Ray Harryhausen


Animator, Special Effects Artist

About

Also Known As
Raymond Harryhausen
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
June 29, 1920
Died
May 07, 2013

Biography

A towering figure in the history and evolution of motion-picture special effects, Ray Harryhausen created some of the most memorable creatures ever to stalk, slither and sail across movie screens in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A tutelage under effects pioneers George Pal and Willis O'Brien inspired Harryhausen's own stop-motion animation, which gave vivid life to aliens and monsters of m...

Photos & Videos

20 Million Miles to Earth - British Front-of-House Stills
Mighty Joe Young - Lobby Cards
One Million Years B. C. - Color Still Set

Family & Companions

Diana Harryhausen
Wife

Notes

Inducted into the Visual Effects Society Hall of Fame in 1998

Biography

A towering figure in the history and evolution of motion-picture special effects, Ray Harryhausen created some of the most memorable creatures ever to stalk, slither and sail across movie screens in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A tutelage under effects pioneers George Pal and Willis O'Brien inspired Harryhausen's own stop-motion animation, which gave vivid life to aliens and monsters of myth in such iconic fantasy and science fiction films as "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" (1953), "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), "One Million Years B.C." (1966) and "Clash of the Titans" (1981). Harryhausen's imaginative work would later serve as inspiration for generations of filmmakers, including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Tim Burton, James Cameron and countless others, all of whom paid tribute to him in their own fantasy film exploits. Before his death in May 2013, he fittingly racked up various honors for his undeniable creativity and vision.

Born Raymond Frederick Harryhausen in Los Angeles on June 29, 1920, he was an avid reader of science fiction as a youth. His fascination with animation grew from a screening of "King Kong" (1933), he could not fathom how the giant ape moved, as he knew it was not a man in a suit and it moved too freely to be a puppet. Harryhausen soon learned that the secret behind the film was stop-motion animation, the process whereby a model is photographed one frame at a time, with minor adjustments between shots; when the footage is projected at normal speed, the model appears to move on its own. Harryhausen was so entranced by the technique and with its pioneer, Willis O'Brien, who almost single-handedly provided the effects for "Kong," that he set out to try it himself. His father encouraged him by building a studio for him in the corner of the garage, and his mother donated a coat to provide fur for a model of a bear. Harryhausen purchased a movie camera and began fooling around. By his late teens, he started taking night courses in motion-picture photography at USC, where he learned about special effects, matte shots and multiple exposures. He also enrolled in art classes, studying sculpture and drawing, in part to ensure he had another career to fall back on.

He need not have worried. Harryhausen combined strong technical expertise with a natural talent for understanding movement and behavior. In 1940, he embarked on a special project; what was to be a full-length film entitled "Evolution," consisting entirely of stop-motion-animated animals. The scope of the project eventually overwhelmed Harryhausen, who was also dissuaded when he saw Walt Disney's "Fantasia" (1940) and determined it was useless to continue. However, he did show some of his work to director George Pal, who hired him right away to work on his "Puppetoons" shorts. During World War II, Harryhausen was drafted into the Army Signal Corp, where he used his animation skills to make training films. After he was discharged at the end of the war, he returned to his home studio, where he made a short film, "Mother Goose Stories" (1946), which he sold to an independent producer for enough money that he could continue on to several additional short fairy tales, including "The Story of Little Red Riding Hood" (1949), "Hansel and Gretel" (1951) and "The Story of King Midas" (1953).

Harryhausen's career then took a big step forward when he contacted his hero O'Brien, with hopes to break in to the business. O'Brien was impressed with his work, hiring him to work as his assistant on another film about a giant ape, called "Mighty Joe Young" (1949). Written and directed by the same creative team as "Kong," the fantasy-drama, about a giant African ape who follows the girl he loves (Terry Moore) to America, featured more complex special effects than "Kong," and O'Brien's role as supervisor was to sort out the various problems that arose with the animation, while Harryhausen executed the majority of the actual effects. Though not regarded with the same level of admiration as "Kong," "Mighty Joe Young" was a box office hit and earned an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Harryhausen worked sporadically for the next few years, as projects started and stopped, and he returned to his studio to continue working on his fairy tale projects in the interim. He then met producer Charles Schneer, and began a fruitful relationship that would last several decades. The re-release of "Kong" in 1952 kicked off a monster-movie craze in Hollywood, and Schneer and Harryhausen began production on a feature titled "The Monster Beneath the Sea," which borrowed heavily from the plot of "Kong." Upon hearing that Harryhausen's friend, fantasy author Ray Bradbury, had sold a story to The Saturday Evening Post about an aquatic dinosaur that is summoned to the surface by the song of a fog horn, they quickly convinced Warner Bros. to purchase the rights to the story. Bradbury's short tale, "The Fog Horn," became the nucleus of Harryhausen's first effort as a solo animator, Eugene Lourie's "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms." An effective monster movie about a four-legged dinosaur awakened from Arctic hibernation by nuclear tests that runs amok in New York City, the film was a massive success for the studio, and Harryhausen's creature wowed audiences with its lifelike movements. The dinosaur was a test run for his new technique, which combined images by projecting live-action elements onto a miniature set, in front of which models were animated, with still another layer of live action matted onto the foreground, effectively sandwiching the models in the frame. The process, which eliminated the use of an expensive optical print, was later known in his color efforts as "DynaMation."

The success of "Beast" led to more science-fiction work for Harryhausen, and he delivered some of the most indelible images of the genre's boom in the 1950s. For Columbia's "It Came from Beneath the Sea" (1955), Harryhausen created a colossal octopus that terrorized San Francisco, and, in one startling sequence, pulled down the Golden Gate Bridge. Amusingly, the film's budget-conscious producer, Sam Katzman, only allotted enough money to animate six of the creature's arms, resulting in what Harryhausen later dubbed a "hextapus." In "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers" (1956), Harryhausen unleashed a fleet of deadly UFOs on Washington D.C., which laid waste to the American military and in a particularly jaw-dropping scene, brought down the Washington Monument. And in "20 Million Miles to Earth" (1957), Harryhausen created a lizard-like alien from Venus - dubbed the Ymir in press materials - that wreaked havoc in the streets of Rome before facing down soldiers in the Coliseum. As in all of Harryhausen's films, the show-stopper in "Earth" is a battle royale, this time around between the Ymir and a rogue elephant, which would set the tone for future monster rallies in his subsequent efforts.

Harryhausen also re-teamed with his mentor, O'Brien, for a sequence in the 1956 feature-length documentary "The Animal World." Producer Irwin Allen had given O'Brien little time to conceive the film's opening, which was set in prehistoric times, and so the veteran called on Harryhausen to help him complete the eight-minute scene, which became the high point of the entire picture. All of Harryhausen's work had been in black and white, and he was reluctant to make the jump to color because of the difficulty in maintaining proper color balances with the DynaMation process. Schneer convinced him otherwise for their next effort, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), and the results earned him not only his greatest film success of the 1950s, but a four-year contract with Columbia to produce more epic fantasies. Although somewhat stodgy (from a script and acting standpoint) by modern standards, this Harryhausen work is nothing short of spectacular, and includes some of his best-loved creations, including a fire-breathing dragon, the two-headed monster bird known as the Roc, a snake woman (inspired by a belly dancer he saw in Beirut) and a combative Cyclops who grapples furiously with the dragon. The film was later cited by Dennis Muren, head of George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, as his inspiration for a career in special effects.

Harryhausen continued to amaze with his subsequent Columbia efforts, including "The Three Worlds of Gulliver" (1960) and the Jules Verne adaptation "The Mysterious Island" (1961), which added a massive crab, an industrious honey bee, a giant mollusk and a prehistoric bird to his menagerie. But it was his next film that elevated Harryhausen to legendary status. "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963) featured some of his most complex and challenging work to date, including the seven-headed serpent the Hydra and Talos, a giant bronze statute that comes to life to battle Jason and his men. However, both paled in comparison to a lengthy sequence in which a band of skeletons rise from the ground to wage a pitched sword battle with Jason. Completed by Harryhausen solo over a four-month period, it was a feat never again attempted by another animator, and rarely surpassed in any special-effects-driven film.

Sadly, neither "Jason" nor his next effort, an adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The First Men in the Moon" (1964) was a box-office success, leaving Harryhausen to freelance for the remainder of the 1960s and early 1970s. England's Hammer Films hired him to contribute some impressive dinosaurs to their remake of "One Million Years B.C." (1966), which scored largely on the strength of its leading lady, Raquel Welch, who appeared a fur bikini throughout the picture. Its success brought Harryhausen back to America for "The Valley of Gwangi" (1969), a personal project storyboarded by O'Brien about a dinosaur discovered in Mexico during the early years of the 20th century. Though Harryhausen's work was typically top-notch, the film was buried by Warner Bros. on the bottom of a double bill and ultimately missed its target audience of young adults.

Harryhausen bounced back in the early '70s when Schneer convinced Columbia to revive Sinbad for a pair of new feature adventures. Shot in Europe for a remarkably low sum of money, "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" (1973) was a worthy successor to "7th Voyage" and offered a dazzling array of creatures, including a club-wielding centaur, a tiny demon created from the blood of the film's chief villain played by Tom Baker, whose performance earned him his celebrated stint as "Doctor Who" (BBC, 1963-1989; 2005- ), and a seven-armed, sword-wielding statue of the Hindu goddess Kali that evoked both Talos and the skeletons from "Jason." Its success was followed by another hit, "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" (1977), which featured among its monstrous cast a giant walrus, a huge wasp (shades of the bee from "Mysterious Island") and a cave-dwelling troglodyte that fought to the death with a saber-toothed tiger.

But gradually a new generation of visual-effects artists, including stop-motion animators who had entered the business after seeing Harryhausen's work, emerged onto the scene, resulting in less emphasis on the work of a single artist for effects-driven movies. Undaunted, Harryhausen launched into a new film, "Clash of the Titans" (1981), which drew its storyline from the Greek myth of Perseus. Originally a modestly budgeted effort, MGM poured money into the film to hire an all-star cast, which included Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Claire Bloom and a magnificently bearded and bewigged Laurence Olivier as Zeus. Their presence, however, was eclipsed by Harryhausen's creations, which included the winged horse Pegasus, a snake-headed Medusa and a towering sea creature called the Kraken, which bore a distinct facial resemblance to the Ymir. Although a decent success at the box office, "Titans" convinced studio executives that Harryhausen's stop-motion technique was a costly and time-consuming process, especially when compared to more elaborate work done in recent special-effects-driven films like "Star Wars" (1977). Faced with disinterest by Hollywood as a whole, Harryhausen and Schneer retired from filmmaking in the early 1980s.

However, Harryhausen remained far from inactive in the decades that followed. He released several books devoted to his work, and supervised the release of his films on VHS, laserdisc and DVD. His work was honored with a 1992 Lifetime Achievement Oscar by the countless filmmaking professionals who had been influenced by his films. The award kicked off a renewed interest in his work and Harryhausen toured festivals, museums and colleges with his films and models, leaving a trail of sci-fi/fantasy geeks, both young and old, waiting breathlessly to both meet him and hear him speak. He even returned to filmmaking in a limited capacity. In 2002, several filmmakers collaborated to help him finish "The Story of the Tortoise & the Hare," the fifth and final of his fairy tales, originally begun in 1952. The film won a 2003 Annie Award, and inspired Harryhausen to return to producing with surprising vigor for a man in his eighth decade. In 2005, he not only oversaw the release of a two-DVD set that compiled all of his non-feature efforts, but he also released colorized versions of his black-and-white films and began work on a new series of short movies; this time based on works by Edgar Allan Poe. Harryhausen also worked on a colorized release of "Kong" director Meriam C. Cooper's "She" (1935), and furnished the artwork for a series of comic-book sequels to some of his greatest film efforts. Harryhausen died on May 7, 2013, at the age of 92, and his passing prompted outpourings of adoration throughout the movie industry. In many ways, it signaled the end of an era for cinematic special effects, but one that would be fondly remembered by generations of audiences the world over.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Burke and Hare (2011)
The People vs. George Lucas (2010)
Himself
Elf (2003)
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
Spies Like Us (1985)
The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985)

Writer (Feature Film)

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
From Story

Producer (Feature Film)

Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)
Producer
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Producer
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
Producer
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
Producer
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)
Associate Producer
First Men IN the Moon (1964)
Associate Producer
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Associate Producer

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

The Puppetoon Movie (1987)
Puppets Design
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Special Visual Effects
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
Special Visual Effects
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
Special Visual Effects
Trog (1970)
Sp Effects for "the animal world" seq (see note)
The Valley of Gwangi (1969)
Visual Effects
One Million Years B. C. (1967)
Special visual Effects
First Men IN the Moon (1964)
Special Effects
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Sp visual Effects
Mysterious Island (1961)
Sp visual Effects
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)
Special visual Effects created by
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
Special visual Effects
20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
Tech Effects created by
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
Tech Effects created by
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Tech Effects created by
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
Tech Effects created by

Animation (Feature Film)

Trail of the Screaming Forehead (2007)
Animator
The Animal World (1956)
Animation

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Mighty Joe Young (1949)
1st tech

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

Mighty Joe Young (1998)
Special Thanks To

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The People vs. George Lucas (2010)
Other

Director (Special)

Making of the Tortoise and the Hare (2002)
Director

Cast (Special)

Attack of the 50-Foot Monster Mania (1999)

Producer (Special)

Making of the Tortoise and the Hare (2002)
Producer

Director (Short)

The Tortoise and the Hare (2002)
Director
KING MIDAS (1953)
Director
RAPUNZEL (1951)
Director
Hansel & Gretel (1951)
Director
How to Bridge a Gorge (1942)
Director
Guadalcanal (1942)
Director

Cast (Short)

Creation Test Footage with Commentary by Ray Harryhausen (1931)
Himself

Cinematography (Short)

Little Red Riding Hood (1949)
Cinematographer

Producer (Short)

The Tortoise and the Hare (2002)
Executive Producer
Hansel & Gretel (1951)
Producer
RAPUNZEL (1951)
Producer
Little Red Riding Hood (1949)
Producer

Animation (Short)

Little Red Riding Hood (1949)
Animator

Articles

Ray Harryhausen 100th Birthday Tribute


Ray Harryhausen, who would have been 100 on June 29, was one of the great animation artists and visual-effects specialists of the 20th century. He created the influential stop-model animation technique known as "Dynamation," and had film credits as writer, producer, director, actor and cinematographer.

Harryhausen (1920-2013) was born in Los Angeles, CA, and became fascinated with stop-motion animation after seeing King Kong (1933) at age 13. His early experience in movies came from working on George Pal's "Puppetoon" shorts and in training films during Harryhausen's service with the U.S. Army during World War II. His breakthrough came at Warner Bros. when he did special effects for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), in which he used split-screen techniques to place dinosaurs and other creatures into realistic backgrounds. His work on this film made it one of the most influential sci-fi movies of its period.

Harryhausen then teamed with producer Charles H. Schneer at Columbia Pictures to create a series of classics in the fields of fantasy and stop-motion animation. Their most popular film, Jason and the Argonauts (1963), featured a painstaking sequence involving a skeleton sword fight that became a classic.

In addition to the films in our tribute, other highlights from Harryhausen's career include One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). In 1992, he was presented with an honorary Oscar, the Gordon E. Sawyer Academy Award given to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."

Below are the Harryhausen films in TCM's birthday salute.

Mighty Joe Young (1949) is another tale of a giant gorilla from the creators of the 1933 King Kong - producer/directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, screenwriter Ruth Rose, and star Robert Armstrong. In this one, Armstrong is an entrepreneur who brings the 12-foot Joe from Africa to Hollywood to appear as a nightclub attraction, and Terry Moore is the girl the gorilla loves. Willis H. O'Brien, famous for his work on King Kong, was given credit for the Oscar-winning special effects, but later reports had it that Harryhausen was responsible for most of the stop-motion animation.

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) tells of an attack by aliens on Washington, D.C., giving Harryhausen a chance to display some of his most entertaining stop-motion effects of the 1950s in animating the flying saucers and their destruction of Washington landmarks. Fred F. Sears directed, and Hugh Marlowe stars as the scientist trying to stop the saucer attack.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Harryhausen's first split-screen movie shot entirely in color, features his mythological beasts alongside human actors. Kerwin Mathews as Sinbad must travel to a monster-filled island to rescue his princess bride (Kathryn Grant), who has been shrunken by an evil magician (Torin Thatcher). Nathan Juran directed, and Bernard Herrmann created the fantastic score.

Mysterious Island (1961) is loosely based on the Jules Verne novel, a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Set during the U.S. Civil War, the story concerns Union Army prisoners of war who escape via hot-air balloon to an island filled with enormous animals. Harryhausen uses his imaginative stop-motion techniques to create such creatures as a giant crab, a Phorusrhacos (prehistoric "terror bird"), a hive of bees and a huge multi-tentacled squid. Cy Endfield directs a cast that includes Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood and Herbert Lom; the score is once again by Bernard Herrmann.

Clash of the Titans (1981) was the final feature film for which Harryhausen created special effects, though he later worked on other smaller projects. This fantasy-adventure, inspired by Greek mythology, tells of the challenges of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), the mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier). The amazing cast also includes Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, Claire Bloom, Ursula Andress and Flora Robson. Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures include Medusa, Pegasus, the sea monster Kraken and the mechanical owl Bubo. Harryhausen coproduced, Desmond Davis directed and Laurence Rosenthal provided the score.

Ray Harryhausen 100Th Birthday Tribute

Ray Harryhausen 100th Birthday Tribute

Ray Harryhausen, who would have been 100 on June 29, was one of the great animation artists and visual-effects specialists of the 20th century. He created the influential stop-model animation technique known as "Dynamation," and had film credits as writer, producer, director, actor and cinematographer.Harryhausen (1920-2013) was born in Los Angeles, CA, and became fascinated with stop-motion animation after seeing King Kong (1933) at age 13. His early experience in movies came from working on George Pal's "Puppetoon" shorts and in training films during Harryhausen's service with the U.S. Army during World War II. His breakthrough came at Warner Bros. when he did special effects for The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), in which he used split-screen techniques to place dinosaurs and other creatures into realistic backgrounds. His work on this film made it one of the most influential sci-fi movies of its period.Harryhausen then teamed with producer Charles H. Schneer at Columbia Pictures to create a series of classics in the fields of fantasy and stop-motion animation. Their most popular film, Jason and the Argonauts (1963), featured a painstaking sequence involving a skeleton sword fight that became a classic.In addition to the films in our tribute, other highlights from Harryhausen's career include One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). In 1992, he was presented with an honorary Oscar, the Gordon E. Sawyer Academy Award given to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."Below are the Harryhausen films in TCM's birthday salute.Mighty Joe Young (1949) is another tale of a giant gorilla from the creators of the 1933 King Kong - producer/directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, screenwriter Ruth Rose, and star Robert Armstrong. In this one, Armstrong is an entrepreneur who brings the 12-foot Joe from Africa to Hollywood to appear as a nightclub attraction, and Terry Moore is the girl the gorilla loves. Willis H. O'Brien, famous for his work on King Kong, was given credit for the Oscar-winning special effects, but later reports had it that Harryhausen was responsible for most of the stop-motion animation.Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) tells of an attack by aliens on Washington, D.C., giving Harryhausen a chance to display some of his most entertaining stop-motion effects of the 1950s in animating the flying saucers and their destruction of Washington landmarks. Fred F. Sears directed, and Hugh Marlowe stars as the scientist trying to stop the saucer attack.The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Harryhausen's first split-screen movie shot entirely in color, features his mythological beasts alongside human actors. Kerwin Mathews as Sinbad must travel to a monster-filled island to rescue his princess bride (Kathryn Grant), who has been shrunken by an evil magician (Torin Thatcher). Nathan Juran directed, and Bernard Herrmann created the fantastic score.Mysterious Island (1961) is loosely based on the Jules Verne novel, a sequel to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Set during the U.S. Civil War, the story concerns Union Army prisoners of war who escape via hot-air balloon to an island filled with enormous animals. Harryhausen uses his imaginative stop-motion techniques to create such creatures as a giant crab, a Phorusrhacos (prehistoric "terror bird"), a hive of bees and a huge multi-tentacled squid. Cy Endfield directs a cast that includes Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood and Herbert Lom; the score is once again by Bernard Herrmann.Clash of the Titans (1981) was the final feature film for which Harryhausen created special effects, though he later worked on other smaller projects. This fantasy-adventure, inspired by Greek mythology, tells of the challenges of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), the mortal son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier). The amazing cast also includes Maggie Smith, Burgess Meredith, Claire Bloom, Ursula Andress and Flora Robson. Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures include Medusa, Pegasus, the sea monster Kraken and the mechanical owl Bubo. Harryhausen coproduced, Desmond Davis directed and Laurence Rosenthal provided the score.

Life Events

1949

First film credit as animator and assistant to Willis O'Brien on special effects for "Mighty Joe Young"

1952

Evolved own system of model animation called Dynamation, first used in "It Came from Beneath the Sea" (1955)

1957

First story credit, "Twenty Million Miles to Earth"

1963

First film as associate producer, "Jason and the Argonauts"

1973

First film as producer, "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad"

1981

Worked on "Clash of the Titans"

2002

Resurfaced with "The Story of the Tortoise & the Hare"

Photo Collections

20 Million Miles to Earth - British Front-of-House Stills
20 Million Miles to Earth - British Front-of-House Stills
Mighty Joe Young - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from Mighty Joe Young (1949). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
One Million Years B. C. - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from the Hammer production One Million Years B. C. (1966), starring Raquel Welch and featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
20 Million Miles to Earth - Novelization
This is the cover of the novelization of 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), put out by the publishers of Amazing Stories, a pulp digest science-fiction magazine.
First Men IN the Moon - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from Columbia Pictures' First Men IN the Moon (1964). For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
Clash of the Titans - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Clash of the Titans (1981). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Earth vs. The Flying Saucers - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Jason and the Argonauts - Lobby Cards
Here are some Lobby Cards from Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts (1963). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions. The first card in this set shows Ray Harryhausen's "Rhedosaurus" on the rampage.
Jason and the Argonauts - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from Columbia Pictures' Jason and the Argonauts (1963). For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
It Came from Beneath the Sea - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Valley of Gwangi - Comic Book
Here are a few images from The Valley of Gwangi, a comic book adaptation of the 1969 Ray Harryhausen dinosaur movie, as published by Dell Comics.
The Valley of Gwangi - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from The Valley of Gwangi (1969), featuring visual effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
7th Voyage of Sinbad - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad - British Color Still Set
Here is a set of British "Front of House" color stills from Columbia Pictures' The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), featuring visual effects by Ray Harryhausen.
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from Columbia Pictures' The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960). For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
20 Million Miles to Earth - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Mysterious Island (1961) - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Columbia's Mysterious Island (1961), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad - Color Still Set
Here is a set of color stills from Columbia Pictures' The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). For certain prestigious color productions, studios would send out sets of color stills as promotional material.
First Men IN the Moon - Lobby Cards
Here are a few lobby cards from First Men IN the Moon (1964). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
3 Worlds of Gulliver - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The 3 Worlds of Gulliver - Movie Tie-In Novel
Here is the 1960 movie tie-in edition of The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (Gulliver's Travels) by Jonathan Swift.
The Animal World - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from The Animal World (1956). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Mysterious Island (1961) — (Movie Clip) Wherever The Wind Takes Us With the Confederacy in collapse, Union POW’s Capt. Harding, Neb and hesitant Brown (Michael Craig, Dan Jackson, Michael Callan), with reporter Spilitt (Gary Merrill) escape in an observation balloon, with a confederate deserter (Percy Herbert) by accident, special effects by Ray Harryhausen, with his regular producer partner Charles H. Schneer, in the best-financed version of the Jules Verne novel, Mysterious Island, 1961.
Clash Of The Titans (1981) - Cerberus Perseus (Harry Hamlin) on his quest with helmeted helpers comes across what appears to be a two-headed version of the three-headed Greek myth dog the Cerberus, in Clash Of The Titans, 1981, effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Mysterious Island (1961) - Cook In A Slow Oven Spillett (Gary Merrill) is having a swim when a new Ray Harryhausen beast appears, Lady Mary and Elena (Joan Greenwood, Beth Rogan) attempt to resist, soldier Herbert (Michael Callan) finally interceding, hard times for the Civil War refugees on Jules Verne's Mysterious Island, 1961.
Mysterious Island (1961) - Mighty Big Crab Civil War POW's Captain Harding (Michael Craig) and "Neb" (Dan Jackson) encounter the first big Ray Harryhausen monster, a crab, Spillett, Pencroft and Brown (Gary Merrill, Percy Herbert, Michael Callan) rushing to help, in the Columbia, Charles H. Schneer version of Mysterious Island, 1961.
Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The - The Meat Still Edible Shared billing on the office door introducing Prof. Elson (Cecil Kellaway) and assistant Lee (Paula Raymond) in paleontology, receiving nuclear scientist Nesbitt (Paul Christian), who thinks he saw a dinosaur, in The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, 1953.
Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The - What's Your Reading? Nuclear scientists Nesbitt (Paul Christian) and Ritchie (Ross Elliott) gathering data after their Arctic nuclear test, the latter of whom gets into trouble after sighting Ray Harryhausen's monster, in The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, 1953.
Jason And The Argonauts (1963) - Man Of Bronze Working on a hot tip from a goddess, Jason (Todd Armstrong) has figured out that tech-wizard Ray Harryhausen's "Man of Bronze" is steam-powered, with a valve in his heel, in Jason and the Argonauts, 1963.
Jason And The Argonauts (1963) - Man With One Sandal Zeus (Niall MacGinnis) and Hera (Honor Blackman) settling trivial human matters, then observing a key encounter between Jason (Todd Armstrong) and Pelias (Douglas Wilmer) in Jason and the Argonauts, 1963.
Jason And The Argonauts (1963) - Open, Zeus, King Of The Gods Stately hieroglyphic-style credits and decadent Pelias (Douglas Wilmer) having his fortune told, the opening to the Ray Harryhausen Greek-myth special-effects landmark Jason and the Argonauts, 1963, starring Todd Armstrong.
Jason And The Argonauts (1963) - Shall We Compete? Greek athletes (Nando Poggi, Gary Raymond, others) winning spots on the ship Argo, before a special challenge between Hercules (Nigel Green) and Hylas (John Cairney), in Jason and the Argonauts, 1963, starring Todd Armstrong.
Clash Of The Titans (1981) - Last Of The Winged Horses Faced with the challenge of having to track a giant vulture, Perseus (Harry Hamlin) and his mystical poet pal Ammon (Burgess Meredith) sneak up and capture that last flying horse Pegasus (the others were killed by a rival of Zeus), so a big technical sequence for special effects giant Ray Harryhausen, in Clash Of The Titans 1981.
Valley Of Gwangi, The (1969) - Ain't That Somethin'! Our explorers enter the valley, young Lope (Curtis Arden) snatched from behind the professor (Laurence Naismith) by Ray Harryhausen's first major creature, a pterodactyl which, Carlos (Gustavo Rojo) finds, is a lot easier to wrangle once you bring it down, in The Valley Of Gwangi, 1969.

Trailer

First Men In The Moon - (Original Trailer) In 1899, a British scientist creates a craft that takes him and two others to the Moon in H.G. Wells' First Men In The Moon, 1964, special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The - (Original Trailer) A nuclear blast in the Arctic awakens The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953).
Jason and the Argonauts - (Re-issue Trailer) The Legendary hero enlists the help of the gods to steal the golden fleece in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) starring Todd Armstrong.
Clash of the Titans - (Original Trailer) A Greek hero fights a series of monsters, including the dreaded Gorgon, in Clash of the Titans (1981), with special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Mighty Joe Young - (Re-issue Trailer) Showmen try to exploit a giant ape raised by an orphan in Mighty Joe Young (1949) starring Terry Moore and Ben Johnson.
3 Worlds of Gulliver, The - (Original Trailer) Ray Harryhausen turns his stop-motion talent to Jonathan Swift's classic satire in The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960).
7th Voyage of Sinbad, The - (Re-issue Trailer) Sinbad (Kerwin Matthews) hunts for a roc's egg to save his love from an evil sorcerer in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) featuring the special effects of Ray Harryhausen.
It Came From Beneath The Sea - (Original Trailer) Sushi gets its revenge as It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) with stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen.
Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger - (Original Trailer) When a witch turns a young prince into a baboon, Sinbad fights to save him in Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1977).
Golden Voyage Of Sinbad, The - (Original Trailer) Sinbad battles a fiendish magician and his many monsters in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1973), featuring the special effects of Ray Harryhausen.
20 Million Miles To Earth - (Original Trailer) A creature from Venus escapes from a crashed spaceship and grows to enormous size in 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957).

Family

Fred Harryhausen
Father
Machinist.
Martha Harryhausen
Mother
Costume and set assistant.

Companions

Diana Harryhausen
Wife

Bibliography

Notes

Inducted into the Visual Effects Society Hall of Fame in 1998