Episode 177: Clash of the Titans (1981)

We’re still here in “That Sure Was 1981”, and what were all the kids into in the early 1980’s? Mullets? Lycra? Rubix Cubes? Well, sadly, yes, but we really hip people know that what the youngsters went gaga over was ancient Greek mythology! Woo! Remember those epic street battles over Hesiod vs Homer? All those Saturday morning cartoons about the Peloponnesian War! Sophocles ‘n Pals! The Aristophanes Smile Time Joy Hour Variety Show! Ah, memories . . . I wish mine still worked.  In the wake of the success of “Star Wars,” it was of course a natural progression to do a movie about . . . the myth of Perseus.  And people love special effects, right? So let’s get Ray Harryhausen, that master of special effects . . . of the 1950’s and 60’s.  “Star Wars” had Alec Guinness.   Hah, only ONE great British Shakespearean actor? “Clash” got a whole bunch of them! Laurence Olivier! Maggie Smith! Claire Bloom! Eat that, George Lucas! Sure, all of their combined screen time is going to be less than Guiness’ but still! This can’t lose! Give a listen and find out! {spoiler: maybe it wasn’t such a sure thing . . . }

Poll question:  Is there a type or genre of movie that you feel has just been overdone? One that makes you go “Oh, geez, not ANOTHER [fill in the blank] type of movie!” If so, what is it?

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2 thoughts on “Episode 177: Clash of the Titans (1981)”

  1. I really like this movie for a reason Mike gave on the show. If it were released in the 60s it would have been innovative and another Harryhausen classic which is what I was looking for when this came out. I have shown it to all sorts of people for the first time and they all pretty much like it’s style and old fashioned effects. It’s by no mean a good movie but it’s a fun watch for me. You didn’t mention the best think in the film – Harry Hamlin’s mini toga that somehow manages to be where it needs to be to avoid giving the film an X rating!

    I don’t like western’s as a rule and think there isn’t much left to mine in that genre but my love of effects extravaganzas is being pushed to the limit lately. You can have great effects on a budget now, time to use them in service of innovative stories. Not sure that is really a genre… combined with the turning everything into an depressing edgy remake and I just lose my mind!

    1. I think this movie was just 20 years too late. What it was competing with just overshadowed it, made it look old fashioned and nearly nailed the coffin lid down on stop motion. And we’d just seen some in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Hamlin’s toga was indeed VERY slight. Interestingly, he was less dressed than the women in the movie, which is usually not how that goes.

      I totally agree about westerns. Besides the obvious racial issues with them, the whole cowboy image is so toxic these days. Bucking the system is being done just to buck the system without even knowing why.

      Thanks, Vince!

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