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->''"Some people say ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' or ''Film/CitizenKane''... I say ''Jason and the Argonauts'' is the greatest film ever made!"''
--> -- '''Creator/TomHanks''', giving Creator/RayHarryhausen a special Academy Award

''Jason and the Argonauts'' is a well known SwordAndSandal film produced by Creator/RayHarryhausen and loosely based off a [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek myth]]. It is famous for its skeleton fight scene, one of the best stop motion sequences in history. It is looked on fondly by many nostalgics who remember loving it as a child, and has actually held up reasonably well over time.

There was another movie made in 2000 produced by Hallmark with the same title that followed the original myth more closely, its ending aside. Many fans of the Harryhausen movie often mistake the Hallmark version for a remake of it despite them both being based on the same myth and having virtually nothing in common apart from the titles.

The stories of both films revolve around the hero Jason, rightful heir to the throne of Iolcus (Thessaly, in the 60s film), whose throne was usurped from his father by EvilUncle Pelias. Pelias offers to give Jason the throne if he sails to the end of the world to claim the Golden Fleece, something which many have tried but failed. Jason gathers a crew and sets sail aboard the ship ''Argo''. Together, the Argonauts encounter all sorts of adventures along the way. Jason's love interest in the both films is Medea, a temple dancer in the 60s film and a sorceress in the Hallmark version, and the gods Zeus and Hera play roles in the story as well.

The most famous contemporary source for the original myth is Apollonius of Rhodes' ''Argonautica''.

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!!The Harryhausen film provides examples of:

* TheAdventureContinues: Zeus stops Hera from "clearing the board" because he's not done with Jason yet.
* AnimateDead (In both senses of the word!): Aeetes summons the skeletons of warriors killed by the Hydra to stop the Argonauts.
* AttackItsWeakpoint: The Talos fight. An example of ShownTheirWork since this is how Talos was defeated in the myth.
* ChekhovsGun: In both films, Jason receives an AmuletOfDependency, which is not from the myth. In the 1963 film, it is a gift used to [[spoiler: call for Triton's aid in escaping the Clashing Rocks.]]
* CreatorInJoke: The skeletons' shields depict creatures from Harryhausen's previous movies.
* ADeathInTheLimelight: Euphemus looks like he's going to get an Awesome Moment - only to drown trying to catch Acastus.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Between Hercules and Hylas in the competition to be an Argonaut. Hylas is able to cast a discus farther by skipping it over the water, to Hercules' great amusement, and they become best buds. [[spoiler:Hercules even leaves the quest when Hylas dies.]]
* DemBones: The skeleton fight scene. The skeletons are {{Perpetual Motion Monster}}s and Jason actually ''can't'' defeat them by fighting--they keep getting up and all they need is one slip in the heroes' guard to kill. So Jason jumps off the cliff instead.
* DemotedToExtra: In the Harryhausen film only Hercules, Hylas, Argus and Acastus receive any development whatsoever and other Argonauts are only mentioned by name.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Poor Phineas. He's condemned to have harpies attack and steal his food for the rest of his life. It's left him quite bitter at the gods.
--> "Zeus, I was a sinner! But I didn't sin ''every day...''"
* DivineChessboard: Zeus and Hera use one to influence and observe Jason's journey.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Inverted. Medea is a princess in the original myth but here is just a priestess to Hecate. She gets to be a princess again in the Hallmark film.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Clashing Rocks. When Jason asks what they are, Phineas says "they speak for themselves, don't they?"
* FinalBattle: Jason and three RedShirt Argonauts versus a horde of reanimated skeletons. And it's epic.
* ForbiddenFruit:
** Hera warns the Argonauts not to take anything but supplies from the Isle of Bronze. Then Hercules and Hylas find a gods' jewelry box, with a brooch pin that Hercules fancies as a javelin. You can guess how well this ends.
** A literal example is the banquet on Phineus's island. Every day it's loaded with delicious food. Attempting to eat any of it summons the harpies.
* FromACertainPointOfView: When Jason meets Pelias (not knowing who it is), he says he'll need the help of this fine army commander to take back his throne. The reply he gets is "When your father defended his throne from Pelias, no man fought harder than I." Which is true.
* GodsHandsAreTied: In this version, Zeus decrees that Hera is only allowed to help Jason five times, since that was the number of times his elder sister Briseis called upon her by name to protect him. This is a handy explanation for why Hera, as Queen of the Gods, can't just come in and magically solve every problem for our heroes, which works fine in a myth but would be pretty anti-climactic in a film. (Of course, she still finds ways around it...)
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Hercules. Spelled out by Hera when he leaves the quest to look for Hylas.
* TheHighQueen: Hera is this for the Gods. While she's sometimes this in the myths too, this is one of the rare stories where she's portrayed as this - rather than the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen other kind of queen]].
* HydraProblem: Averted. Despite having a Hydra, it remains with only 7 heads as Jason never tries to decapitate any of them in the first place.
* IslandOfMystery: The Isle of Bronze.
* IsleOfGiantHorrors: The Isle of Bronze is inhabited by giant bronze statues that would [[LivingStatue come to life]] if anyone trespasses in the tombs they were guarding. Hercules inadvertently ends up awakening the LivingStatue of Talos [[NiceJobBreakingItHero when he steals from the crypt he was guarding]], who nearly kills the Argonauts. Though the Argonauts manage to defeat Talos, [[LaserGuidedKarma Hercules' best friend Hylas was killed during the battle]].
* ItsAllMyFault: Hercules blames himself when [[spoiler:Hylas disappears on the Isle of Bronze and leaves the quest to find him, or rather, to find his body because he was crushed by Talos]].
* LargeHam: King Aeëtes romps home with the prize. "DESTROY THEM! KILL! KILL, KILL, KILL THEM ALL!!!"
* LeftHanging: The movie ends with the heroes escaping from the skeletons but we never see a resolution between Jason and Pelias. Rather than continuing Jason's story, Harryhausen did Sinbad sequels instead. (Possibly because Jason and Medea have the most DownerEnding possible.)
* LightningBruiser: Hercules is suggested to be this. Jason doesn't even bother auditioning him the way he does everyone else, because he knows there is ''nothing'' Hercules couldn't do better than anyone else.
* MightyGlacier: Talos is invincibly big, strong, and tough, but doesn't move very fast. It doesn't make him ''any'' less dangerous.
* TheMole: Acastus, sent by Pelias to kill Jason when he looks like getting the Golden Fleece. Jason twigs to his purpose just before they reach Colchis, but Acastus escapes and warns Aeetes about the visitors. (And then tries to steal the Fleece for himself, which gets him killed by the Hydra.)
* NayTheist: Jason doesn't believe in the gods, so Hermes brings him to Mount Olympus. Jason still refuses Zeus's help (but accepts Hera's, since she's already started), though Zeus is pleased by this. He's not so pleased later when Jason declares "screw gods!" at the Clashing Rocks.
* NeverMyFault: Pelias tries to blame Zeus for the slaying of Briseis in Hera's temple, as it was Zeus who decreed that Pelias would take Thessaly's throne but be killed by the king's children. Hera says that he did it all his own self.
* NoMisterBondIExpectYouToDine: King Aeetes treats Jason and his followers to a lavish banquet despite knowing full well that he intends to steal the Golden Fleece, likely so as to lull them into a false sense of security and make them easier to imprison.
* OhCrap: When Hercules [[spoiler: realizes he has awaken [[LivingStatue Talos]].]]
* TheQueensLatin: More like The Queen's Ancient Greek, but the gods speak rather posh.
* TheQuest: Get the Golden Fleece and overthrow Pelias.
* RedShirtArmy: Jason apparently picked the best athletes etc in Greece, yet hardly any of them actually do anything interesting apart from the two who get killed by the skeletons at the end. Oh, and the guy who jumped in after Acastus.
* RelatedInTheAdaptation: Inverted. Medea was Aeetes's daughter in the myth, but is just a priestess to Hecate here.
* RightfulKingReturns: This is what Jason would ''like'' to do, but he wants to have something more inspiring for his people than just stomping up to the palace and killing Pelias. Hence, the quest.
* RuleOfCool: The fight between the hero and a skeleton went down so well in Harryhausen's previous ''Sinbad'' movie that Harryhausen decided to take it UpToEleven and made the hero fight ''seven'' skeletons.
* SameLanguageDub: The two lead actors, Todd Armstrong (Jason) and Nancy Kovack (Medea), both ''American'' actors, were dubbed by British actors, Tim Turner and Eva Haddon respectively.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: Jason gets fed up with the gods shortly after helping Phineas escape his divinely-decreed punishment and calls for the end of the gods when it looks like the ''Argo'' will be destroyed in the Clashing Rocks. This impresses Hera and she moves Triton to intercede.
* StockFootage: Pelias conquering Aristo's kingdom at the start reuses footage from the film ''Helen of Troy''.
* StylisticSuck: Harryhausen deliberately animated Talos to move stiff and jerky as opposed to his smoother puppetry, in order to capture how a giant metal creature would really move.
* TakeAThirdOption: Jason's solution to the skeletons. He can't kill them, and certainly doesn't want them to kill him, so he [[spoiler:jumps off a cliff into the sea. They mindlessly follow and sink straight to the bottom.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Apart from Zeus saying that Hera is allowed to help Jason's baby sister Philomena, no mention is made of her after she's left on Hera's statue. What's more is that Jason never asks about his sister or even meets her in Iolcus.

!!The Hallmark film provides examples of:

* AdaptationOriginConnection: Atalanta here is Jason's childhood friend. Likewise there's a psychic link established between Jason and Medea long before he reaches Colchis.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: A pretty unique inversion. In mythology, Atalanta was an AmazonianBeauty with beautiful blonde hair that had suitors lining up for her. Here she is portrayed as a rather plain tomboy.
* AdaptedOut: Zetes had a twin brother called Calais. Presumably he was left out since they already had Castor and Pollux.
* AllAmazonsWantHercules: Atalanta doesn't really show much interest in the thief that is attracted to her, having eyes for the strong Jason. The trope isn't played literally since she shows no interest in Hercules himself.
* AmazonBrigade: The women on the Isle of Lemnos. However it's ultimately subverted. While they wear armour and carry weapons, it's implied that they're not skilled warriors. Rather than just [[spoiler: capturing Jason and his crew]], they have to resort to [[spoiler: drugging and trickery]]. One woman simply falls off her horse when trying to chase after them. Aside from one or two getting hit with arrows, the women of Lemnos pose no threat once the Argonauts are aware of their plans.
* BadassGrandpa: Downplayed. But Argos is the veteran sailor in the crew and does help fight in the final battle.
* BeardOfSorrow: Mopsus has grown one since Pelias took over.
* BettyAndVeronica: Atalanta is the Betty to Jason - childhood friend and already very close to him. Medea is the Veronica - exotic HotWitch. The set-up is played with as Jason never saw Atalanta as anything other than a friend - and Medea never knows about Atalanta's feelings for him.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Echion in the Hallmark film lasted long enough to suggest they kill Acastus for stowing away before he was drowned by Poseidon. Averted with Orpheus who survives.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: The Thief already proves useful for snatching the Fleece. He also proves useful [[spoiler: by revealing to have stolen Jason's amulet when he dropped it in Lemnos]].
* ChekhovsGun: In the Hallmark film, Jason's AmuletOfDependency it is a memento from his childhood and turns out to [[spoiler: be the key that opens a secret tunnel to the palace, allowing the Argonauts to sneak in and surprise Pelias.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: "The legs are springs, the arms wings."
* CompositeCharacter: The women of Lemnos are sort of combined with the Sirens. The Argonauts are portrayed as being hypnotised by them, with some kind of magic involved. Likewise another element from the Siren part of the adventure - Orpheus using his harp - happens instead when trying to get the Fleece. Here he uses it to lull the dragon guarding it to sleep.
* DeathByAdaptation: Hercules, after pulling a YouShallNotPass HeroicSacrifice. As Jason cradles his body, [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence it disappears and he becomes a constellation.]]
* DirtyOldMan: Argos, watching the women of Lemnos bathe.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Jason's mother]] hearing false news that he died.
* DullSurprise: Jason London and Jolene Blalock in the Hallmark film.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Pelias's hair gets greyer the further along the story moves in the Hallmark film. Also Mopsus is shown with long shaggy hair and beard when Jason meets him. When the ship sets sail he has cut his hair short and shaved his beard.
* FanDisservice: In the 60s film did we really have to see all the topless old men? And Hercules is definitely not a catch.
* FanService: The Isle of Lemnos in the Hallmark film. Also where Medea rubs magic oil onto Jason to protect him from the fiery breath of a bull.
* FiveManBand: There are loads of Argonauts but the main group is as follows:
** TheHero: Jason
** TheLancer: Mopsus for being Jason's biggest supporter, and Atalanta for being the childhood friend.
** TheBigGuy: Hercules, as far as his SuperStrength is concerned. Laertes for his agility.
** TheSmartGuy: Argos via his knowledge of sailing. Zetes for his heightened vision.
** TheHeart: Orpheus since his one contribution isn't combat-related.
** TheSixthRanger: Medea who joins on the return journey.
* GoodIsNotDumb: The majority of the situations the Argonauts get into are solved by Jason's quick thinking, like him creating a zipline for them to cross the gorge and tying a noose to the dragon guarding the Fleece.
* TheHighQueen:
** Hypsipyle, Queen of Lemnos. [[spoiler: At least to her own people anyway]].
** Hera is portrayed this way too. The film does play up her jealousy but it's mostly used to show that she and Zeus are both being idiots.
* HotWitch: Medea is a more obvious witch in this version and still Jason's love interest.
* IdenticalTwinIDTag: Pollux is bald, Castor has a beard and hair.
* ImprobableHairstyle: Pelias, Aetes, the Sage, we're looking at you.
* IncestSubtext: Between Medea and Aspyrtes as he seems especially jealous of Jason's attraction to her, and not just because it means losing the throne.
* IronicEcho: "My destiny is to rule"
* LadyLand: The Isle of Lemnos. [[spoiler: It turns out there used to be men but they were all killed, sacrificed to Artemis]].
* LadyOfBlackMagic: Medea's portrayal here.
* LargeHam: Zetes in the Hallmark film and Acastus in the Harryhausen one.
* LastGirlWins: Out of all the women Jason encounters in the film, Medea is the last and she is his love interest. Likewise Medea has grown up on Colchis - and Jason is also her Last Guy.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Jason drops this (unknowingly making it double as [[JustFriends this]]) on Atalanta. For an added sting, he says "you're as dear to me as a ''brother''".
* TheLostLenore: Orpheus's Eurydice - his love for her stops him from being seduced by the women of Lemnos.
* LoveableRogue: In the Hallmark film a thief joins the crew and ends up taking the Fleece off its tree and finding Jason's lost amulet.
* MaybeEverAfter: The thief and Atalanta get a lot of ShipTease moments and some scenes hint that Atalanta might reciprocate his feelings notably when he catches feathers for her arrows. The two of them are seen standing together at the end of the film.
* MeaningfulEcho: The Golden Fleece is referred to as "worth a kingdom". Towards the end of the movie Jason says the same thing about his amulet.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Medea reveals she can heal wounds when Acastus is shot with an arrow. She doesn't bother healing [[spoiler: her brother though]]
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: Played with as Jason considers Atalanta to be a sister (he actually says brother) and rejects her romantic advances but Atalanta does catch the eye of the thief who stows on board.
* OneOfTheBoys: Atalanta is the only woman on the ship, yet is treated as if she were one of the men (by everyone except the thief that is).
* PluckyComicRelief: Castor and Pollux from the myth get bumped up to this.
* PsychicLink: Between Jason and Medea in the Hallmark film. A convenient plot device to introduce Medea earlier in the film.
* RaceLift: Orpheus is commonly imagined as white in Greek mythology. Here he is played by Anglo-African actor Adrian Lester.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Unlike in the myth where the Argonauts are famous heroes or princes prior to the quest, Jason mostly recruits peasants not as much for skills but for pluck. Castor and Pollux are stoneworkers. [[Literature/TheOdyssey Odysseus's]] future dad Laertes is a cowherd who vaults over charging bulls for fun. [[spoiler:Later he vaults straight into the dragon's mouth.]]
* RapunzelHair: Medea's long black tresses.
* RedShirtArmy: Several Argonauts die in the course of the film, even [[spoiler: Hercules and old Argus himself]]. The body count snowballs as the film progress.
* RelatedInTheAdaptation: As noted below, Hercules is Hera's son. In the myths he's Zeus's son along with a mortal woman.
* SadlyMythtaken: In this version, Hercules is ''Hera's'' son. In the original myths he ''was'' named for her, but that was pretty much to curry favor. Plus it didn't work, since she made his life a misery.
* SandalPunk: A Greece where fantasy monsters and automatons are real.
* ShoutOut: May be coincidental, but Orpheus is black and there happens to be a 1959 multi-awarded Brazilian film called ''Black Orpheus''.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Castor and Pollux
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Atalanta is the tomboy huntress while Medea is the girly girl princess.
* TurtleIsland: How Poseidon appears in this version.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Atalanta towards Jason.

!!Mostly due to a common source, both of the films provide examples of:

* AncientGrome: Set in Greece yet he calls himself Hercules. However averted when Eros appears; he's normally confused with his more famous Roman counterpart Cupid.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Acastus gets a pretty rough deal in both adaptations. In the first he betrays the Argonauts to Aeetes and in the Hallmark film he steals the fleece and brings it to Pelias. He didn't betray them in the original myth and ended up becoming King in his father's place. He did end up banishing Medea from the kingdom, but then again she did cause his father's death...
* BigDamnHeroes
* BlessedWithSuck: Phineas is given the gift of making prophecies but has lost his eyesight. Derek Jacobi's version even has his eyes sewed shut.
* ClimbingTheCliffsOfInsanity: Climbing down cliffs.
* CostumePorn: For the royal characters, anyway.
* DeathByAdaptation: In both versions [[spoiler: Acastus is killed after betraying the group]]. In the myths he ruled for many years.
* EarnYourHappyEnding
* EveryoneChasingYou
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Acastus. Also King Aeetes when he finds out Jason wants the Fleece]]
* HarpingOnAboutHarpies: Both films feature the harpies stealing from Phineus's table - and the Argonauts having to defeat them. In the Harryhausen film they are far more ferocious, killing two Argonauts. They are killed when everyone makes the temple cave in on them.
* JerkassGods: Surprisingly averted in both cases - likely due to the original myth featuring one of Hera's positive portrayals. The Gods in the Harryhausen film seem friendly enough and Hera especially tries to stop Pelias from murdering a girl in her temple. She's quite willing to help Jason, though Zeus restricts the amount of times she may do so. In the Hallmark film, Zeus is a bit more Jerkass - but he and Hera are given an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther moment.
* {{MacGuffin}}: The Golden Fleece which doesn't actually do anything other than look pretty (though it heals Medea in the first version). The 2000 film says it grants someone their heart's desire but it's implied that this is mostly superstition.
* NoPronunciationGuide: A few names are pronounced differently in the two adaptations:
** Medea - meh-dee-ah in the former, meh-day-uh in the latter.
** Pelias - pe-lie-as in the former, pelly-us in the latter.
** Argus - ar-guss in the former, ar-gose in the latter.
** Phineus - fin-ee-us in the former, fin-ay-us in the latter.
* SceneryPorn
* TokenEvilTeammate: Acastus as the king's son.

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