Jason and the Argonauts (movie, 1963)

Jason and the Argonauts ( Jason and the Argonauts ) is a movie Anglo – American directed by Don Chaffey and released in 1963 . This film uses in particular the animation in volume .


In ancient Greece , to recapture the kingdom of his father Sson usurped by his half-brother Pelias , Jason must report to him the fabulous Golden Fleece that is in distant Colchis . He embarks aboard the ship Argo with a team of heroes, the Argonauts . At the same time aided and opposed by rival gods and goddesses, they will be confronted with unleashed elements and creatures more monstrous than the others: the Talos colossus , the two horrifying Harpies , the crushing rocks Symplégades , aHydra (a horrible seven-headed dragon) as well as a vindictive army of terrible and agile skeletons. But Jason will know the enchantment in the guise of Medea , overcome obstacles and bring back the Golden Fleece.

Technical sheet

Dress worn by Nancy Kovack in “The Medea Dance “
  • Original title: Jason and the Argonauts 1
  • French title: Jason et les Argonautes
  • Director: Don Chaffey
  • Assistant Director: Dennis Bertera
  • Scenario: Beverley Cross and Jan Read inspired (among others) by the epic poem the Argonautics of Apollonius of Rhodes
  • French adaptation: Pierre-François Caille (for the Parisian public sound company)
  • Direction of fighting scenes: Ralph Faulkner
  • Artistic Direction: Geoffrey Drake, Jack Maxsted, Antonio Sarzi-Braga, Herbert Smith
  • Sculptures of the models: Arthur Hayward
  • Photography: Wilkie Cooper
  • Framing: Harry Gillam
  • Sound: Cyril Collick, Red Law and Alfred Cox (mixing)
  • Special effects: process “Dynarama” ( Dynamation ) of Ray Harryhausen
  • Editing: Maurice Rootes
  • Music: Bernard Herrmann
  • Production: Charles H. Schneer, Ray Harryhausen
  • Executive Producer: John Dark
  • Production Companies: Columbia Pictures (United Kingdom), Morningside Productions (United States)
  • Distribution Companies: Columbia Pictures , Carlotta Films (France)
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom , United States
  • Original language: English
  • Format: 35 mm – color by Eastmancolor – 1.85: 1 – monophonic sound
  • Genre: fantasy mythology , fantasy film , epic , adventure film
  • Duration: 105 minutes 2
  • Release dates:
    • USA –
    • France –
  • Classifications CNC : all audiences, Arthouse (operating visa o 27921 issued)


  • Todd Armstrong (VF: Roland Menard ) : Jason
  • Nancy Kovack (VF: Paule Emanuele ) : Medea
  • Gary Raymond (VF: Jacques Thébault ) : Acaste
  • Laurence Naismith (VF: Paul Bonifas ) : Argos son of Arestor or Argos son of Phrixos 3
  • Nigel Green (VF: Pierre Collet ) : Heracles (Hercules)
  • Niall MacGinnis (VF: Serge Nadaud ) : Zeus
  • Michael Gwynn ( VF : Jacques Hilling ) : Hermes
  • Douglas Wilmer (VF: Jacques Berthier ) : Pelias
  • Jack Gwillim (VF: Louis Arbessier ) : the king Éétès (Æétès)
  • Honor Blackman (VF: Nathalie Nerval ) : Hera
  • John Cairney (VF: Jean Fontaine ) : Hylas
  • Patrick Troughton : The King Phinée
  • John Crawford (VF: Claude Bertrand ) : Polydeuce (Pollux)
  • Douglas Robinson (VF: Henry Djanik ) : Euphemos
  • Davina Taylor (VF: Jane Val ) : Briseis , Jason’s sister



Shooting period: 1961-1962-1963 (to be confirmed), evaluation from Ray Harryhausen’s testimony 4 , 5 , 6 : “In November 1961, I sent my father the designs of the frames : a Talos, a foot, an arm and a hand of Talos, a hydra, two flying harpies, six fighting skeletons, a Jason and an Acaste. They arrived in February 1962, asking me four months to make and paint the bodies before the beginning of the animation. […] Jason and the Argonauts took almost two years to complete and for an unprecedented cost of US $ 3 million . »
Interiors: Shepperton Studios(United Kingdom), Safa Studios  (in) (Italy).
Outdoor in Italy :

  • Capaccio-Paestum : The sequence of the Harpies was filmed at the temple of Paestum . The team obtained permission to film in this temple which is no longer accessible to visitors.
  • Palinuro (Centola) : In this hamlet, the film crew was confronted with a cultural problem as they were about to shoot at 6am. As it was cold, actress Nancy Kovack (Medea) wore the only warm sweater she had in her suitcases, a purple sweater that angered the locals because they considered this color as a sign of death 7 , 5 .
  • Salerno ( Province of Salerno ).
  • The filming was disrupted by another crew filming in the same place in Italy as Ray Harryhausen 4 , 5 , 6 reminds us : “We were shooting a scene in which the Argo was to appear at a bend of a cliff. Everything was ready, the camera was filming and we had given our boat the radio signal for the action. But what do we see in the field ? The galleon Golden Hind [famous building of the xvi th century ]! The action was interrupted hearing Schneer [producer]shout “Take this boat out of there! You are in the wrong century! “. It turned out that another British team was shooting a sequence of the television series Sir Francis Drake, the queen’s privateer … Their ship, with its powerful engines, had preceded ours in the creek. “

The fight sequence between the Argonauts and skeletons, with a duration of 3 minutes took more than 4 months of work to Ray Harryhausen 7 , 5 .


Composer of the original music, Bernard Herrmann directs the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra . He signed many music films, Citizen Kane of Orson Welles ( 1941 ) up Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese ( 1976 ) through several accomplishments of Alfred Hitchcock , including the famous score for Psycho ( 1960 ).


Work included in the 50 films to see before turning 14 according to the list established by the British Film Institute in 2005 .


  • (en) / (en) Jason and the Argonauts , Sony Pictures , 1999, 1 DVD zone 2, mono , 100 min .
  • (in) Jason and the Argonauts , Sony Pictures , 2010, 1 Blu-ray , mono , DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 , 104 min [ online presentation  [ archive ] ]

See also

Related Articles

  • Argonautes
  • British cinema
  • Don Chaffey
  • Jason
  • Golden Fleece


  • (in) Monthly Film Bulletin , o 356
  • Collective, Jason and the Argonauts: The Great Classic by Ray Harryhausen, Master of Special Effects , Dreamland, 2006 ( ISBN  2910027678 )

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Also listed under Title Jason and the Golden Fleece .
  2. ↑ Source: CNC .
  3. ↑ The mythology sometimes attributed to Argos son of Arestor , sometimes Argos son of Phrixus , the privilege of having built the ship Argo and it then be embedded with Jason .
  4. ↑ a and b Extract from the article published in The Guardian December 20, 2003: Ray Harryhausen comments on the shooting of Jason and the Argonauts [ archive ]
  5. ↑ a , b , c and d Free English translation by the publisher
  6. ↑ a and b Article from Guardian quotes from the work of Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton (in) Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life , Aurum Press, London (2003).
  7. ↑ a and b Source: The TCM Movie Db United States  [ archive ]

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