Movie-maker Ray Harryhausen hits the West End
31 August, 2018 — By The Xtra Diary
Ray Harryhausen with Bubo from Clash of the Titans
His creatures have haunted the dreams of generations of film lovers – and next week a celebration of the animator, film-maker, writer and director Ray Harryhausen hits the West End.
Harryhausen was the renowned creator of hits such as Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans and the Sinbad films, all featuring his exquisite, hand-made stop-motion animation.
A new book which has the film posters of his work will be released at comic and film shop Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue tomorrow (Saturday), and then there is a world premiere screening of a remastered print of his film, First Men In The Moon, at the Regent Street cinema afterwards. Ray’s friend Richard Holliss is the author of the book, which has come about with the help of the Ray Harryhausen Foundation.
Foundation trustee and film-maker John Walsh told Diary the book, which features rare posters advertising Ray’s films, offers a tantalising insight into the work of a man who has inspired today’s film giants, and whose work has stood the test of time.
“Harryhausen’s films are legendary,” he says. “And the posters for his films are incredibly evocative. As Richard’s work demonstrates, they are iconic images that have adorned both cinemas and bedroom walls for over half a century.
“Bringing them together for the first time in a single volume has been an enlightening experience.”
Harryhausen never threw anything away, giving researchers at the foundation an extensive archive to trawl through.
Mr Walsh said: “Many of the posters featured are from the foundation – but many are from collectors young and old from around the world.”
He added that when Harryhausen’s films were released, ranging from the 1949 Mighty Joe Young to 1981’s Clash of the Titans, the posters had no real value. Most were handed back to the distributors to be recycled or simply dumped after a film’s run had ended. But today they have increased in value – and their artistic worth is plain to see.
• You can meet John Walsh and Richard Holliss tomorrow (Saturday) between 12.30pm and 1.30pm at Forbidden Planet in Shaftesbury Avenue. First Men In The Moon is being screened at Regent Street Cinema at 3pm. Tickets are available from regentstreetcinema.com