Friday, May 10, 2013

Captain's Library & Theatre: JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS Conclusion

...we'll add that one crewmember, Acastus (son of the king who sent Jason on this quest) tried to kill the Argonauts' leader, then dove into the sea when he failed...
This Dell Comics adaptation is listed as Movie Classic #12-376-31, not "Four Color #????" as most of the Dell one-shots were.
Written by Paul S Newman and illustrated by Maurice Whitman, Dick Giordano, and Vince Colletta (with a couple of re-drawn panels by Mike Sekowsky), the adaptation is remarkably-faithful to the finished film with good likenesses of the actors and Harryhausen-created creatures.
That said, this final part seems very...compacted, not giving the battles with the Hydra or Skeleton Army the chance to be the spectacles they are in the movie...
I saw this film when it was released to theatres in 1963.
I was five.
When this sequence started, I ducked behind the seat and wouldn't come out until it was over.
A couple of years later, when the film was re-released, I went to see it again.
This time I watched the whole flick.
And I was hooked.
After that, any time a Harryhausen movie was released (or re-released) I DEMANDED to be taken to it...until I was old enough to go on my own.
In 1981, I was working as an editor/designer for the publisher who produced the movie souvenir magazines sold in theatres.
The publisher and I attended a licensors' screening of a workprint of Clash of the Titans.
About 2/3rds of the film was complete, but I was still blown-away by what I saw up on the screen, especially by the rough stop-motion footage and, in a couple of scenes, Harryhausen's production art in spots where animation was still being filmed.
The publisher thought it was "old-fashioned" and chose to go with another fantasy flick (which was using computer-assisted stop motion) in its' place on the schedule.
The film we did a book for was DragonSlayer.
Clash of the Titans, produced for $15,000,000, did $41,000,000, became a perennial on home video, was recently remade, and even had a sequel.
DragonSlayer did $14,000,000 (not even making its' $18,000,000 budget back), and has largely been forgotten.
To be fair, DragonSlayer has some great elements, but it's not on the level of Clash.

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