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    About This Item

    Unique ID Code: 0000038961
    Added by: DVD Reviewer
    Added on: 25/8/2002 14:39
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    Clash Of The Titans (US)

    9 / 10
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    Experience The Fantastic! An Epic Entertainment Spectacular
    Certificate: PG
    Running Time: 118 mins
    Retail Price: $19.98
    Release Date:

    You`ve visited lands where a Cyclops roams (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), skeletons duel (Jason and the Argonauts) and cowboys lasso dinosaurs (The Valley of Gwangi). They are the worlds of Ray Harryhausen, the stop motion effects master who creates another dazzling realm in Clash of the Titans.

    Olympian gods, mythological monsters and heroic mortals populate this imaginative spectacle. Harry Hamlin is Perseus, mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier) and champion of captive Andromeda (Judi Bowker). From that storyline, Harryhausen unleashes sea creature Kraken, snake haired Medusa, swamp denizen Calibos, flying horse Pegasus, two headed dog Dioskilos, giant scorpions and all manner of eye popping adventure. Let the clash begin!

    Special Features:
    A Conversation with Ray Harryhausen
    Map of Myths and Monsters Gallery
    Theatrical Trailer

    Video Tracks:
    Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

    Audio Tracks:
    Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 English
    Dolby Digital Mono French

    Subtitle Tracks:

    Directed By:
    Desmond Davis

    Written By:

    Ursula Andress
    Claire Bloom
    Burgess Meredith
    Harry Hamlin
    Maggie Smith
    Laurence Olivier
    Judi Bowker

    Casting By:
    Irene Lamb
    Joyce Robinson
    Sam Christensen

    Soundtrack By:
    Laurence Rosenthal

    Director of Photography:
    Ted Moore

    Timothy Gee

    Costume Designer:
    Emma Porteus

    Production Designer:
    Frank White

    John Palmer
    Charles H. Schneer
    Ray Harryhausen

    Warner Bros

    Your Opinions and Comments

    9 / 10
    Clash of the Titans is a re-working of the Greek Myth of Perseus and Andromeda. Andromeda was cursed to ask each suitor a riddle - if they could not answer it they died. She could never have true love after she spurned Calibos who had been turned into a monster by Zeus. Perseus (Harry Hamlin), who was one of many mortal sons of Zeus (Laurence Olivier), loved Andromeda (Judi Bowker) and was determined to win her - which he did with the help of the Gods.

    Clash of the Titans was the last film by special effects master Ray Harryhausen and his producer partner Charles H Schneer before they decided (after 35 years in cinema) to retire. Instead of going out with a whimper he went out with one of his grandest films - a $15 million film that set the standard for model effects work that could only be beaten by today`s CGI based epics. Of cause it is not perfect, Harry Hamlin does not look the hero type, and was cursed by a `haircut from hell` not matched until Kirk Russell in StarGate. The all-star cast was underused, (Ursula Andress only has one line, although she stands in the background of Mount Olympus looking lovely) except for Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier and Burgess Meredith.
    (Burgess Meredith was brought in because the American money insisted on a well-known American in the main cast, and he plays the part of the Classical Greek Theatre Muse and Chorus - to advise the hero and let the audience know what is happening - very well indeed).

    The use of a named actor (Neil McCarthy) to wear makeup and be the speaking Calibos was also a first in a Harryhausen film, an idea that works remarkably well.

    The DVD itself is unfortunately a disappointment. The print can, at best, be described as `variable`. While some of the scenes are as clean and bright and can be, some of them, and not just the effects shots, have such terrible grain and colour shifts that it just makes me wonder what Warner Brothers were doing. I can only suppose that this is just a copy of the 1993 Laserdisc, with no attempt at cleanup. For example Mount Olympus was filmed with a sheen to make it look different from earth, on this disc it just looks foggy and out of focus. The sound is quite good for twenty-year-old Dolby Surround, the dialogue is clear and the music and sound effects sound not too bad for their age. The extras are another matter. The conversation with Ray Harryhausen looks as if it was filmed ten years ago, and some misguided person at Warner has put MTV type flashes between almost every sentence (mustn`t have the poor American viewers concentrate for more than a minute at a time). The `Map of Myths and Monsters` is in reality just a continuation of the conversation - chopped into bits with more flashes. What Ray Harryhausen has to say about the film is, of cause, still very interesting.

    Clash of the Titans was not a great success in the cinemas; in truth there were many reason why. (It was cut by the distributor by about 1 minute to get an old `A` certificate - naked ladies, no matter how photographed, were not allowed in family films in those days, and as for `Fantasy Violence`…) Sword & Sorcery and Fantasy had moved on after the success of `Star Wars` and Clash of the Titans had to compete with `Raiders of the Lost Ark` in the adventure field and `Dragonslayer` in the Fantasy stakes. By 1981 it seemed that everyone wanted to make a special effects film, and audiences wanted more than just model work.

    All in all this DVD is a must for the Harryhausen fans - but the quality of the picture will not endear it to the casual viewer.
    posted by Tony Myhill on 2/9/2002 17:56