the tale of Jason and the golden fleece. This has action, adventure, romance and special effects up the wazoo; you can‚??t ask for more. Aside from some terrible performances, mainly Jason himself, this is a pretty amazing movie even to this day. Talos still looks great, for some reason the stop motion makes sense on a 60ft bronze statue. The vision is broad and truly captures the scope of the story‚??s original intent.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 22, 2006
Wonderful in every conceivable way. The pacing, the excitement, it's all there by the bucketload. This has some of Harryhausen's greatest creations, from the Harpies and the Hydra, to the unforgettable skeleton battle. You really have to give the man credit for his patience and hardwork, creating spectacle that many believed not possible at the time. A true captivating adventure that will continue to entrance the young ones for years to come.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

November 15, 2006
Zeus: The gods are best served by those who need their help the least.

A fun film about the legendary Greek hero Jason and his quest to find the Golden Fleece. The film is quickly paced, has a fun sense of seriousness to itself, and features some very good stop-motion animation by early special effects master Ray Harryhausen.

The film stars Todd Armstrong as Jason, who returns to his Kingdom of Thessaly to claim his throne. But it's not that easy for this. In order to gain the throne, he must find the magical Golden Fleece, which has amazing healing powers. Jason selects a crew, which included Polydeuces, Pelias, Argos, and Hercules. Jason also gains the help of the Queen of the Gods, Hera, played by Pussy Galore herself, Honor Blackman. Jason and his crew must now reach the fleece, while dealing with surviving of a 100 foot bronze giant, a huge venomous creature with head full of seven snakes, and a terrifying army of skeletons.

This is just a fun movie to watch and not necessarily in a cheesy way. Sure there are moments of that scattered throughout, but the adventure nature of this film works well to keep it on a to the point flow. The heavy theatrical acting is met with fun action scenes involving quality work with stop-motion effects. Certainly helping this further is the score provided by Bernard Hermann.

If there is any problem that I had with the film, its that there's no second half or follow up film. The film concludes with Jason retrieving the fleece, but anyone familiar with the exploits of Jason knows about the adventures he has on his way back to Thessaly, let alone what comes of he and his wife Madea.

These are minor quibbles however, as the film is just meant to be some solid adventure fun, with a little Greek myth background to provide for the landscape and characters.

Jason: Now the voyage is over, I don't want any trouble to begin
Polydeuces: There won't be any trouble, Jason. Just tell us where the city is and when we attack.
Jason: We don't attack.
Polydeuces: But that's foolish, you have the finest fighting men in the world.
Jason: 40 fighting men against a nation?
Phalerus: Better forty than one Jason.
Jason: We're not *pirates*, Phalerus.

Super Reviewer

May 30, 2008
Inspired filmmaking, as always, from Harryhausen and Co.

Super Reviewer

December 26, 2007
Jason and the titular 'nauts search for the Golden Fleece, encountering Titans, harpies, clashing rocks, a hydra, skeleton warriors and the Gods of Olympus. Pleasant family adventure for the whole family, although contempary kids may not appreciate the artistry of Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation as compared to today's more literal CGI effects.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

August 11, 2007
Fun adventure film with neato stop-motion animated creatures to contend with. Highly imaginative.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2007
A classic adventure film. The SFX maybe very dated now but this film is a joy to watch with all the different creatures they have to battle.

Super Reviewer

December 31, 2006
Swords and sorcery classic, still Harryhausen's best work in my opinion. In sticking more closely to the original Greek myths, the story has greater literary credibilty than most movies of this genre and it's hugely entertaining. The skeleton warrior sequence is one of the most unforgettable in film.
Jennifer X

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2007
watched this in mythology. slightly better than clash of the titans, but not very.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

January 27, 2007
Good times. Jason goes up against mythical beasts to get the golden fleece. High tech effects for the time it was made.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2007
A fun Greek myth fantasy. Compared to One Million Years B.C. Harryhausen's stop-motion effects are excellent here. Talos imagined as the Colossus of Rhodes and the sword fights with the skeletons are particularly well done. There are still some small details that give away the nature of the effects that might look silly to people raised on CGI, but this represents a master at work. The harpies and the fact that two hydra heads are never shown growing if one was to be cut off were a little disappointing. While it was filmed in Italy like many B-movies, I did not think the voice dubbing was that bad. Hera (Blackman) and Zeus (MacGinnis) agree that she can protect Jason (Armstrong) on his quest for the Golden Fleece, but only five times, which are used up fairly early to be honest. I found it a bit unusual that the goddess Hera is given such a strong role, but that may be attributed to Beverley Cross having a screenplay credit. In a quick montage Jason forms his crew, the Argonauts, out of champions of various Olympic sports of the day. The son of Jason's enemy, Acastus (Raymond), the builder of the ship, Argos (Naismith), and Hercules (Green) are included. They encounter many creatures and challenges along the way. I think the story should have wrapped up the conflict between Jason and King Aeetes better. The point of going on the quest seems to be forgotten once Jason achieves his prize. If it did well enough at the box office, maybe the producers hoped for a sequel, however it stands alone. The acting, the costumes, and the art direction are all strong.
Dillon L

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2011
The special effects in this film sure are innovative, it kind of reminded me of Clash of the Titans (the original - not the shitty remake), but this film is far superior.
John B

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2013
You can like it but those claymation monsters prevent you from loving it too much. Silliness brings it up to a three star. Silliness prevents it from going further.
Dannielle A

Super Reviewer

July 11, 2007
For its time, the special effects are magnificent (even though you can see wires at times.)

Super Reviewer

April 15, 2010
Splendid Hollywood version of the Greek myth about Jason and his fleece due to the rattly Harryhausen warrior skeletons, the spooky Harryhausen Hera figurehead, the blue Harryhausen harpies and best of all, the enormous bronze Harryhausen Talos. Once seen, never forgotten and right up there with classic film moments like "Damn you! God damn you all to hell!" and "I am Spartacus.. I am Spartacus..I am Spartacus....."
Andrew F

Super Reviewer

November 21, 2009
Though the special effects are dated, this classic epic is still enjoyable.
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