Ray Harryhausen, 1920-2013

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David Byron

David Byron is a software developer working for the military-industrial complex. At Popehat, he writes about art, language, theater (mostly magic), technology, lyrics, and aleatory ephemera. Serious or satirical poetry spontaneously overflows from him while he's recollecting in tranquility. @dcbyron

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15 Responses

  1. Jack B. says:

    It's almost impossible to imagine what cinema would be like without Harryhausen's contributions, and that's not hyperbole, either; if anything, it's an understatement.

    If any of your personal top ten movies don't have some sort of Harryhausen influence, you probably need to watch more movies.

  2. He really said that...?!? says:

    I loved the nod to Harryhausen by the Pixar gang in Monsters Inc. where Celia and Mike go to "Harryhausens" for Sushi.

    I'm with you Jack. I don't think you can overstate his contributions and lasting influences.

  3. Kirk Taylor says:

    Brings back memories…

  4. eh says:

    7th Voyage and Clash of the Titans…indisputable.

  5. David says:

    http://www.harryhausen.com/ offers a complete chronological list, with pics, of his many creations.

  6. Poet Beware says:

    Clash of the Titans (the original) brings back fond memories–but then I like cheesy B-movies with clay-mation. :) RIP Ray.

  7. C. Ellis says:

    Ray was the first person I ever looked for in the credits that wasn't one of the actors. R.I.P. and thanks for the childhood memories.

  8. David Edwards says:

    RIP Ray. I had the honor to meet him at his home in London in the '90s hoping to get him involved in a mentoring project I was considering. He was a very neat man. I had laserdiscs for some of his movies that included production notes.

  9. Bearman says:

    Lucas has said without him there would be no Star Wars

  10. GMacGuffin says:

    "Valley of Gwangi" brought me and my wife together. I have an autographed poster for "She" a friend got for me when she was working with Ray. I do stop-motion animation mostly because of him. We'll miss you Ray.

  11. JMS says:

    A long and influential life, with a legacy that will delight people for years to come. Ray Harryhausen will be greatly missed!

  12. Canonical says:

    The skeletons-sown-from-dragon's-teeth scene in Jason and the Argonauts was one of the great images from my childhood. I'll have to pull out my DVD of it and watch it in Ray's memory. He was an icon of fantasy movie making and will be missed.

  13. Dirkmaster says:

    Earth vs The Flying Saucers is the very first movie I have a memory of. It was VERY influential in my love of SF movies.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    @ C. Ellis — me too! He inspired me to pay attention to who's doing the effects.

    It Came from Beneath the Sea is my personal favorite; the movie itself is remarkably dull, but the attack of the octopus (or "quintipus," as B-movie fans lovingly call it — Harryhausen could only afford to animate 5 tentacles) is worth sitting through the preceding hour or so of bone-dry exposition.

    I'm not one of those purists who decries the use of CGI; much as I love practical effects, I also love seeing what good CG can do. Harryhausen felt the same — he was majorly impressed by the new Clash of the Titans and wished he could have done stuff like that in his time. But the one thing I do regret about the passing of practical effects is that I can no longer look through the credits and find that one brilliant, meticulous, creative mind who was more or less in charge from conception to execution.

    God speed, Mr. Harryhausen, you'll be missed.

  1. May 8, 2013

    […] Ray Harryhausen. NYT. LAT. A/V Club appreciation. Lawrence. Popehat. […]