Family Matinees: Mythical Monsters & Beasts
Clash of the Titans (1981)
dir. Desmond Davis, UK/US, 1981, DCP, 118 min.
Perseus, son of the Greek god Zeus, is destined to marry Princess Andromeda, who is imprisoned in her home city of Joppa. To free her, win her hand, and thus half of the kingdom, Perseus solves a riddle, but in celebrating, Joppa's Queen angers the sea goddess Thetis, who orders Andromeda fed to the Kraken, a towering sea monster that's the last of the powerful Titans. To save the Princess, Perseus must endure a series of trials, including securing the head of the grotesque Gorgon named Medusa and battling the Kraken.
"Clash of the Titans is a grand and glorious romantic adventure, filled with brave heroes, beautiful heroines, fearsome monsters, and awe-inspiring duels to the death...It has faith in a story-telling tradition that sometimes seems almost forgotten, a tradition depending upon legends and myths, magical swords, enchanted shields, invisibility helmets, and the overwhelming power of a kiss.”--Roger Ebert
While it features solid performances by legends of the stage and screen such as Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, and Burgess Meredith, the real star of this film is special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who arguably does his finest work on Clash of the Titans, his final film.