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Clash of the Titans (1981)

Updated on July 11, 2013

A Film Worthy Of The Gods!

"By order of the gods, I crescent thine film worthy of it's time." The original "Clash of the Titans" may not have the modern CGI of it's remake, but it enriching story entrenched in Greek mythology more than makes up for it. However, like it's modern remake, the special effects are very well done, as each mythical creature is very well designed and flow seamlessly with the live action characters. Which is even more remarkable considering the special effects were all done using claymation to make up the mythological creatures like the Kraken, Calibos, Pegasus, and many others. Although the film is a bit dated by today's standards, "Clash of the Titans" is truly a unique and remarkable story for it's genre.

The story is essentially about a young man Perseus (Harry Hamlin), who happens to be the favored son of Zeus, ruler of all gods in Olympus. Perseus along with his mother, Danae (Vida Taylor), were cast out to sea by his grandfather, Acrisius (Donald Houston), over a prophecy that his grandson would grow up someday to kill him. Therefore, Perseus' mother was locked up in a tower where no mortal man could reach her. Unluckily for Acrisius, he never factored in the presence of a god getting to her, as she bears Zeus' child. Needless to say, Acrisius banishes and forces his daughter into a coffin to float out to sea, in fear of the prophecy fulfilling itself. This of course angers Zeus as he asks Poseidon (Jack Gwillim), god of the sea, to make sure the sea floated the coffin to Seriphos, where Perseus grows up. Unfortunately, the rest of the kingdom of Argos was destroyed for Acrisius cowardly act.

Years later, Perseus grows up peacefully blessed by the gods themselves without a care in the world. Unfortunately for him, the goddess Thetis (Maggie Smith) grows bitter towards him and jealous, as she's forced to watch Zeus punish her own son, Calibos (Neil McCarthy). For you see, Calibos was given every single advantage by the gods, but he has mocked them by killing many of Zeus' mythological creatures he left upon the Earth, like the Pegasus (Winged Horse). Thus, forcing Zeus' hands as he deforms Calibos into a demonic creature, and ruining his engagement with the lovely princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker). Therefore, in light of Zeus' cruel punishment, Thetis transports Perseus into the city of Japa one night, to spite Zeus for his vicious act against her son. This angers Zeus again but rather than arrange to transport him back, he orders to have the gods bless him with mythological weaponry for protection in this strange land. Such weapons like a sword that could cut through anything, a helmet that grants invisibility, and a shield that is said to be destined to save his life someday.

As luck would have it, Perseus meets and falls in love with the princess, but Thetis and Calibos refuse to allow anyone else to have her. Calibos puts an evil spell on the princess, that would not allow any other man to marry her. However, when Perseus breaks the spell, Thetis takes matters into her own hands and threatens the people of Japa by telling them that they must sacrifice the princess, or suffer the vicious wrath of the last titan known only as the Kraken. Needless to say, Perseus sets out on a journey with a band of warriors along with the princess herself to find a way to destroy the Kraken and restore peace in Japa. Facing many obstacles along the way and many mythological creatures like Medusa and giant scorpions. All in the pursuit of rescuing his beloved princess Andromeda.

Now before I go any further, I do think the special effects are definitely well done. Definitely way ahead of it's time, as the claymation mythological creatures flowed seamlessly with the actors.  Making it that much more amazing was that the use of CGI wasn't used at all.  Sure, there were certain scenes where one could obviously tell the claymation Calibos wasn't the actor Neil McCarthy, but it was certainly advanced for the time. 

As for the story, I will admit it was a tad cliched and some of the acting from Harry Hamlin and Judi Bowker seemed a bit dry for my taste.  However, it did have it's own unique charm to it.  Telling a story of magic and adventure while entrenched in mythological lore.  Plus, I loved how Laurence Olivier and the rest of the actors managed to convey the gods of Olympus with such larger than life personalities, yet make them seem grounded in their own petty needs and jealousies. 

Even legendary actor, Burgess Meredith (Ammon), does a wonderful job in this movie playing as Perseus' unofficial adviser if you will.  That helps guide Perseus in his long and tiring quest to save the city of Japa and his beloved. 

Overall, the original "Clash of the Titans" is definitely a must see for any true fantasy epic fan out there.  As it has all the qualities that make a great movie, you have romance, action, drama, violence, great special effects, and solid performance from most of the cast.  What more could you ask for?  It's easy to see why "Clash of the Titans (1981)" continues to reign as a fantasy masterpiece for the ages.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      7 years ago

      Thanks. I'm glad you liked the hub, and I hope you enjoy the film whenever you get a chance to see it. :)

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 

      7 years ago from North America

      this is pretty cool I want to watch this movie now!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      I'm doing great Beth. Thanks. Just got done celebrating mother's day with my mother this weekend while getting ready for my new job. How about you, Beth? Did you have a nice mother's day?

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Rains gone...but has been replaced by SNOW!! So much for the Tulip Festival this weekend. Are you okay? xoxo

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Aww thanks Beth. That means a lot to me coming from you, as I appreciate your support. Anyway, sorry to hear your getting caught in the rain up there in canada. Must be extremely cold with the combination of the rain and the typical cold weather up there. lol. you need something or....someone to warm you up? ;) lol j/k

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      That's great about your finals. I'm sure that the job will work out, and if you like, you can email. I might not get back to you immediately, but I will (as you know). Off and floating away in our rain. :( xoxo

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      i did great on finals, as i passed everything. thanks for asking beth. well it's a commissioned suits job, that I'm not sure if it'll work out or not, but i hope it does. however, if you like, I'll e-mail you all the details about it if you like. anyway, thanks so much for supporting me. :)

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I think I am! How'd you do on your finals? A job offer?!? That's fantastic! Tell me all about it! xox

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Nah, your not going crazy. Besides, I know you've been a bit under the weather lately, so it's okay. I'm doing okay I guess. Just took my finals this week and passed them, so now I just have to worry about this new job I was offered. Not sure how well I'll do, as I'm a bit nervous about it. Anyway, I really miss you too Beth. It's always a pleasure having you here. ;) xoxoxo

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      My bad. Didn't see it on your list. Think I'm going crazy! I'll check it out later. How are you? Missing you. xoxo

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Actually I already wrote a review on the new version way back. if you want, your more than welcome to check it out. here's the link for it.

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Clash-Of-The-Ti...

      anyway, thanks again for stopping by as it's always a pleasure seeing you. :)

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Ha ha -- you and Dohn should link your hubs together as he wrote about Ray Harryhausen who is the father of stop watch animation. He also produced this movie. This is still one of my favorite classics. The new 3D version is good but I'll keep mum on it until you write your review. :D

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Well I hope you like the remake when you see it. you should try catching the regular 2-d version, as the 3-d really isn't that great on the remake. trust me, you'll thank me for it when you save yourself the extra five bucks to buy popcorn instead. lol. however, i do appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. :)

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 

      8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      I was excited to hear this film has been re-made but the old film from the 80s is still a fave of mine, anyway, regardless if it was considered not that good by critics. Thx for doing a hub on this movie and for providing the video, too. I am still going to watch the new movie. I will probably like it, too - probably a detail of the subject matter, no doubt. Mythology, Titans, fantasy - good stuff in my books. It doesnt really bother me if special effects arent that awesome. The lair of Medusa scene is pretty cool, btw - glad you found that particular clip!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Yeah, if i were you, i'd wait for the dvd to come out, as this new one isn't worth seeing in theaters. trust me. anyway, thanks for stopping by bp. :)

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 

      8 years ago from australia

      Believe it or not I just saw this one last week, some parts made me laugh with the funny monsters. I heard the new one out at the cinemas isn't that good. A shame as I was thinking of going to see it. :)

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Your welcome ann. anytime. i hope that one scene doesn't discourage you from seeing the original though, as it's truly a great epic fantasy film to watch.

      I'm sure you have a point there about someone has to be watching most of these rip off and/or remake films. lol. otherwise they wouldn't keep making them. lol.

      I hope you have a great weekend as well. i'm sorry to hear about what happened when you watched "Zombieland." Although I did like that movie, I think it only appeals to people that like the whole zombie mythology. lol

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for the clarification Steven!!! The other day I thought I would rent a DVD from Redbox to spend some time with my brother. I got Zombieland and lasted less than five minutes. I am sure it was great but vomiting/gagging throughout a film is not my definition of entertainment!

      You are right. If they don't out and out make a remake of a film they dissect ten others towards a compilation of a new 21st century film! Oh well it must work since everyone always is watching something!

      Thanks again for telling me it's not that bad! Hope you have a great weekend, Steven!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Nah, it's just that one scene with Medusa that might bother people with weak constitutions, as the rest of the film isn't that graphic. I promise. lol. Anyway, thanks for stopping by again and commenting. It's always a pleasure having you. Yeah, you are right about that. Older movies usually are better than the current ones out now because it seems as writers are starting to run out of ideas, they're just ripping off older movies that have come out before. However, if you do decide to watch "Clash of the Titans (1981)" original version, then I think you'll like it. It's more of a fantasy based adventure love story if anything else. Unlike it's remake where it's a straight up action special effects flick. lol.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 

      8 years ago from Virginia

      Hi Steven! I have recently begun to watch some older and classic movies. This sounds great but I guess I am the weaker constitution you advised should not watch! Thanks for sharing with us, however.....the old movies, way older than this one, were really something weren't they!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      thanks prasetio30. i appreciate you stopping by, and sharing your thoughts with us. :)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I never know about this movie before. And that time I was two years old. But I think this is great movie. Thanks for showing me thriller of "Clash of the Titans". good work.

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