Whether it is a film you have discovered due to a love of Ray Harryhausen, or you have made a place for it at home every Christmas time, or you came about it via the much-maligned 2010 remake with Sam Worthington, Clash of The Titans (1981) is one of the most celebrated fantasy films of all time. And, of course, like all classic films, it deserves the Blu-ray treatment, but does it stand up?
Clash of the Titans sees Perseus (Harry Hamlin) living an impoverished life when he finds his destiny amongst the Gods, led by his father Zeus (Laurence Olivier); he is to marry Princess Andromeda, the heir to the city of Joppa, who is always promised to the villain Calibos (made hideous by Zeus due to him killing all of the flying horses except Pegasus). And so the quest begins, challenged by witches, gorgons and the Kraken (to name but a few classic Harryhausen creations!) and aided by Pegasus, gentle poet Ammon (Burgess Meredith) and the mechanical owl Bubo, we follow Perseus to his final confrontation with Calibos and the fulfilment of his true destiny.
Clash of the Titans is and always will be a thoroughly entertaining film and has been cleaned up well for the Blu-Ray edition. It is a time capsule for a generation of actors such as Laurence Olivier, Ursula Andress, Burgess Meredith, Pat Roach, Claire Bloom and Maggie Smith and illustrates a pivotal time in filmmaking (films such as Star Wars, Tron and Alien had broken new ground in the way films were made; Clash of the Titans was the last hurrah for old-school film-making and was Ray Harryhausen’s final film prior to retirement). Of course, expectations and tastes in films have changed and whilst some of the plot of Clash of the Titans is purely a vehicle for Harryhausen’s wonderful stop-motion creations, it shows the lack of heart that a lot of the big summer blockbusters of today have.
Accompanying this Blu-Ray release are a gallery of the Monsters included in the film and a conversation with Ray Harryhausen himself. Overall, a superb addition to any Blu-Ray collection and a film which deserves to be remembered.
CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981) / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: DESMOND DAVIS / SCREENPLAY: BEVERLEY CROSS / STARRING: LAURENCE OLIVIER, HARRY HAMLIN, CLAIRE BLOOM, MAGGIE SMITH, URSULA ANDRESS, JUDI BOWKER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (HMV EXCLUSIVE)