Pittsburgh Filmmakers salutes Ray Harryhausen in July

Written by Sharon Eberson on .


Pittsburgh Filmmakers will feature "Ray Harryhausen Classics" in it's July Sunday Night Series at the Regent Square Theater. The stop-motion animation and special-effects pioneer died on May 7 at age 92, but he left behind a magical body of work, including the Skeleton Warriors (above) from the 1963 film "Jason and the Argonauts."

Here's the schedule:

July 7: "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers"

In this sci-fi 50s classic, scientists can’t figure out why all the rockets they shoot into space are disappearing, that is until a fleet of flying saucers appears over the White House! Harryhausen’s painstakingly intricate saucers and the destruction they bring to Washington DC are among the film’s highlights. (Fred F. Sears; 1956; 83 min)

July 14: "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad"

This marvelous fantasy follows the adventures of young Sinbad as he battles a phenomenal gallery of Harryhausen monsters - including two-headed birds, a giant cyclops, dragons, and the famous sword-fighting skeletons - all to save a beautiful princess. Features a memorable score from the legendary composer Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho and most of Hitch’s other films) (Nathan Juran; 1958; 88 min)

July 21: "Mysterious Island"

Jules Verne’s classic adventure is the perfect match for Harryhausen’s magic. This rousing Civil War-era fantasy begins when a group of prisoners escape in a hot-air balloon which crash-lands on the island. (Lost anyone?) There are giant oysters, bees, a giant chicken, an undersea cephalopod, a giant crab, and more than enough danger for Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom, of the Pink Panther movies) and his cohorts. (Cy Endfield; 1961; 101 min)

July 28: "Jason and the Argonauts"

This wide-screen adventure, inspired by the Greek myth, begins with the explorer attempting to claim his rightful throne, but first he must find the magical Golden Fleece. Jason recruits the brave Argonauts to crew his ship and they embark on their journey. Along the way they encounter a 100-foot bronze god, the bat-like harpies, a seven-headed reptile, and an army of skeletons. The last sequence remains one of Harryhausen’s finest. (Don Chaffey; 1963; 104 min)

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