Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zeus, where were you when we needed you!

Charles H. Schneer, Sci-Fi Film Producer, Dies at 88

My favorite film director, Charles H. Schneer, has passed to SummerIsle:

...Charles H. Schneer, a noted film producer who for a quarter-century helped the Oscar-winning special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen lay waste to Washington, San Francisco, Rome and many other places, died on Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 88...

With Schneer directing the live action, in close consultaion with Harryhausen animation work, we have some of the best Cult/Psychtronic/Mythic classics of all time, such as:

...“Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956); the Sinbad trilogy, comprising “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad” (1958), “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” (1974) and “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” (1977); and “The Three Worlds of Gulliver” (1960). Their last film together was “Clash of the Titans” (1981), which, despite a cast of titans including Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith and Ursula Andress, had a lukewarm reception...

Yes, perhaps 'lukewarm' reception, but to this day people come up to me relating their warm fuzzy feelings for "Clash of the Titans". Yet, for me the best film was "Jason and the Argonauts":

...Their most famous collaboration was “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963), a retelling of the Greek myth that featured an army of walking, swashbuckling skeletons, memorably animated by Mr. Harryhausen...

This part from the obit was pretty funny and interesting:

...A hands-on producer, Mr. Schneer contributed enthusiastically to the story lines of his films, Mr. Harryhausen said on Monday. He scoured the papers for accounts of the paranormal, of which there was no shortage in the 1950s. He accompanied his crews on location, and at least once helped stave off an embarrassing anachronism...The film was “Jason and the Argonauts,” shot on the Italian coast. In one scene, the script called for Jason’s ship, the Argo, to sail around a bluff and into view. But as the cameras rolled, to everyone’s astonishment, Sir Francis Drake’s galleon the Golden Hind sailed by instead. It had been launched by a British film crew also shooting in the area. As Mr. Harryhausen recalled in an article he wrote for The Guardian in 2003, Mr. Schneer rose to the occasion at once. “Get that ship out of here!” he cried. “You’re in the wrong century.”


green_ghost113 said...

Great picture of Talus from "Jason and the Argonauts"!
I love how Ray Harryhausen put a green patina or verdigris on him.... and the sound Talus made when he walked.

Thanks for sharing this obit Gene.
Rest in Peace Mr. Schneer.

genexs said...

Hi Greenie

Yeah, Talos was my favorite part. He did look like bronze, with the patina and all. Whenever anyone asks me about what inspired me to get into Paganism, one of the major elements I mention are the films of Ray Harryhausen.

Dr. Zaius said...

I loved all of those films. I have seen them all several times.

green_ghost113 said...

Yay Dr. Zaius! Always knew you had good taste ;)
Cheers to you & Gene!

btw... Gene I often can't seem to get away from my P.T. past. I automatically spell Talos after the bone, Talus.