Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Jason and the Argonauts
Directed by Don Chaffey
Written by Jan Read, Beverley Cross, and Apollonios Rhodios
1963/UK/USA
The Great Company/Morningside Productions
First viewing/Amazon Instant

 

Hera: [asked why the gods set temptations and traps for mortals] So that the gods may know them, and men may know themselves.

Who needs CGI when you can have Ray Harryhausen?

Pelias usurps the throne of Thessaly by killing King Aristo.  However, there is a prophesy that he will eventually be defeated by a child of the King.  He makes the mistake of slaying a daughter of the King who has sought Hera’s protection.  Thereafter, Hera becomes the benecfactrix of the daughter’s son Jason.

The baby Jason grows up and is ready to punish the man who murdered his father and take up the throne.  Before he can do so, he must retrieve the fabled Golden Fleece from the island of Colchis.  He obtains a vessel, the Argos, and brave crew that includes the demi-God Hercules.  On the way to the fleece, Jason and his men undergo many fantastic adventures.

The genre makes it likely that this would not be a favorite.  The stop-motion animation, however, makes it a joy to watch throughout. Ray Harryhausen reached the top of his game with this one.  It is just mind-blowing the amount of skill that went into making an entire army of individual skeletons move so realistically.  Recommended to fans of this kind of thing.

Trailer

Clip (The version on Amazon Instant has been restored to pristine condition, making the effects that much more impressive.)