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Catching Some Rays — 18 Comments

  1. Marvelous post! I have always loved all things Harryhausen (and also read FAMOUS MONSTERS…too bad Forry gave up on his museum plans). Your pics from BEAST and SEVENTH VOYAGE were fabulous. Still, my favorite Harryhausen remains JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. It starts a little slow, but once the voyage begins, it's incredible.

  2. Well, Erin, I'd say you've got some catching up to look forward to; you won't regret it. I hope you have access to a good home theater; the bigger you can see Harryhausen's movies, the better. There's a fairly recent Blu-ray of 7th Voyage that'll pop your eyes right out of your head; I haven't seen it looking better since 1959 — and maybe not even then.

    Rick, you're not alone; Harryhausen himself thinks Jason is his best, and so did Charles Schneer. I'd put it second to Sinbad only because of the element of surprise; there's no recapturing the holy-cow-jeeminy-Christmas-willya-lookit-that! impact of The 7th Voyage on it's first run. Ya just hadda be there.

    Apropos of Jason, when Harryhausen won his special Oscar, emcee Tom Hanks said, beaming: "Some people say Casablanca, some say Citizen Kane — I say Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest film ever made." Of course, Tom's a little younger than I am, and saw Jason at about the age I saw Sinbad.

  3. Hey, Jim, just wanted to let you know that thanks to our friend and fellow blogger Yvette, you've been chosen as one of the recipients of the Liebster Blog, in which worthy bloggers get props from their peers! Congratulations, my friend! If you know five bloggers who you think need a little love, tell them you think they're the awesome, and link back to the blog which gave you the award (in this case, Tales of the Easily Distracted :-)).

    Got questions? Ask Yvette:

    http://yvettecandraw.blogspot.com/

  4. Thank you, Dorian; I'm truly touched and heartened by this, especially now that I've looked into how the Liebster Blog Award works, and what it means to receive it from one of you blogo-peers. Linkback to follow on the main page, and with pleasure.

  5. Back from vacation and catching up on some blog reading.

    I loved your piece and think that Mr. Harryhausen is one of the cinema's greatest geniuses.

    Somewhat ironic that Columbia is raking in the cash via VHS and DVD sales and re-issues of titles, when back he was making the movies for them he and producer Schneer were hard pressed to squeeze another dime from them.

    Kinda like Columbia's treatment of the Three Stooges.

    I'm glad you mentioned the Tom Hanks Academy Awards tribute, but I remember being put off by his demeanor at the Oscar ceremony. Hanks seemed rather condescending in his introductory remarks at the Oscar ceremony itself (though I can't remember what he said that led me to feel this way).

    However, when I later saw the footage of his introduction to Ray at the actual Technical Oscars ceremony he seemed genuine and sincere in his words. But at the Oscar ceremony itself he seemed to be playing to the more sophisticated Oscar crowd.

    At least that's how I remember it. I could be wrong. I know he is a huge "Jason and the Argonauts" fan.

  6. "….it wouldn't be the first childhood favorite to decompose before my startled eyes, like a clumsy piece of taxidermy."

    Jim, what a great and vivid line!