43. Jason and the Argonauts
My dad’s favorite movie of all time (if I had to pick it) is Jason and the Argonauts. Much like Caddyshack and Star Wars I will always connect this film with my father. Not only did he expose me to this film at a young age, but he’s always quoting one particular scene (which I’ll mention later) and we frequently mock him for how often he states that this movie was “ahead of its time”.
The 60’s loved greek mythology (specifically when Ray Harryhausen was involved). This film is no exception.
The film tells a “rough” version of the story of Jason and Golden Fleece. Jason (Todd Armstrong) is set up by Pelias (Douglas Wilmer) to find the Fleece in the hopes that he will die on his attempt. Legend has stated that Pelias will die at Jason’s hand.
The voyage for the Fleece is filled with various incredible stop-motion creatures like the Statue of Talos, Triton, a Hydra and the most impressive effect of all an army of skeletons.
During one particular stop in the voyage Jason encounters Phineas who Zeus has punished for his sins by blinding him and having two harpies steal his food only leaving him enough scrapes to stay alive. During this sequence Phineas cries out “I know I was a sinner, but I didn’t sin every day... why must you punish me every day!” This quote my father uses every time my mother does something stupid. My youngest sister has never see Jason and the Argonauts and even she knows the quote word for word.
The film is considered by Harryhausen to be his best work (and it’s hard to disagree) the skeleton fight sequence does remind you that stop motion is fucking awesome.
If you’ve never seen this classic from the 60’s it’s a must see for everyone.