Jason, a fearless sailor and explorer, returns to his home land of Thessaly after a long voyage to claim his rightful throne. He learns, however, that he must first find the magical Golden Fleece. To do so, he must embark on an epic quest fraught with fantastic monsters and terrible perils.
- Jason: Todd Armstrong
- Medea: Nancy Kovack
- Acastus: Gary Raymond
- Argos: Laurence Naismith
- Zeus: Niall MacGinnis
- Hermes: Michael Gwynn
- Pelias: Douglas Wilmer
- King Aeetes: Jack Gwillim
- Hera: Honor Blackman
- Hylas: John Cairney
- Phineas: Patrick Troughton
- Phalerus: Andrew Faulds
- Hercules: Nigel Green
- Polydeuces (uncredited): John Crawford
- Castor of Sparta (uncredited): Ferdinando Poggi
- Dmitrius, Drummer on Argo (uncredited): Ennio Antonelli
- Guard in Palace (uncredited): Harold Bradley
- Lynceus (uncredited): Aldo Cristiani
- Medea (voice) (uncredited): Eva Haddon
- Eupaemus (uncredited): Doug Robinson
- Briseis (uncredited): Davina Taylor
- Jason (voice) (uncredited): Tim Turner
- Conductor: Bernard Herrmann
- Art Direction: Jack Maxsted
- Sound Recordist: Red Law
- Director of Photography: Wilkie Cooper
- Editor: Maurice Rootes
- Production Design: Geoffrey Drake
- Sound Editor: Alfred Cox
- Unit Manager: Paul Maslansky
- Director: Don Chaffey
- Unit Manager: Jimmy Komisarjevsky
- Unit Manager: Leonardo Scavino
- Screenplay: Beverley Cross
- Associate Producer: Ray Harryhausen
- Producer: Charles H. Schneer
- Screenplay: Jan Read
- Poem: Apollonios Rhodios
- Production Executive: John Dark
- Art Direction: Tony Sarzi-Braga
- Sound Recordist: Cyril Collick
- Art Direction: Herbert Smith
- Camera Operator: Harry Gillam
- Continuity: Phyllis Crocker
- Assistant Director: Dennis Bertera
- Title Designer: James Wines
- CinemaSerf: I always find with these stop-motion animation films that the wonderful Harryhausen creations always far out-act the human talent! Sadly, here is no different – Todd Armstrong in the title role and Nancy Novak as ” Medea” are as wooden as the Argo in this retelling of the ancient Greek myth. It is still, however, an exciting action adventure though, with plenty of episodes to keep it moving along as Jason fights monsters and treachery to seek out the legendary Golden Fleece from the distant land of Colchis. It’s got a decent enough, largely British, supporting cast with Honor Blackman standing out as his patron “Hera” and Nigel Green making for a wonderfully over-the-top “Hercules”, but the spoils definitely go to Talos, the Harpies and the skeleton battle is fabulous.
- Wuchak: **_Swords & Greek Mythology in the Mediterranean_**
Jason (Todd Armstrong), the rightful heir to the throne of Thessaly, Greece, gathers a crew of intrepid sailors to find the magical Golden Fleece, a quest that brings clashes with a 100’ bronze statue, a couple harpies, the venomous Hydra and a squad of sword-wielding skeletons.
“Jason and the Argonauts” (1963) is a sword & sandal flick based on Greek Mythology with Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion special effects, which were state-of-the-art at the time. It’s very similar to “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” from five years earlier and on par in all-around entertainment.
You can’t beat the scenic Mediterranean locations, the vessel, the costumes and the mystical action sequences. The fight with the skeleton warriors only runs three minutes, at most, but it took Harryhausen four months to produce it.
Unfortunately, this isn’t as compelling, story-wise, as “Ulysses” (1954) and “Mysterious Island” (1961) or future flicks like “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” (1977) and “Conan the Barbarian” (1982). Those movies feature a fairly prominent female presence to counteract the sweaty men in loin cloths; this one doesn’t. Sure, Nancy Kovack is on hand, but she doesn’t show up until well past the hour mark and not enough is done with her.
The film runs 1 hour, 44 minutes, and was shot on the coasts of southern Italy (Salerno) with studio stuff done in Rome and Shepperton Studios, just west of London.