• Martyn Wakefield

CLASH OF THE TITANS [1981] (REVIEW)

Dir. Desmond Davies

Reviewer. Dan Cook

A defining childhood classic for many and an influence on filmmakers to this day, CLASH OF THE TITANS is an exemplary fantasy adventure with some of the finest work from special effects giant Ray Harryhausen. Directed by Desmond Davies and featuring an all star cast, the film takes various elements from Greek mythology to tell the epic tale of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), the Demi-God son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier) who embarks on a deadly quest to save his beautiful bride Andromeda (Judi Bowker) from the wrath of the vengeful Goddess Thetis (Maggie Smith).


The sizeable cast, which also includes British and American legends such as Ursula Andress, Burgess Meredith and Claire Bloom all do fine work in their respective roles, be it divine or mortal. The score too is wonderful, with Laurence Rosenthal’s thunderous music underlying many of the movies most spectacular set pieces. However, as was also the case with another and, in my opinion, superior Greek saga JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963), it’s the sumptuous production design and the exemplary stop-motion animation from Ray Harryhausen that really makes the movie something special.


As is always the case with Harryhausen, his unparalleled skill is tremendous here, with his trademark attention to detail magically breathing life into some of the most iconic creatures in fantasy cinema including the terrifying Gorgon Medusa, the towering Kraken, the majestic Pegasus and the adorable mechanical owl Bubo whose clumsy antics almost steal the show from under Perseus’ non-winged sandals. Harryhausen may have retired from filmmaking soon after the completion of the film but for many, CLASH OF THE TITANS remains his crowning achievement. A thrilling and hugely entertaining spectacle perfect for those wanting to escape reality to a world of heroes, monsters and endless imaginations.



5 views0 comments