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Jason and the Argonauts [Blu-ray] [Import]

Todd Armstrong , Nancy Kovack , Don Chaffey    Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
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Jason and the Argonauts [Blu-ray] [Import] + The Golden Voyage of Sinbad [Import] + Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
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Arguably the most intelligently written film to feature the masterful stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, Jason and the Argonauts is a colorful adventure that takes full advantage of Harryhausen's "Dynarama" process. Inspired by the Greek myth, the story begins when the fearless explorer Jason (Todd Armstrong) returns to the kingdom of Thessaly to make his rightful claim to the throne, but the gods proclaim that he must first find the magical Golden Fleece. Consulting Hera, the queen of gods, Jason recruits the brave Argonauts to crew his ship, and they embark on their eventful journey. Along the way they encounter a variety of mythic creatures, including the 100-foot bronze god Talos, the batlike Harpies, the seven-headed reptilian Hydra, and an army of skeletons wielding sword and shield. That last sequence remains one of the finest that Harryhausen ever created, and it's still as thrilling as anything from the age of digital special effects. Harryhausen was the true auteur of his fantasy films and his brilliant animation evokes a timeless sense of wonder. Jason and the Argonauts is a prime showcase for Harryhausen's talent--a wondrous product of pure imagination and filmmaking ingenuity. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Remastering and Transfer July 9 2010
Jason and the Argonauts is an important work of cinematography, one of Harryhausen's materpieces. I've enjoyed the DVD version, and now have the Blu-Ray version. The high definition remastering and Blu-Ray transfer appear to be first rate as though filmed in high-definition as befits this fine film. Peter Jackson's Post-Production Studio performed the high definition remastering which appears to have been lovingly compiled frame by frame. Not surprisingly with an important work, this Blu-Ray version includes Extras such as commentary by the likes of Peter Jackson.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I Know of a tree at the end of the world" March 8 2004
Someday. Someday I'm going to invest on a 50' screen television and
this is going to be the first movie I watch,The way it's suppose to
be seen in all it's Fantasy Sword & Sandal glory. Again as in "The
7th voyage of Sinbad" Columbia pulls no stops in presenting a great
story with mythical characters & monsters abound. Talos, the bronze
giant, The devilish harpies, The seven headed Hydra who guards that
of the golden fleece and of course the battle of the seven skeleton
warriors which is now film folklore.
Harryhausen's effects combined with Herrmann's music score
(Is there any conductor's work more thunderous than Talos'march?)
are top notch As are the cast of Honor (Goldfinger) Blackman and
Nigil McGullis and Todd Armstrong. I always thought it was great
to have Hercules portrayed as his older self and not in the same
beefcake manner traditionally presented at that time(Speaking of
this film raised the bar for sword & fantasy to follow (none ever
reaching it's status "Hercules in the haunted world" "Goliath and
the Dragon" to name a few) I only gave the dvd 4 stars because of
lack of the "HarryHausen Chronicles" and the ORIGINAL trailer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where's Ray Harryhausen When You Need Him? Feb. 8 2004
Right here! BUY THIS DVD! And check out Ray's new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - very close to Graumann's Chinese Theater where, almost exactly seventy years before the wet cement event, Ray saw "King Kong" for the first of innumerable times!! . . . . I was already a huge Harryhausen fan in '63 when I dragged my consenting adult parents to the theater, along with my younger brother and sister, to be feted and regaled and thoroughly entertained by "Jason". My favorite semi-human character was Nigel Green (After "Mysterious Island"; before "Zulu!") as Hercules; the best of the pantheon? Honor Blackman: future Bond Girl in "Goldfinger"! Hera Galore! (Hey - I was thirteen!) Of the crew of the "Argo" of course it was the builder Argus 'imself: Laurence Naismith (Captain Smith of HMS "Titanic" in "A Night to Remember" and to play Professor Horace Bromley in "Valley of Gwangi")who was my fave human character. BUT HOW to pick a favorite monster? It would have to be the skeleton who acts surprised when he loses his skull!..... "Jason"'s was the only movie soundtrack I later attempted to tape on my little battery-powered reel-to-reel off Grandpa's COLOR TV, and I still use the Hermann 'skeleton theme' when stalking my grandkids! Recommended that you introduce this to kids 8-10 who might be prompted to do a bit of reading in Bullfinch as a followup. Watch this with the kids! make it a family tradition like one of our other reviewers has done . . .The DVD in widescreen will have to do (and do QUITE WELL, it will) until your local film society does a fantasy film retrospective on The Big Screen!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! Dec 27 2003
Ray Harryhausen has done some brilliant stop-motion effects over the course of his career, and nowhere do they shine as brightly as in this movie. The skeleton battle is unforgettable, but as I was rewatching it recently, it was nice to be reminded how good the Talos and Hydra scenes were as well.
The human actors were good, but fated by the gods to be upstaged by Harryhausen's miniatures. The film has a plot with a definite purpose behind it, something uncommon for an effects-driven film. To my eye, the film restoration looked good, especially compared to the unrestored trailer; sound quality seemed good, too (although the xylophones during the Harpy attack seemed an odd scoring choice). The lack of bonus features wasn't a problem for me; the Landis-Harryhausen interview was nice, but I don't really want more. This film stands on its own like few others; a behind-the-scenes featurette or a "how we did it" commentary would ultimately detract from this film's magic.
I can think of few movies I enjoyed as a child that have lived up to their memory when viewed as an adult. This is one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harryhausen's Biggest Monster Hit July 11 2003
We refer to Star Wars as a John Lucas film, ET as a Steven Spielberg film, and Terminator as a James Cameron film. It's always "a [director's name] film."
Unless it's a Ray Harryhausen film. Because Harryhausen's spellbinding creations are always the real stars of his films, his name just has to come ahead of the director's. And nobody, but nobody wil ever question that departure from protocol.
For the uninitiated, one viewing of Jason and the Argonauts will help you understand just what I mean. Employing the painstakingly difficult, low-technology method of stop-motion animation, Harryhausen delivers a fantasy-adventure that's absolutely breathtaking. Jason, leading an intrepid group that includes Hercules himself, encounters the seven-headed Hydra, the winged Harpies, the metallic 200-foot-tall Talos, the Merman Demigod Triton, a band of sword-wielding skeletons, and a gargantuan reptilian beast. Not only are the creatures brought to life, they interact with the humans with seamless, eye-popping realism. And remember, this is a 1963 film.
How difficult is stop-motion animation? To give you an idea, Harryhausen took four and a half months to complete the skeleton battle scene, which lasted just over three minutes in the final edit. As for the Hydra, Jason had it easy. All he had to do was slay it. The really difficult task was Harryhausen's: he had to bring it to life, keeping all seven heads in constant, menacing motion.
The difficulty of this method naturally brings about the temptation to take short-cuts, moving the creature a centimeter here and there instead of the needed two millimeters. But Harryhausen worked hard at his craft, spending long nights in his studio to achieve the most realistic movements possible. And get this: he worked ALONE.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It is a PAL DVD. It may not work with your American player
Published 9 days ago by J. Allan Moffatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
glad to see it again
Published 11 days ago by linda copeland
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love it as a kid and still do, great fantasy movie.
Published 1 month ago by PaulBartley
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie as remembered.
Remember this movie from growing up. It still has the same appeal to me. Thanks for making this available to me.
Published 14 months ago by Tom Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
Ray Harryhausen's work is a treat to watch, I have always been a fan of stop motion animation and will continue to collect all his works
Published 17 months ago by maddog
5.0 out of 5 stars Jason and the Argonauts
I love this movie. I seen it as a teenager; and I still think its great.
A really true classic.
Published 17 months ago by Lynn Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as described
This product was delivered in mint condition and is exactly as described on the site. It is a present for my father, so I haven't opened it yet, but I'm sure he'll love it.
Published 18 months ago by Hello Kitty07
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Harryhausen
Great adventure film, suitable for the whole family (probably best not shown to under 6s though). My brother and I loved this as kids, now my own kids are enjoying it for the first... Read more
Published on April 2 2010 by Virginia Steele
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but where was it?
I've heard plenty about Harryhausen, Talos and the skeletons, and believe me, I love this movie. What I'd really like to know is, where did the scenes featuring the Harpies take... Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2005 by D. Cooley
5.0 out of 5 stars The fight against the triviality!
Mircea Eliade defined the triviality as the absence of physical tension in the human being.
If we agree this concept ; then the argonauts represent the fight against the... Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
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