Jason and the Argonauts

Jason and the Argonauts

Synopsis of Movie

Before digital graphics and computer animation, there was Ray Harryhausen and his stop-motion. And sure, it might have taken Mr. Harryhausen over four months to animate the famous "swordsmen vs. skeleton" climax scene in this 1963 quest flick (which was borne of a similar sequence in his earlier The 7th Voyage of Sinbad). And sure, Jason and the Argonauts' skeleton scene only weighs in at around four minutes onscreen. But the fun fight choreography, the visual treat of live actors mixing it up with stop-motion creatures, and maybe best of all, the clackety-clak that the bad guys’ bones made…those were four months, and certainly for us viewers, four minutes, very well spent.

Inspired by Greek myth, Jason and the Argonauts begins with a siege and slaughter by the power-mad Acastus, who kills the entire royal family of Thessaly...except one tiny member, baby Jason. Years later, a grown Jason returns home to make his rightful claim to the throne. But his people need more than a conqueror—they need inspiration. When Jason catches wind of the magical Golden Fleece, with its legendary powers to guide a nation to prosperity, the quest is on. After a powwow with Hera, queen of the gods and his own personal protector, he recruits the brave Argonauts to man his ship, and the crew sets sail.

The Argonauts and their dashing leader clash with a variety of titans and assorted mythic beasties along the way: the 100-foot bronze statue-who-comes-to-life Talos, the bat-like and screech-happy Harpies, the seven-headed reptilian Hydra, and of course, the aforementioned army of skeletons who skitter around with sword and shield. Mercifully, there’s a lot of divine intervention along the way. Hera, to the raised-eyebrows of her Mount Olympus cohorts, frequently helps her boy out, and at one point, sea-god Poseidon emerges from the churning seas and holds the huge Clashing Rocks apart, so that Jason’s ship, the Argo, can sail safely between.

As if the sight of these mythical creatures brought to life weren’t enough, Jason and the Argonauts also packed a rousing Bernard Herman score, and the beautiful priestess Medea guaranteed that a few sparks would fly with our strapping hero.

The end result was a classic spectacle, one that packed houses in 1963 and ran on Saturday matinees for years afterward. Harryhausen and producer Charles H. Schneer teamed up for further fantasy epics over the next two decades, including The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans, but many fans of stop-motion creature features still consider Jason and the Argonauts to be the rightful king of the art form.

Movie Release History

1963 - Jason and the Argonauts

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio



Jason  Todd Armstrong
Medea  Nancy Kovack
Acastus  Gary Raymond
Argos  Laurence Naismith
Zeus  Niall MacGinnis
Hermes  Michael Gwynn
Pelias  Douglas Wilmer
King Aeetes  Jack Gwyllim
Hera  Honor Blackman
Hylas  John Cairney
Phineas  Patrick Troughton
Phalerus  Andrew Faulds
Hercules  Nigel Green
Polydeuces  John Crawford
Lynceus Aldo Cristiano
Castor Ferdinando Poggi
Eupaemus  Douglas Robinson
Briseis  Davina Taylor

Other Movie Links