There is a reason why films are considered classics: they stand the test of time. And “Jason and the Argonauts” from 1963 is a prime example of this. The main reason that this movie is considered a classic is because of the special effects done by Ray Harryhausen, who, in the film, gave us one of the most infamous scenes in cinematic history: a fight with reanimated skeletons. But are the special effects the only reason to watch this movie? Well, no. The film provides a great sense of adventure and the adventure genre is somewhat dying these days. So it’s good that we have the classics to return to when the adventure was pure. Though the film has some flaws, “Jason and the Argonauts” is actually quite an interesting piece of work that needs to be seen to wonder how good the special effects were and still, and discover why this movie is a classic.
The story is a very simple tale: a young man named Jason, is set out on a task to find a golden fleece that’s hidden at the end of the world. With a crew at his side, Jason comes across several obstacles to accomplish his goal. Some of these obstacles include a giant statue made of bronze and a fight with a seven-headed hydra. He proves himself worthy, as Jason and his crew embark on one of the best climaxes in cinematic history.
“Jason and the Argonauts” is a magnificent movie in its own right. I’ve already talked about the adventure aspect of the film, but let’s discuss the other important things that work in the movie. The sets do a great job at recreating ancient Greece thousands of years ago. The music in the film presents us with a score that’s very well done and it’s a remarkable orchestrated piece as well. But where the movie really shines is in the special effects department. Sure the effects look dated now, but back then it was revolutionary. In current times, computers could easily do the special effects that are presented in the film. But in doing so, the original aspects of the movie lose its nostalgia factor. This film is great by accomplishing a lot with couldn’t be done before, yet it still has some problems.
For one thing, the editing is very rough at certain moments, and this mainly happens at the beginning of the film. The lighting needs to be improved because there are a lot of scenes where it’s too dark to make out what’s happening on screen. But my biggest gripe with the movie is with the actors. Their performance is pretty good, buy whenever they talk on screen, the actors and actresses speak with a heavy British accent. This is because the movie is a British production, so naturally it would be perfect to cast British actors and actresses. If they had better dialogue coaches, then it would be acceptable.
Overall, “Jason and the Argonauts” is a remarkable film despite having a few flaws. We have to thank Ray Harryhausen for giving us one of the most memorable movies of all time. I highly recommend you watch it as it is a true classic all the way through.