Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Clash of the Titans (1981). Fantasy/adventure. Based on the myth of Perseus. A novelization of the film by Alan Dean Foster was published in 1981. Cast: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Burgess Meredith and Ursula Andress. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are set to release a remake of the film in 3-D on April 2, 2010.

King Acrisius of Argos locks his daughter Danae in prison to keep her from having a son. While she is imprisoned, the god Zeus impregnates her. After the King learns about the pregnancy, Acrisius casts his daughter and her son Perseus out to sea in a wooden coffin.

Angry, Zeus orders Poseidon, to release the Kraken to destroy Argos. Meanwhile, Danae and her son safely make it to the island of Seriphos. Calibos, son of the sea goddess Thetis, is to marry Princess Andromeda, the daughter of Queen Cassiopeia.

Calibos has killed entire herd of flying horses (except for Pegasus) and as punishment Zeus changes Calibos into a monster who now lives in the swamps. Thetis, heartbroken, promises that if Calibos cannot marry Andromeda, no other man will either. Thetis then transports Perseus from Seriphos to Joppa.

Perseus, becomes friends with Ammon, where he learns of Andromeda and her curse(she cannot marry unless her suitor answers a riddle and any suitor who does not answer the riddle correctly is burned at the stake).

Carrying gifts from the gods a sword, shield, and a helmet, Perseus captures Pegasus and follows Andromeda's on her journey to learn a new riddle from Calibos. Knowing the answer, Perseus is attacked by Calibos, but escapes.

Perseus ready for the next ceremony answers the riddle correctly winning Andromeda's hand in marriage. At the temple Calibos prays to his mother Thetis to take vengeance on Perseus. Thetis tells Calibos that she cannot because Perseus is protected by Zeus, but she will take vengeance on Joppa.

At the wedding, Queen Cassiopeia compares Andromeda's beauty to that of Thetis, which angers the goddess. The statue of Thetis begins to grumble and the head comes to life, demanding Andromeda as a virgin sacrifice to the Kraken in thirty days, or else Joppa will be destroyed.

Perseus begins his journey to battle both Medusa and the Kraken monster to save the Princess Andromeda.

Clash of the Titans, has been one of my favorite movies since my son and I watched it with a bowl of popcorn when he was a little boy... I really enjoy mythology and epic adventures. The special effects were in my opinion very well done..


The original script wanted Perseus to cut off Medusa's head by throwing his shield at her. Harry Hamlin convinced the producers to let him use his sword, because that was how it happened according to Greek Mythology.

The Kraken was not the name of a titan in Greek mythology, but a sea monster from Scandinavian mythology.

Neil McCarthy only played Calibos in head shots and half-body shots. All full body shots of Calibos were played by a stop-motion model.

Screenwriter Beverley Cross was a student of mythology and he developed a story-line centering on Perseus and Andromeda which linked together a number of myths. He took the idea to producers Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen. The story was modified to add more creatures. Cross's wife, actress Maggie Smith, appeared in the film as Thetis.

According to mythology after Medusa's head was severed from her neck, two offspring sprang forth: the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor.

According to mythology there was Cerberus, the THREE-headed dog but no Dioskilos with two. They asked Ray Harryhausen why he didn't use a three-headed dog, and he said it takes too much time to animate the extra head.

Ray Harryhausen, producer and a special effects creator most famous for his brand of stop-motion model animation.
Ray Harryhausen Official Websight


  1. I didn't even realize you had wrote this post about Titans until I panned down the page Dawn. Excellent post. I can't wait to see it tomorrow night. It's been awhile since I seen it, but I loved it while I was growing up. And Paul, you're right, CGI is got out of hand. Give me stop motion as well.

  2. Monty, Thank you. CGI did look a little weird, but it was 1981. Special effects, probably could not get away with doing that in the movies now days :)


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