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Ray Harryhausen
Ray Harryhausen (AP Photo / Mike Appleton)

Ray Harryhausen

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April 21, 2014
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April 21, 2014
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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May 15, 2013
Each of us has our own favourite Ray Harryhausen movie. Often it is the first of his films that we saw. In my case it was "THE THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER" first seen by me (at age 13) during the school holidays I was captivated by it and saw it 3 times in the week that it played at my local cinema. In 1961 "MYSTERIOUS ISLAND" followed,and I saw that 7 times that summer and spending all my paper round delivery savings. The manager of the theatre gave me a set of colour front of stills and poster and a press book for the film. I was hooked on Harryhausen. Both of these movies are terrific as they present such diverse special visual effects created by Ray and with those marvelous film scores by Bernard Herrmann.

Years later I worked in film publicity and promotion and promoted the later films by RH and Charles H. Schneer whom I met and worked with at Columbia Pictures(UK). As film makers and producers, they were always interested to know what were the creative elements of their films that captivated their audiences. Ray would often pop into a theatre where one of his films was being screened just to see how it played to the audience and eves dropping to hear what they thought and liked about the film(s).

Ray loved films and besides the 1933 "KING KONG", the 1935 film "SHE" and the 1940 film "THE THEIF OF BAGDAD" ranked among his favourites. I recall watching these films at special screenings with Ray and discussing the films with him at length. Such happy times.

Ray also loved film music & scores and followed many composers works and careers. Ray was thrilled to have scores from Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rozsa, Jerome Moross play such an integral part of collaboration within his films.

In the UK, Rays films were released theatrically in 35mm for screening on huge theatre screens. The prints were made at the Technicolor labs in the UK and these prints were superb as they brought to life Ray artistic contribution to the films with vibrant colours and grading and crystal clear clarity. This how I saw "GULLIVER" and "ISLAND" in the early 1960's. These prints lasted for years in theatrical release.

We have lost two of filmdoms greats with passing of Ray and Charles, but their legacy remains for successive generations to discover, rediscover and to be cherished by audiences around the world.

With grateful thanks to them both for their contribution to our lasting entertainment. I salute you both.

As afterthought: Long may the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation flourish in its all of its objectives in the future.

From Richard Green in England on 16th May 2013.
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