Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Jason and the Argonauts

UK movie (1963). Columbia. Pr Charles H Schneer. Assoc pr Ray Harryhausen. Dir Don Chaffey. Spfx Harryhausen. Screenplay Beverley Cross, Jan Read. Starring Todd Armstrong (Jason), Honor Blackman (Hera), John Cairney (Hylas), Nigel Green (Hercules), Jack Gwillim (Aeetes), Michael Gwynn (Hermes), Nancy Kovack (Medea), Niall MacGinnis (Zeus), Laurence Naismith (Argus), Gary Raymond (Acastus), Douglas Wilmer (Pelias). 104 mins. Colour.

Based on Greek Mythology and a sort of thematic sequel to Schneer's and Harryhausen's The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958; > Sinbad Movies), this tells episodically of the quest for the Golden Fleece, and the adventures not only of Jason and his Heroes but also of the Gods on Olympus, where Zeus and Hera are playing a board-Game that prescribes the fates of mortals. Among various adventures, the heroes battle a gigantic bronze Titan, save blind Phineas, sail between the Clashing Rocks (aided by a magically created Giant), rescue Medea, gain the fleece (in so doing slaying the Hydra) and fight with the army of skeletons that springs up when Medea's wrathful father Aeetes sows the Hydra's teeth.

Harryhausen's spfx are the main reason for viewing JATA today; although the control of colour is uncertain, they remain imaginative and tremendously watchable. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.