Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ray Harryhausen, RIP

Ray Harryhausen's final film was 1981's Clash of the Titans. While not as highly regarded as Harryhausen's earlier films, especially his 1963 masterpiece Jason and the Argonauts, the Medusa set piece was arguably the high point of Harryhausen's storied career, and a fitting capstone.

The year before, George Lucas, who revolutionized movie special effects with Star Wars in 1977, paid the ultimate tribute to Harryhausen, using the master's stop-motion techniques for the thrilling Battle of Hoth sequence in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

From It Came from Beneath the Sea to The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (and its sequels) to The Valley of Gwangi, Harryhausen has thrilled generations of moviegovers and fueled the imaginations of generations of filmmakers.

Harryhausen died today in London. He was 92.

At the end of Clash of the Titans, Zeus, played by Laurence Olivier, delivers an epilogue that seems to serve equally as the epilogue of Harryhausen's career.

Like the stars, Harryhausen's inspiration will never fade. Never. It will burn 'til the end of time.

The epic skeleton fight from Jason and the Argonauts:

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