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Date Posted: Monday, June 29, 04:47:16am
In reply to:
Mr. Harryhausen died in 2013, at age 92.
's message, "ARCHIVE: June 29, 1920 ~It was a century ago today, RAY HARRYHAUSEN, whose pioneering talents in stop-motion claymation in horror/fantasy films, earning icon status with films like "Mighty Joe Young", "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", and "Jason and the Argonauts", influencing scored of future fantasy filmmakers like Peter Jackson, Tim Burton, and Guillermo del Toro, born 100 years ago! ..." on Monday, June 29, 04:40:32am
RAY HARRYHAUSEN 100TH BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE - June 29 ...
Ray Harryhausen, who would have been 100 on June 29, was one of the great animation artists and visual-effects specialists of the 20th century.
He created the influential stop-model animation technique known as "Dynamation," and had film credits as writer, producer, director, actor and cinematographer.
Harryhausen (1920-2013) was born in Los Angeles, CA, and became fascinated with stop-motion animation after seeing King Kong (1933) at age 13. His early experience in movies came from working on George Pal's "Puppetoon" shorts and in training films during Harryhausen's service with the U.S. Army during World War II. His breakthrough came at Warner Bros. when he did special effects for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), in which he used split-screen techniques to place dinosaurs and other creatures into realistic backgrounds. His work on this film made it one of the most influential sci-fi movies of its period.
Harryhausen then teamed with producer Charles H. Schneer at Columbia Pictures to create a series of classics in the fields of fantasy and stop-motion animation. Their most popular film, Jason and the Argonauts (1963), featured a painstaking sequence involving a skeleton sword fight that became a classic. In addition to the films in our tribute, other highlights from Harryhausen's career include One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). In 1992, he was presented with an honorary Oscar, the Gordon E. Sawyer Academy Award given to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."
Below are the Harryhausen films in TCM's birthday salute.
Mighty Joe Young (1949) is another tale of a giant gorilla from the creators of the 1933 King Kong - producer/directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, screenwriter Ruth Rose, and star Robert Armstrong. In this one, Armstrong is an entrepreneur who brings the 12-foot Joe from Africa to Hollywood to appear as a nightclub attraction, and Terry Moore is the girl the gorilla loves. Willis H. O'Brien, famous for his work on King Kong, was given credit for the Oscar-winning special effects, but later reports had it that Harryhausen was responsible for most of the stop-motion animation.
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) tells of an attack by aliens on Washington, D.C., giving Harryhausen a chance to display some of his most entertaining stop-motion effects of the 1950s in animating the flying saucers and their destruction of Washington landmarks. Fred F. Sears directed, and Hugh Marlowe stars as the scientist trying to stop the saucer attack.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Harryhausen's first split-screen movie shot entirely in color, features his mythological beasts alongside human actors. Kerwin Mathews as Sinbad must travel to a monster-filled island to rescue his princess bride (Kathryn Grant), who has been shrunken by an evil magician (Torin Thatcher). Nathan Juran directed, and Bernard Herrmann created the fantastic score.
Mysterious Island (1961) is loosely based on the Jules Verne novel, a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Set during the U.S. Civil War, the story concerns Union Army prisoners of war who escape via hot-air balloon to an island filled with enormous animals. Harryhausen uses his imaginative stop-motion techniques to create such creatures as a giant crab, a Phorusrhacos (prehistoric "terror bird"), a hive of bees and a huge multi-tentacled squid. Cy Endfield directs a cast that includes Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood and Herbert Lom; the score is once again by Bernard Herrmann.
Clash of the Titans (1981) was the final feature film for which Harryhausen created special effects, though he later worked on other smaller projects. This fantasy-adventure, inspired by Greek mythology, tells of the challenges of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), the mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier). The amazing cast also includes Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, Claire Bloom, Ursula Andress and Flora Robson. Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures include Medusa, Pegasus, the sea monster Kraken and the mechanical owl Bubo. Harryhausen coproduced, Desmond Davis directed and Laurence Rosenthal provided the score.
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