Jack the Giant Killer
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Top Customer Reviews
Jack The Giant Killer is a pretty neat little fairy tale that was released in 1962. Trying to capture the magic of the 1958 Harryhausen classic 'The 7th Voyage of Sinbad', Jack the Giant Killer is inferior in every way, but still most enjoyable to the child in all stop motion fans.
I owned two pervious editions of this film but I had heard rumors that this version released was the horrid version that was dubbed into a ersatz musical! I only wanted that version to have a laugh from time to time.
Unfortunately, it is not the case and even worse it is by far the worst looking of the three releases of the film. If you must own the film look for the good times version released in 1:33 as it is the closest to the proper aspect ratio, even though all releases have some cropping issues.
I saw Jack the Giant Killer in a theater as a child and I must say it haunted my memory for decades before I was able to see it again. The strange thing is the second time I saw the film it was at least 20 years after the theater viewing. It was playing on TV and it was the bizarre musical version?!! (which I knew nothing about at the time!)I was completely disappointed because the musical version is absolutely horrible.
It took me a number of years before I would see the original theatrical version and it was every bit as good as I remembered..ok maybe the stop motion looked better to me as a kid, but the film held up fairly well. The giants are obviously inspired by Ray Harryhausen's wonderful Cyclops from 7th Voyage, but all in all, it's a pretty good film for fantasy film fans from days gone by. It's pretty hard not to like a two headed giant! If you like Harryhausen films, you'll find this interesting.
I gave this film 3 stars based on "the Film" because...
-It was such a blatant band-wagon move after "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad". It's hard to watch without noticing parodies.
-The giants inexplicably all have goat's legs, just like the cyclops in SVOS!!
-Same director and lead actors as SVOS... in the SAME ROLES!!!
-Some scenes drag on, even action scenes! "let's show more monsters LONGER!!!" The witch scene on the ship NEVER ENDS!!
-A little magical helper, just like SVOS. He even makes the same bargain for his freedom!!
-Battle between giant and serpent, just like SVOS battle between Cycplops and Dragon.
-Editing is silly at times. Senes were obviously cut (gaunlet hall has arms cut off and blades broken but not a clue how it happened!) while others go on... and on... and on.....
-Acting is valiant considering the script!! This thing was obviously thrown together. I particularly enjoyed the high-school acting of Judy Meredith. Kind of like watching a car wreck... you just can't look away.
-The monsters are extremely crude in every aspect, from sculpting to animation. The funny thing is, the animation seams to get a little better as the film rolls along, like they created the sequences in script order.
-Jim Danforth (though I never see his name on the Credits?) needed to understudy under Harryhausen a bit longer. He had very little knowledge of human or animal physiology. This made his creatures look cartoonish and less believable. Do you like shiney monsters? To his credit, they definately have character.
-Despite all of this, it is a fun film. Just need to get over the SVOS "cloning".
As a value priced DVD, I'd have to give it 5 stars.Read more ›
The story was a mix of all sorts of themes but the stop-motion animation was adequately performed for the era (1962) and the story, while similar to many others, had our man Jack (a farmer's son), defeating a giant through treachery and deceit and winning the hand of the princess - apparently for just being alive.
Our evil wizard, aptly played by Torin Thatcher who had roles in many, many movies, was given ample opportunity to defeat Jack but just didn't take advantage of them all. Sadly, he changed himself into a dragon just on the outside chance he could defeat this untrained farm boy but, alas, farm boy won anyway.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved It, Great Old Tale and Ray Harryhousen's Anamation is the BEST ( for pre-1970's movies ) Family Recomended Too !Published 18 days ago by Block-HD
The color palette is strong with solid black areas, BUT overall image quality is that of a good VHS copy with that soft, waxy impression that lacks any sharpness or detail. Read morePublished 22 days ago by TeeJay
I love stop-motion animation and this movie, but this DVD was poor quality. I suggest spending a little more money for a restored version.Published 3 months ago by H. A.
In case anyone is wondering, the Legend Films release is anamorphic widescreen. Amazon's item page doesn't say and the back of the case actually says "1. Read morePublished 4 months ago by DrXenos
As you may or may not know (either way is fine), this little epic was made over in the '70s into a musical, with added songs by Broadway veteran Moose Charlap and Sandy Stewart. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Hans Christian Brando
Kept you wondering what's next and was he going to kill the Giant or chop down bean stalk and let him live in peace in his world.Published 6 months ago by Thomas R.Van Gundy
The review is of the DVD not the film. The LEGEND DVD release of the 60s classic Kerwin Mathews film is absolute garbage. Image freezes constantly - making it unwatchable. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Christopher
Soooo hokey, but it is my grandson's FAVORITE movie. The special effects are so laughable, but to a 4 year old, cool, scary, without the worry of nightmares. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kristi Pierson Valentine