Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith
The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.
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.
  • Columbia Pictures Company:
  • Approved Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 19 Jun 1963 Released:
  • 07 Nov 2000 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Jan Read (screenplay), Beverley Cross (screenplay) Writer:
  • Don Chaffey Director:
  • N/A Website:

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Trailer:

Good old fashioned fun!8/10
As entertainment this movie is perfect. The movie is a fun adventurous one, with lots of spectacular moments and fights. From a technical point of view this movie is even a masterpiece. The stop-motion scene's created by special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen is simply brilliant and makes this movie one of the most influential and important one's, when it comes to special effects. But also the movie uses clever camera tricks and some well made miniatures. Yes, of course the effects all look out dated now but they still surprisingly, look convincing enough and at times they are even still simply breathtaking and spectacular to look at. Especially of course the legendary, fantastic end fight against the skeleton warriors.

The story is like good entertainment should be; Adventurous, exciting and simple to follow. The movie truly is none stop fun entertainment to watch with lots of spectacular moments with the legendary skeleton fight as the ultimate highlight. You don't have to be a fan of 'classic' movies in order to enjoy this movie, everyone should be able to appreciate this movie and be entertained by it, especially when you are a fan of ancient Greek tales.

Something that is not praised enough of this movie is the musical score by Bernard Herrmann.

The movie is not exactly filled with impressive and memorable actors. As many movies as I have seen in my life, I don't think I have ever seen any actors from this movie in any other movie, with the exception of course of Honor Blackman who will always be remembered for playing the Bond girl Pussy Galore in "Goldfinger". But this movie clearly isn't a character-adventure movie, it's a special effect adventure movie. The special effects are really the most important element of the movie. So for the fans of special effects this is especially most definitely a must see.

A movie that should be fun and enjoyable to everyone, of all ages.

8/10

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Harryhausen's Masterpiece?5/10

Possibly. His first "Sinbad" film in 1958 had one moving skeleton for the hero to fight; this one has a whole platoon of them, each part painstakingly moved one tiny distance at a time personally by Harryhausen through stop-motion techniques. The seven-headed Hydra is another technical marvel. There are some other nifty creatures for Jason and his crew to battle, but for me, the most impressive of them all turns up first: the gigantic Talos, the Man of Bronze.

I was a kid when this came out, and I don't think I'll ever forget that moment when the huge, crouched statue came to life, turned his head towards the two men below him (his bronze head screeching with the tear of metal), climbed off of his pedestal, and proceeded to chase Jason and his men. Talos was giant like Godzilla, but as single-minded as the Terminator: all he wants to do is track Jason's crew down until he kills them all. This gave me nightmares. Bernard Herrmann's score is one of his best, making music to match Harryhausen's images. (Herrmann was coming off of other Harryhausen's, plus Hitchcock's "Vertigo," "North by Northwest" and "Psycho," and knew how to thrill you.)

Tom Hanks, who was also a kid when this came out, has said: "Everybody thinks that 'Citizen Kane' was the greatest movie ever made. But if you were young in 1963, you know the real answer is: 'Jason and the Argonauts.'"
Excellent Fantasy Film.5/10
Jason and The Argonauts is a great film to watch and escape reality. This is one of those movies that you know is not real but you just enjoy it and have fun watching it. I think this film is underrated because it was not given one Oscar nomination. I think this film should have been nominated for Best Art Direction and Set Decoration, Cinematography, Bernard Herrmann's Original Score and Film Editing. When I first saw this movie on Turner Classic Movies one night, I was only excited to see the Skeleton Fight at the end which took Ray Harryhausen and special effects crew three months to create that entire sequence. This is a Great movie and I encourage all of "The Lord of The Rings" fans to watch this and see a great masterpiece of classic fantasy and old fashioned special effects. **** out of ****!
A Special Effects Master of its Time10/10

Back in 1963 I was only 7 at the time, but I can still remember going to the Tower Theater in Downtown Los Angeles and being totally awed with the effects created by Ray Harryhausen. In today's world it may seem below standard compared to computer effects, but for those of us growing up in that time period, the Harryhausen style of special effects will continue to bring back warm memories of those years. With computer graphics, you see it and like it the first time you see it, but then many movies of today have the same and it becomes moot. Jason and the Argonaunts was one of those few movies at the time along with the Sinbad saga that lives on in your heart. The pace of the film is perfectly put together along with the many creatures, 7-headed hydra, huge fish-man, huge metal man and skeletons fighting is what makes it a classic which lives on in the hearts of those growing up in the sixties.
Come on people, this is fun5/10

I usually write a review without reading other people's comments as I don't like it influencing what I have to say but in this case I read a few reviews of those who had seen Jason and the Argonauts and I was pretty stunned at the negative reviews. Like many, this was one of my favorite childhood movies. I loved the effects, the story of a hero setting out on a quest and the rest of the pomp and circumstance. The acting in Jason and the Argonauts is wooden, the story of King Pelias comes to no conclusion and we only get Hercules for a brief time but the movie is fun to watch, great to listen to and features effects that seen solid and get your respect, in spite of not being "up to today's standards." Personally, I feel that most of the digital effects today make it look like I'm watching a movie inside a movie instead of something that's supposed to be real. Jason and the Argonauts is old school black and white, with women being somewhat subordinate. Many programmed young people of today will be angry that this movie is an old tale of the hero slaying the dragon and getting the girl (and a fleece) but there it is and it's not a big deal. The movie takes liberties with greek mythology and some people hate that too but in that way it's no different then ninety percent of the movies in Hollywood. I feel bad that I feel I have to defend this movie against those that have missed the idea but I will. It's an adventure from a time when entertainment was more important then preaching a message, the characters aren't as bad as people say and Harryhausen's effects are still better then the fake digital junk out today, no matter how seamless the digital effects are. And Honor Blackmon rocks.

7.0/10