Request: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) vs. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

No Canon "of great films to live on forever" is complete without Ray Harryhausen. Audiences today might roll their eyes at the effects, and highfaluting movie fans might dismiss the movies as simplistic or too old fashioned, but he is one of the greatest "gateway" figures in cinema. He makes the kind of movies that you watch as a kid and that make you go "Wow! I love these things. I want to make them when I grow up." Sinbad and Jason are Harryhausen at his most accomplished and most imaginative. They're also entertaining as hell....

andyrayfritz
andyrayfritz
1 posts
65 replies

No versus. Both. Both should be in The Canon.

muthsarah
muthsarah
7 posts
115 replies

@Marsellus_H "Is a single terrific sequence enough to include an otherwise uninteresting film to the canon?"

Well, I can think of Canon-worthy movies where, if you were to remove its best sequence, I would change my vote on, yeah. "A American in Paris" springs to mind. Take the final ballet out, you have a B-level 50s musical with some clever, but hardly spectacular sequences. With the ballet in, it's one of the best. Or, at least the ballet is.

Maybe the same holds for "Ben-Hur". While still very well-made (and especially well-scored), could you vote it in sans the chariot race? Or would it just be too long, too slow, and...desperately in need of a chariot race? But with it in, who would vote against it? Cultural impact alone, even.

Though I can't think of a film I would want to put in that would be truly "uninteresting" or worse without its best sequence. If a film is 90% uninteresting, how could one sequence salvage that?

kreig_86
kreig_86
1 posts
13 replies

@Marsellus_H, for me, the answer would be just how terrific and influential that hypothetical "single terrific sequence" would have been. But, personally, I wouldn't put a movie in the Canon based on a single sequence. When I think about Canon movies, I think there needs to be overlap between how important a movie is and how good a movie is, with wiggle room to which side outweighs the other. And, I also think the Canon (a Canon itself, not exactly the show; I don't want to tell Amy or Devin how they should run the show they created) should embrace all types of movies, and judge them within their own specific context. I think they're doing a great job of that on here. KING KONG and THE THING being the best examples that pop to my head. You can't argue that either of those movies have the most complex or meaningful plots or well-developed characters, but they're towering examples of fantasy/adventure and science fiction/horror. I'd put both of the Harryhausen movies I mentioned in that same category...and maybe even make the case for smaller ones like 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH or THE VALLEY OF GWANGI (I love that guy's stuff so much). And, just for the record, I'd go with SINBAD (though I love JASON), because it has a more cohesive story, and it's the first time Harryhausen really got to let loose (everything before that movie was basically one creature per movie) and he nails all of it.

marsellus_h
marsellus_h
5 posts
202 replies

I agree with the notion that Harryhausen is hugely important to the film world. Your suggestion tackles another subject which I am martering my mind with now for over a year: Is a single terrific sequence enough to include an otherwise uninteresting film to the canon? Not, that I think Jason isn't a fun film (which would be probably my pick in that vs episode, although Sinbad is cool as well...), but still. That question nags on me.

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