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Buy Jason and the Argonauts 1963 Movie Online 1080p, 720p, BRrip and MOV
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Family
IMDB rating:
Don Chaffey
Nancy Kovack as Medea
Gary Raymond as Acastus
Michael Gwynn as Hermes
Douglas Wilmer as Pelias
Jack Gwillim as King Aeetes
John Cairney as Hylas
Andrew Faulds as Phalerus
Nigel Green as Hercules
Eva Haddon as Medea (voice)
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.
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Classic Harryhausen
I LOVE this film, and I'll take Harryhausen's wonderful effects over CGI generated images with all flash and no substance any day. The man is an artist, and his creations are organic and expressive. Who cares if they don't look ultra-realistic. The sheer artistry behind making them animated is impressive alone, though it's Harryhausen's vision that makes them uniquely his own. Considering the perils the gods put him through all in the name of their own personal entertainment, it's no wonder he's ready to denounce them at times. Divine intervention has it's price, for better or for worse, and when all is said and done it is Jason and the power of humanity that prevails. Obviously this is a fantasy film, but it's also a strong statement on morality and faith. Highly recommended!
Harryhausen speaks
The foyer was packed. It's not often that stars make personal appearances at the cinema.

It should be no surprise, though: the Phoenix Cinema is the most daring and innovative cinema in town. Last year they previewed `The Hours' with the director Stephen Daldry weeks before its national release. Today it was showing the classic `Jason and the Argonauts' with animator Ray Harryhausen.

Animation: finally, something you can bring the kids to. Signs on the door said free tickets to anyone who showed their `Kids Club' membership. A mother picked up her five-year old son by his breeches to let me get into my seat.

Ray Harryhausen? you ask. Just the legendary 3-D animator, who influenced such greats as Stephen Spieldberg and of whom, Kermit the Frog once said, `One of the world's great manipulators.' The crowd came to hear him answer questions and get his re-released book `Animated Life' signed. (For the kid next to me, it was an opportunity to wiggle and rustle until his mother was forced to quiet him with candy).

Harryhausen saw King Kong as a kid and was blown away: how did they do it? The answer: stop-motion animation. That means they manipulated 3-D models, frame by frame, projected them onto real-time footage and then coordinated them both to make it look seamless. (Well, for those of you who still remember King Kong--relatively seamless.) Inspired, Harryhausen made a short three-minute film with little army figures he bought at the corner store. One of his teachers sent it off to Frank Capra-and the rest, as they say, is history.

The interview included such comically understated answers as `I learned a great deal of patience--that was important in stop-motion' and `I got tired of destroying cities: Coney Island, Rome, Washington.' and references to Harryhausen's `Dinosaur period' of movies. Harryhausen said he's done all the animation in his films except one. He spent four months alone working, frame-by-frame on the five-minute fight scene with seven skeletons that is the high-light of `Jason and the Argonauts'.

When asked what he thought of modern special effects, Harryhausen gave a layered response: it is an excellent tool, but he prefers his old animation techniques. The old techniques gave movies a magical feel; in new movies, it's both so real and yet so unbelievable, he doesn't care when someone dies. The audience gave Harryhausen a prolonged ovation at the end; the kid next to me ran down the aisle to get a close-up view of the hideous looking model of the serpent-lady Medusa.

After the books were all signed and the kid was back in his seat, the movie began. The movie is based on the Greek myth, where Jason sets out to find the Golden Fleece and avenge his murdered father. Jason is played by a handsome American (Todd Armstrong) who stands out against the rest of the cast who are genuinely trying to act like people from ancient Greece. Made in 1963, the movie emphasizes the devotion of Greek citizens to their gods, but unselfconsciously uses modern religious notions such as `sin' and `believer'. The scenes with gods atop Mount Olympus are genuinely funny; other bits, such as lady Medea's declaration of love are unintentionally so.

The movie is, however, consistently suspenseful. The five year old next to me looked positively entertained. It feels like a 1963 version of `The Fellowship of the Ring': it moves from one near-tragedy to the next, with only just enough characterization to keep the chase going. The fight scene with the hydra-beast is the least interesting: it looks like mediocre claymation and the actor doesn't really know how to fight or be frightened by such a creature. The ending battle, however, is brilliant. The freakish skeletons with swords and shields are still frightening and look suspiciously similar to the army of dead skeletons in the `The Return of the King'.

Harryhausen's influence, perhaps?
A Monument of Special Effects
We treasure this film for Ray Harryhausen's special effects, and some of them are spectacular. Some of the shots of the giant bronze guardian Talos are very effective, the fight with the skeletons is justly famous, the harpies are creepy, and the Hydra is dazzling.

As for the acting - well, Nigel Green is great as Hercules, the Olympians and Argos and various others are competent, and Jason and Medea and Aeetes are as stiff as Talos. But we're not watching this for the acting, right? To be fair to Todd Armstrong, most of the dialogue is less than sparkling.

And we're not watching this for a lesson in mythology. I miss such elements as Medea killing her brother, chopping up his body and strewing the pieces on the water to slow down the pursuing fleet, and the Hydra sprouting two heads for each one that is cut off, but you can't have everything.

I was shocked by the bad musical score by Bernard Herrmann. How could the composer of *The Ghost and Mrs. Muir* and *Psycho* have phoned in such unimaginative music, full of ponderous, repetitive sequences? I guess he was too busy with *The Birds.* Or maybe he was trying to match the quality of the acting.

On the whole, a reasonably entertaining film, and essential viewing for anyone interested in the history of special effects.
A Special Effects Master of its Time
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.
My Favorite Movie and Harryhausen's Best Work
Of all the films that I've seen this one is my absolute favorite. Jason and the Argonauts delivers a visual experience like I've never seen before. It's loaded with great action, a good cast who portray memorable characters, and of course the best animation & special effects by film pioneer Ray Harryhausen. The main thing is the animation which is jaw dropping. Never before has stop motion looked so... so... PERFECT. The Hydra and the Skeletons are the most impressive to me because he had to animate all those heads and he actually made an exact skeletal structure of the human body for the Children of the Hydra. It's so freaking cool because they make it seem as though the live actors are interacting with the stop motion animations. The Talos of course is amazing because of the cranking metal and iron sound effects used for his movements and the blood from his heel looks like fruit punch and it doesn't get any more professional than that :) !!! The characters that stuck to me the best were the Gods because they use the people down on Earth much like pieces in a chess game and toy around with them either for there own amusement or as prophecy. Hercules is kind at heart but also very strong. He isn't cocky like the rest of the other Hercules that you would see in other movies. Jason of course, is the hero of our story and one of the most iconic of all the film adventurers in the 1960's. And out of all the Gods, Hera is the most memorable. The action? Well, you should probably just check out the movie for that. You will be surprised and I think that Tom Hanks says it best: "Some people say that Casablanca or Citizen Kane bu,t I say Jason and the Argonauts is the best movie ever made." 10 Stars out of 10
Closer to the legend than most Hollywood movies
I remember first seeing this film in one of our ancient history classes, our teacher at the time liked showing us some of these older movies based on Greek Legends. However I tend to have found that most of these movies follow the original legend slightly, and a lot of the more disturbing aspects are conveniently edited out. I actually find it a bit of a shame that they only loosely base their movies on the legends, though in this particular case it is a little closer.

The one thing that disappointed me about this movie was the abrupt end. The story upon which the movie is based (I assume that it is the Argonautica) does not end with Jason fleeing Cholcis to the boat, but rather when he returns home to confront Pelaides. In fact, I think it is quite disappointing that the movie ended the way it did simply because while the quest for the golden fleece had been completed, Pelaides still ruled Thrace.

As mentioned the movie is somewhat faithful to the first part of the book in that Jason crewed the Argo with numerous heroes from Greek legend, including Heracles and Castor and Pollux. The film gives the impression that each of the characters had their own specific skill (Pollux is a boxer), though in Heracles case it is simply because he is Heracles. However the thing about Greek heroes is that they generally are not the sort of people that we would look up to. Heracles goes mad and kills all of his children, and Jason declares his undying love for Medea only to later dump her for another woman and thus earning her wrath.

Medea is truly a tragic character. She meets and falls in love with Jason, and then betrays her people by helping him steal the golden fleece. She then flees Cholcis with Jason and returns to Greece, however Jason later dumps her for another woman, so Medea slays her children and is rescued by the gods. It should be pointed out that Medea, in legend, was a witch. Not a witch as in an ugly old woman, but a full blown practitioner of magic. This is very clear within the Argonautica and throughout the Greek Legends. It is through the use of magic that Medea assists Jason in stealing the fleece.

The thing I really liked about this movie, and it is only one scene (though being closer to the story that most others is also helpful) is where a young man wants to join the Argo, but does not have the strength to beat any of the athletes. So he challenges Heracles to a discus throwing contest. Heracles throws the discus using brute force, while the other man skims the discus along the water thus causing it to travel much father than Heracles' discus does. Very entertaining, and I was quite close to ordering the movie on Amazon, until I discovered that it simply ends abruptly. Still a good movie though.
Excellent Fantasy Film.
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 ****!
"The gods are best served by those who want their help least."
The film holds just about as much magic today as it did when I first saw it about fifty years ago. Another way of saying it would be that the movie brings you all the way back to when you were a kid and became awed at the spectacle of a giant bronze statue come to life, blue demon harpies attacking a blind man, or skeleton warriors come to life to battle the crew of the Argo. Back then, I wouldn't have known the first thing about Ray Harryhausen, but his genius at producing special effects have become legendary, during a time when CGI simply didn't exist. I still marvel at the patience and fortitude necessary to produce those claymation effects, filmed frame by frame with infinitesimal changes to the models to produce the desired results. Simply extraordinary.

The story progresses under the watchful eyes of Olympian gods and goddesses, and as such, the story is a neat introduction to mythological characters like Zeus and Hera. I thought the story dropped the ball though when Poseidon wasn't mentioned by name as the savior of the Argonauts at the Clashing Rocks. Another thing that seemed odd to me was the idea that Hercules looked pretty much like any other run of the mill Greek as part of the crew. I wouldn't have expected Steve Reeves or Gordon Scott, but actor Nigel Green appeared just a bit too ordinary to be one of the world's strongest men. But then again, it was Todd Armstrong's show in the title role of Jason, so you wouldn't want to have him upstaged by a champion bodybuilder.

Apparently the film was situated in a way to follow up with a sequel; Jason never made it back to Thessaly to confront Pelias (Douglas Wilmer), and Zeus's (Nial MacGinnis) words to Hera (Honor Blackman) went by the wayside at the end of the story when he said "Let us continue the game another day." But even so, the picture stands as a decent fantasy adventure for fans of the genre, with special effects that hold up more than a half century since the movie was made.
A movie of my era that my sons liked as well. Remarkable.
There aren't many movies that span even one generation as representing good entertainment. Those that do rarely fall into the category of sword-and-sandal, but "Jason" was one of them.

Advanced CGI now makes Harryhausen work look primitive so today's kids probably wouldn't be impressed. Yet this movie that stunned me as a 10 year old still stunned my own sons 25 years after it's release. It required a significant piece of work to do that.

There are plenty of comments regarding the quality of the animation so I won't add to that. I will note that a young person who has any interest in the history and development of film special effects needs to rank this one with "King Kong" and take a look. They won't be sorry.
Great classic fantasy adventure
One of the best fantasy adventure movies of the 50s and 60s, mostly due to the unique contributions of animator Ray Harryhausen, who created the film's unforgettable harpies, hydra, and giant titan Talos. The actors aren't the most famous or even the best, but they all have good distinct faces and they hold the film up well enough in between the exciting actions scenes. Don Chaffey's direction is nothing special either, and the story itself is pretty forgettable. None of that matters a bit. This movie is just designed to sort of sweep you along as if you were a member of the Argonaut crew.

The beginning of the movie is great, like most of the Harryhausen/Schneer productions, as far as setting up the characters and the situation. Jason (Todd Armstrong) meets up with the man he's trying to fight, Douglas Wilmer I think, and the guy tricks him into going to look for the golden fleece instead of fighting for his kingdom immediately. Jason holds a contest of all the athletes in Greece to determine who will join him on his quest, and even convinces Hercules (Nigel Green) to accompany them. I saw the movie in the theater this time, and just Nigel Green's chest hair was enough to elicit gasps of awe from the audience! Armstrong's performance is under-rated, I prefer him to Kerwin Matthews who was in a lot of these movies. John Philip Law is my favorite hero out of any of them though. Nancy Kovack's acting is nothing special but it doesn't need to be. She's lovely and she wears the costumes well. I rather like Jack Gwillim's larger than life performance as King Aeetees. It's the type of role that Noah Beery and Charles Middleton used to play.

The grand finale with the 7 skeletons is a masterpiece of fantasy film effects. Talos is also incredibly cool. They are the best monsters in my opinion in all of Harryhausen's movies. If that alone wasn't reason to watch and cherish the film, then there's Bernard Herrmann's awesome soundtrack, almost as cool as the one he wrote for "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." The combination of Herrmann's music and the wonderful colors, scenic photography, make the film truly exciting. I wasn't even alive in the 1950s but it makes me feel of movies I saw as a kid like "Star Wars" that really excited me with the heady combination of fantasy, color, inspiring music, and action. I would recommend the movie to anyone who likes cinema that's enjoyably superficial. It's the cinematic equivalent of eating your dessert without having to eat your dinner. The movie never feels weighed down by the romance or the melodrama, it's mostly just all about transporting you to the fantasy world.
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