Jason and the Argonauts


Jason and the Argonauts

Critics Consensus

Don Chaffey's Jason and the Argonauts is an outlandish, transportive piece of nostalgia whose real star is the masterful stop-motion animation work of Ray Harryhausen.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,703
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Movie Info

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

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Critic Reviews for Jason and the Argonauts

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (3)

  • Special-effects buffs generally cite this 1963 effort by Ray Harryhausen as the master's masterpiece, and his work does a great deal to enliven the tired plot and vacuous stars.

    Dec 5, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The $3 million film has a workable scenario and has been directed resourcefully and spiritedly by Don Chaffey, under whose leadership a colorful cast performs with zeal.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Great fun, as these things go, with a Bernard Herrmann score to boot.

    Jun 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This absurd, unwieldy adventure -- if that's the word -- is no worse, but certainly no better, than most of its kind.

    May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
  • The straight story of Jason's exploits, told with magic and imagination and a minimum of studio trickery, might have been delightful. This version is more bull than Bulfinch.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Jason and the Argonauts exists now mostly as a fine piece of nostalgia. Viewed clearly, it's a poorly-made collection of fantastical tropes. Through rose-colored glasses, though, it's a vibrant, colorful masterpiece of cheese.

    Oct 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jason and the Argonauts

  • Jun 07, 2015
    campy and ahead of its time, if you can ignore the special effects which were brilliant at the time, you'll find a film that still puts most of todays action films to shame.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Feb 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.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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.
    Dillon L Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 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.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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