Fantastic Classics Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

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Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Jason and the Argonauts
Greek mythology is done up brown by the special-effects expertise of Ray Harryhausen in Jason and the Argonauts. Jason (Todd Armstrong), rightful heir to the throne of Thessaly, is spared from death through the intervention of the goddess Hera (Honor Blackman). The other celestial inhabitants of Mount Olympus watch in amusement as Hera surreptitiously aids Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece. Obstacles to this goal include a giant come-to-life statue named Talos, the screeching harpies plaguing blind prophet Phineas (Patrick Troughton), a set of huge clashing rocks, the seven-headed hydra, and an army of skeletons (this bravura climactic sequence assured Harryhausen's place in the hearts of 13-year-old boys of all ages). Supporting characters include Nancy Kovack as a pre-infanticide Medea and Nigel Green as a pacifistic Hercules. Bernard Herrmann's surging musical score was icing on the cake for this greatest of all Ray Harryhausen creations. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mysterious Island
Filmed at least nine times over the last nine decades, Jules Verne's Mysterious Island received its most popular picturization in the hands of producer Charles Schneer, director Cy Endfield and special-effects maestro Ray Harryhausen. During the Civil War, several P.O.W.s led by Gary Merrill escape from a southern stockade in a huge observation balloon. Buffeted about by a violent storm, the balloon lands on an unchartered island somewhere near New Zealand. The fugitives soon discover that this is no ordinary desert isle, especially after being attacked by a giant-sized crab. Joined by a pair of shipwrecked British gentlewomen (Joan Greenwood and Beth Rogan), the castaways find evidence that the island has been previously inhabited-and that they're all being watched. Sure enough, it turns out that the island is the domain of Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom), skipper of the futuristic underwater vessel Nautilus. Having failed to end all wars by blasting battleships out of the sea, Nemo is now experimenting with new means of ending starvation in the world: hence the outsized crabs and birds that the castaways have confronted. Before Nemo can spread his goodwill elsewhere, he is destroyed by the island's volcano, while the others manage to escape in the Nautilus. As in 1957's 7th Voyage of Sinbad, the combination of Ray Harryhausen and musical composer Bernard Herrmann is unbeatable; otherwise, Mysterious Island tends to slow to a halt in-between its spectacular special-effects highlights. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
Whilst Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) is on his way to Baghdad, transporting the Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant), who is to become his bride and secure peace between her kingdom and his, the ship encounters the isle of Colossa. Sinbad and his men are attacked by a gigantic, bestial one-eyed Cyclops, and are saved only when the mysterious magician Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) appears and uses a magic lamp to protect Sinbad's men. But in the process of escaping harm, Sokurah loses the lamp to the Cyclops. He desperately wants to retrieve it and tries to persuade Sinbad to put about and return to Colossa -- but the captain won't jeopardize the safety of the princess or the success of his mission, and the Caliph of Baghdad (Alec Mango) feels the same way, even after Sokurah amazes the court by conjuring up a snake-woman. It is only when the princess is shrunk by an evil spell, the breaking of which requires the shell from the egg of the giant Roc -- which resides on Colossa -- that Sokurah can get his expedition mounted, with Sinbad in command. With a crew made up of a handful of his bravest men and some of the most desperate convicts in the Caliph's prison, he has to contend with potential mutiny at every turn, and the men are driven almost to madness before they even reach Colossa. Once there, they find terrors as great as the Cyclops and the treachery of the magician, but Parisa -- in her tiny state -- also discovers the beautiful world inside the lamp, and the lonely boy genie (Richard Eyer) who inhabits it. They strike the bargain that, when Sinbad's bravery is added to the equation, will bring their quest to an end. If, that is, they can all survive the dangers that Sokurah puts in their path. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
The second of special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen's three Sinbad epics, this film finds the titular hero played by John Philip Law, while the principal villain, Koura, is portrayed by future Dr. Who Tom Baker. The plot sends Sinbad and his crew on a quest for a valuable and magical golden tablet. Harryhausen's "Dynamation" highlights include a six-armed statue, a one-eyed centaur and a flying griffin. Caroline Munro also stars. Golden Voyage of Sinbad was followed by Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1979). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Famed stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen concocts a collection of fantastic creatures -- including a saber-tooth tiger, a chess-playing baboon, a giant walrus and three banshees -- for this follow-up to The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Patrick Wayne stars as Sinbad, who seeks the hand of Princess Farah (Jane Seymour) in marriage but cannot get her brother, Prince Kassim (Damian Thomas), to agree to the match because he has been turned into a baboon by his evil stepmother. In order to receive the blessing of Farah's brother, Sinbad must travel to a far away realm and find a wizard named Melanthius (Patrick Troughton), the only one who can break the evil spell placed upon Kassim. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Todd Armstrong
    Todd Armstrong - Jason
  • Nancy Kovack
    Nancy Kovack - Medea
  • Gary Raymond
    Gary Raymond - Acoustus
  • Laurence Naismith
    Laurence Naismith - Argus
  • Image coming soon
    Michael Gwynn - Hermes

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