Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo of the Day

Jason (Todd Armstrong) and his Argonaut crew await a response from the bust of Hera in JASON & THE ARGONAUTS (1963)

Remarkably, the film wasn't a financial success when released in 1963. Too many filmgoers apparently thought this was another dubbed Italian mini-epic (I guess a lot of people hated them by then which makes me sad). Ray Harryhausen didn't care much for the Italian PEPLUM genre and wanted to distance his films from them but this one was a virtual Italian production, with location filming all over Italy and scenes reminiscent of those from HERCULES (1958) and THE GIANTS OF THESSALY (1960). The financial failure of JASON probably stung Ray more than anything else and made him hate the Italian PEP genre even more. He didn't do many films after that and didn't make another Sword & Sandal film in a decade, with GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD in 1973. By then there were no more Italian PEPLUM films being made so it was safe for him to venture back in the same genre as JASON & THE ARGONAUTS, which eventually became a hit with TV viewers.

The buff fellow on the left of Todd, in the white loincloth, is Doug Robinson, brother of PEPLUM star Joe Robinson, of the THOR/TAUR films. I'll have more about Doug and Joe in a future post.


S.R.Orsulak said...

I thought that this movie was a big success, because when I saw it in 1963 our local theater showed the movie for a whole week which back in those days was a no-no since most movies ran for at most for 3 or 4 days. Those that ran longer where usually reserved for big time movies. I will say this that it played in our very large theater before large crowds each and every showing. I have a question to ask you: Is there anyway to find out how much the average PEP Film cost?

PEPLUM cinema said...

According to IMDB, JASON cost around $1 million. It seems they were planning to do a sequel but because the film wasn't the success they expected, no follow up was made. In fact, Ray did few films in the 60s. Box office mojo and IMDB are web sites were bo results are available. Because JASON is an old film they don't have much info on it.