Hankered for an original

CLASH OF THE TITANS 1981 DIRECTED BY DESMOND DAVIS

The original Clash of the Titans. I wanted to see it again. What did I find?

It goes beyond saying that I found something from that ancient world of Greece. Something mythological.

I saw Zeus—who you got to say is the most well-known of the Greek pantheon of so-called gods, the head of the pantheon of gods on Mount Olympus.

British stalwarts Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith as gods bring a certain staginess that is unintentionally amusing. A bit of a farce, as they say.

Clare Bloom and others (yes, others to those accustomed to hearing about Olivier over again) play lesser gods and goddesses in their midst, who look sensibly on the decrees of their higher ranked deities.

I saw golden boy Harry Hamlin as Zeus’s son, Perseus, but Hamlin merely does what is required of him as the Greek hero with a little prodding and flashing of a sword. Nothing much else.

Zeus bestows to his very human son armoury and weapons worthy of a knight about to go into battle and tells Perseus in a vision that the gifts he gives are to help him on a journey of unfolding destiny.

What follows is saving Andromeda (Judi Bowker) from various opposing forces, such as the sea beast the Kraken, and from a vengeful, spurned lover, the latter a little too mature plot point for a PG. And on that matter, earlier on, there is a moment of nudity at the beginning of the film.

Writer Beverly Cross layers in myth heavily apparently with producers Charles H. Sheener and Ray Harryhausen working with her in the background. It requires you to pay attention to the plot which is too full explaining the mission of Perseus.

For a story about humanism and spiritedness, the film suffers from a tone of dispiritedness, and Greek glory looks, well, dullish, from a Greek idea in which I have no personal investment, so one would have to give these unintended lapses a thumbs up.

Though this 1981 original of Clash of the Titans is less a myth and more a small-medium sized blockbuster.

This original is iconic in comparison to the 2010 remake, but the action is punctuated by antique looking special effects giving the film a sort of collectable look. At least the mythological tones are amusing, and I loved Medusa’s lair where Perseus ventures in and must avoid getting frozen in stone.

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