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Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

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

Director:

Don Chaffey

Writers:

Jan Read (screenplay), Beverley Cross (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Todd Armstrong ... Jason
Nancy Kovack ... Medea
Gary Raymond ... Acastus
Laurence Naismith ... Argos
Niall MacGinnis ... Zeus
Michael Gwynn ... Hermes / Priest
Douglas Wilmer ... Pelias
Jack Gwillim ... King Aeetes
Honor Blackman ... Hera
John Cairney ... Hylas
Patrick Troughton ... Phineas
Andrew Faulds ... Phalerus
Nigel Green ... Hercules
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The quest to find the Golden Fleece is over, but now Jason and his band of Argonauts must embark on a new and more difficult journey, the journey home.

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Storyline

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, all brought to life by the special effects wizardry of Ray Harryhausen. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE! The Adventure That Stunned the World...And the Mighty Men Who Conquered It! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In early press material, Mario Nascimbene was credited as the music composer of this film. This was because Nascimbene was considered for the job of composer in case Bernard Herrmann turned it down (which, as it turned out, he didn't). In later interviews Nascimbene claimed he never heard of the film (most probably meaning Herrmann accepted the offer before Nascimbene could be approached). He did, however, go on to compose the music score for another Ray Harryhausen film, One Million Years B.C. (1966), which was also directed by Don Chaffey (who directed this film). See more »

Goofs

Around 00:10:27, Jason got only one sandal on his right foot (the other lost into the river). Around 00:11:11, he's got sandals on his two feet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pelias: Well?
Priest: Zeus, king of the gods of the Greeks, brighten the ashes that I may read the future. I see... a great tree at the end of the world. And in its branches there hang the skull and skin of a ram. They gleam and shine for it is a prize of the gods, a Golden Fleece.
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Alternate Versions

A brief scene was cut from the skeleton fight where the decapitated skeleton is seen feeling around for its head. In addition the UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove the shrieking made by the skeletons from a face-on shot during the initial charge, and video versions featured the same print. DVD versions are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Music of Bernard Herrmann (2008) See more »

User Reviews

Harryhausen's Masterpiece?
7 November 2003 | by ecarleSee all my reviews

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.'"


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jason and the Argonauts See more »

Filming Locations:

Campania, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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