Clash of the Titans
Directed by Desmond Davis
Quick Synopsis… This epic mythological adventure stars Harry Hamlin as Perseus, son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier), who embarks on a series of perilous quests in the hopes of rescuing Princess Andromeda (Judi Bowker) and winning the keys to the kingdom of Joppa. With winged horse Pegasus as his steed, Perseus must answer vexing riddles, capture the head of Medusa and slay a ravenous sea monster. Burgess Meredith and Ursula Andress co-star in this classic tale.
- The sea looks angry. And this Greek dude looks constipated.
- He’s the king of Argos and he’s condemning his daughter and grandson to death by sealing them in what looks like a coffin that’s then pushed out to sea.
- It’s because Danae, his daughter, had an affair with Zeus and gave birth to Perseus.
- Apparently, getting knocked up by the king of the gods is a shameful act.
- All of this is being watched by a curious bird who then flies away.
- The bird turns out to be Zeus in disguise.
- When he gets back to Olympus, he’s not happy.
- He strikes the king dead and orders Poseidon to release the Kraken on Argos.
- Zeus calls Kraken the last of the Titans but… uh… the Kraken was not a Titan.
- In fact, none of the mythological Titans appear in this film at all. So why is it called Clash of the Titans?
- The Kraken looks like a giant, four-armed version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Danae and Perseus, meanwhile, float along to the safety of an island paradise where Perseus grows up to be the kind of heroic demigod you’d expect to find in these classic myths.
- Zeus is pretty much an entitled jerk. He gives Perseus every advantage he can get.
- But for the sea goddess, Thetis’ son, Calibos, no mercy. I mean, Calibos isn’t exactly a good guy. But Zeus turns him into a monster.
- Thetis decides that Andromeda, princess of Joppa, who was engaged to Calibos, will now never marry.
- And then she moves Perseus from his island home to an amphitheater outside of Joppa.
- Apparently the gods like to do stuff like that. If you ever find yourself in a strange place and you’re not sure how you got there, someone on Olympus might have been playing with your action figure.
- Perseus meets Ammon, a poet who lives at the amphitheater.
- Ammon explains the curse that Joppa is under. Any suitor who tries to marry Andromeda is faced with an impossible riddle. When they can’t answer the riddle correctly, they’re burned at the stake.
- To help Perseus in his new quest, Zeus provides him with Athena’s magic helmet, making the wearer invisible, a powerful sword from Aphrodite, and a shield from Hera.
- Perseus manages to wrangle Pegasus, the flying horse, and follows Andromeda’s sleeping spirit to the swamps of Calibos.
- Invisible, he hears the riddle for Andromeda’s next suitor and, therefore, knows the answer.
- Calibos discovers and nearly kills him, but Perseus gets the upper hand and then, as fate would have it, cuts off Calibos’ hand.
- Convenient, because the answer to the riddle is the ring Calibos wore on that hand.
- The curse is broken and Andromeda is free to marry Perseus.
- However, at the ceremony, Andromeda’s mother, Queen Cassiopeia remarks that Andromeda is more beautiful than the goddess, Thetis.
- Uh… not a bright move on her part. They’re standing in a temple dedicated to Thetis, standing at the base of a likeness of Thetis.
- In a world where the gods of Olympus are real and play with human lives like they’re toys, why would you insult a goddess at the foot of her statue?
- Anyway, Thetis demands that Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken.
- Thus, the heroic Perseus seeks a way to destroy the Kraken before it can destroy his bride.
- Andromeda insists on accompanying Perseus on his journey to visit the Stygian witches.
- “We follow the north star!” she exclaims as she rides off. During the day…
- This leads Perseus to a battle against Medusa. If he can retrieve the head of Medusa, it can be used to turn the Kraken to stone.
- I mean, it’s not at all that easy and drama ensues. Otherwise this would be an hour long movie.
- In the end, of course, Perseus wins.
- And, of course, he gets by with a little help from dear old dad.
- After a final fight with Calibos, in which Calibos is killed, Perseus is left pretty weak.
- But Zeus picks up his Perseus action figure and stands it on its feet. Which I guess refills his energy for the boss fight with the Kraken.
So that’s the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans. Say what you will about the old school effects. This movie is far superior to the remake that came out a few years back. Come back tomorrow for a movie that starts with D. I’ll give you a hint this time: while it’s not necessarily a remake, it is heavily influenced by my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. Got any guesses?