Jason and the Argonauts

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1963

Who’s in this?

Todd Armstrong as Jason the hero who gets some help from above, I mean Olympus not airplanes or aliens. He was only in a few things and this was far and away his most known role.

Nancy Kovack as Medea a priestess, but she falls for Jason. Kovack graduated college at 19 and then won numerous beauty pageants before going into acting. Between the late 50’s and mid 70’s she was in lots of things including Star Trek ( A private little war), Batman, Perry Mason, several episodes on Bewitched and a lot more.

Gary Raymond as Acastus son of Phalerus.  He’s out to sabotage Jason’s mission and help him into an early grave. British actor who did a fair amount of roles over several decades. Most known for this role and as Sgt. Jack Moffitt in the Rat Patrol.

There’s also a number of people who are dubbed, wear bad wigs or both. There are a few known character actors in this. Patrick Troughton (Dr.  Who, several Hammer films) plays Phineas who has trouble with harpies. Jack Gwillim (Clash of the titans, Patton and tons of other things) as the sour King Aeetes, Honor Blackman (the Avengers, Goldfinger) plays Hera big time goddess and Nigel Green (The Skull, Countess Dracula) as Hercules big strong guy who gets into trouble.

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What’s this about? Rat Fink Phaelerus goes on a killing spree to become a king, but he can’t get a baby named Jason who gets sent elsewhere. Phalerus runs upon Jason as a young man and comes up with a plot to send him off and hopefully have him put out of action. Jason gets sent on a wild goose chase or maybe it’s a ram chase as he is supposed to go off to way over yonder and bring back this golden fleece and then off Phalerus. Jason isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and doesn’t know he was speaking to Phalerus. Oh, well. He gathers up a bunch of guys dressed in big diapers, loads them on a boat and is off to gather that fleece. Oh his crew includes the legendary Hercules wearer of a big beard and Acastus son of Phalerus who hopes to kill Jason or have him killed. So off with the boat- kersplash and be on your way. The gods and goddesses are watching all this from above too and they put their hands from time to time to help or screw things up as they choose. Life isn’t all rowing and standing around in a diaper as the crew helps a guy with harpie troubles, Hercules gets them in deep with the giant metal dude Talos and they avoid crashing rocks while taking aboard Medea as well all before getting close to the fleece. Jason learns Acastus is a rear end, but he escapes and think the skinny skunk is dead. They arrive where the fleece is kept, but Acastus has beat them there-the stinkweed and told the king that Jason was coming to take the fleece. Jason and his people escape hooray, but it’s not over yet. Acastus is killed by the Hydra, but Jasons slices the Hydra and takes the fleece. Oh, crud the king and his men are hot on their heels with a helmet full of Hydra teeth. That’s not a folksy saying but rather part of a plan. Jason and two of hsi crew are cornered high on the hill top, but the king is going to let something else do his wirty work. He plants hydra teeth and skeleton warriors put up, wow what a great gardener. Well Jason and friends have to fight these boney attackers and they just keep coming. Only Jason is left and he jumps off a cliff to get away. He survives and gets picked up by his ship, all is well for now. Roll the credits.

The negatives-Other than some bad wigs not much to gripe about.

The postives- Awesome stop motion monsters by Ray Harryhausen with the skeletons being the best. The secenery is top notch and it was filmed in Italy. The story is storng and the pace steady. Nigel Green is the stand out of the cast as an older more down to earth Hercules. Would have loved to have seen him do a Hercules film with Schneer and Harryhausen. Just an all around classic for sure.

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