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Ray Harryhausen is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Associate Producer, Animation and Special Effects American born on 29 june 1920 at Los Angeles (USA)

Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen
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Birth name Raymond Frederick Harryhausen
Nationality USA
Birth 29 june 1920 at Los Angeles (USA)
Death 7 may 2013 (at 92 years) at London (United-kingdom)
Awards Hessian Order of Merit

Raymond Frederick "Ray" Harryhausen (June 29, 1920 – May 7, 2013) was an American visual effects creator, writer, and producer who created a form of stop-motion model animation known as "Dynamation."

His most memorable works include the animation on Mighty Joe Young (1949), with his mentor Willis H. O'Brien, which won the Academy Award for special effects; The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), his first color film; and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), featuring a famous sword fight against seven skeleton warriors. His last film was Clash of the Titans (1981), after which he retired.

Harryhausen lived in London, England, from 1960 until his death in 2013.

Biography

Débuts (1941-1947)
La première de King Kong dont les trucages sont réalisés par Willis O'Brien scelle la vocation du jeune Ray Harryhausen âgé alors de treize ans. Il développe dès lors ses premiers projets personnels (Cave Bear et Evolution of the World), se passionnant pour la reconstitution d'animaux préhistoriques. Un heureux hasard veut qu'il puisse montrer ses premiers travaux (des dinosaures en pâte à modeler) à Willis O'Brien (également considéré comme le père de l'intégration d'animation en volume avec des prises de vues réelles) qui l'encourage. Il étudie ensuite les arts dramatiques, la photographie et la sculpture, puis la réalisation artistique et le film. C'est à cette époque qu'il se lie d'amitié avec Ray Bradbury.

En 1941, il montre ses travaux à George Pal, l'animateur, qui l'engage comme assistant sur la série des Puppetoons. Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Harryhausen est incorporé à l'unité de Frank Capra dans l'Army Signal Corp.

Il réalise, en 1945, des épisodes pour une série de contes de fées, Mother Goose Stories, qui trouvent un débouché dans les milieux scolaires et éducatifs. Il est aidé de sa mère pour les costumes et de son père pour la fabrication des accessoires et des armatures.


Premiers travaux sur des longs métrages (1947-1955)
En 1947, Willis O'Brien l'engage pour être l'un de ses deux assistants sur le tournage de Monsieur Joe et lui laisse l'essentiel de l'animation du gorille. La qualité du travail développé, aussi bien en termes d'animation que d'intégration, montre clairement que Harryhausen a dès lors le talent et la maturité pour développer des projets personnels au cinéma. Cette nouvelle étape se fait sans O'Brien qui n'arrive rapidement plus à concrétiser aucun projet.

En 1953, Harryhausen signe les effets spéciaux du Monstre des temps perdus (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) d'Eugène Lourié. Harryhausen y poursuit son travail d'intégration d'animation image par image avec des plans d'acteurs dans des décors réels. Ce film constitue son premier succès personnel.


Les années Charles H. Schneer (1955-1980)
En 1955, Harryhausen rencontre Charles H. Schneer. Leur collaboration dure plus de 25 ans, Schneer s'occupant de la production, Harryhausen du scénario et des aspects techniques. Douze des quinze films que Harryhausen signe sont produits par Schneer avec quelquefois Harryhausen comme coproducteur.

Le Monstre vient de la mer (It Came from Beneath the Sea) est un coup d'essai pour lequel Schneer espère profiter visiblement du succès du Monstre des temps perdus, le film développant une thématique très similaire. Le second, Les Soucoupes volantes attaquent (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), réalisé par Fred F. Sears en 1956, donne à Harryhausen l'occasion d'élargir sensiblement l'étendue de son travail qui va dès lors au-delà de la simple animation de modèle pour englober l'ensemble des trucages optiques possibles (illustration des champs de force, lasers, scène de destruction massive).

Les deux hommes s'installent finalement à Londres pour faciliter la production de leurs films suivant qui profitent souvent énormément notamment des décors naturels offerts par la péninsule ibérique.

Ray Harryhausen donne alors le meilleur de lui-même. En commençant par sa première tentative d'illustration libre des contes des mille et une nuits, Le Septième Voyage de Sinbad, premier film de la trilogie Sinbad, qui constitue à tous points de vue un modèle du genre. Harryhausen peut enfin donner libre cours à son imagination. Son travail est en outre sublimé par la couleur (premier long métrage couleur en dynamation) et la musique de Bernard Herrmann (qui trouve lui aussi l'occasion de travailler en totale liberté donnant ainsi le meilleur de lui-même). Ces films issus de cette collaboration avec le compositeur attitré d'Alfred Hitchcock restent les plus aboutis.



Il développe ou améliore encore, pendant cette période, ses techniques d'animation et d'incrustation des miniatures avec des prises de vue en action réelle, procédés auxquels il convient désormais d'attribuer des noms toujours plus « fantastiques » (dynamation, superdynamation…).

Fort du succès qu'ils rencontrent, Schneer et Harryhausen poursuivent leur conquête de l'imaginaire et du fantastique avec Jason et les Argonautes (1963), Les Premiers Hommes dans la Lune (1964), La Vallée de Gwangi (1969), les deux derniers films de la trilogie Sinbad (Le Voyage fantastique de Sinbad en 1973 et Sinbad et l'œil du tigre en 1977) avec lesquels Schneer aspire à renouer avec un vrai succès commercial.

Le Choc des Titans (1981) constitue la dernière tentative de Harryhausen pour réanimer un genre que l'on considère alors moribond. Fort d'un budget élevé et d'un appui sérieux des studios, ce film est à la fois le film testament et le film dit de prestige de la carrière de Harryhausen. Devant l'étendue du travail à fournir, Harryhausen sollicite pour l'occasion le talent d'autres animateurs avec lesquels il partage à regret son travail.

Best films

Clash of the Titans (1981)
(Producer)
Mighty Joe Young (1949)
(Visual Effects)

Usually with

Wilkie Cooper
Wilkie Cooper
(6 films)
Nathan Juran
Nathan Juran
(3 films)
Ted Moore
Ted Moore
(3 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Ray Harryhausen (28 films)

Display filmography as list

Actor

Burke & Hare, 1h31
Directed by John Landis
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Historical, Black comedy
Themes Serial killer films
Actors Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher, Christopher Lee, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Curry
Roles Distinguished Doctor
Rating60% 3.049733.049733.049733.049733.04973
The film opens in Edinburgh. Narration by Angus the Hangman explains how the corpses of the hanged are transported to Dr. Robert Knox for dissection. Knox's rival, Dr. Alexander Monro, wants the steady supply of cadavers but is forced to rely on severed limbs for dissection. Monro's assistant Charles Darwin arrives with a forged letter directing that all corpses thenceforth must be sent to Monro. Angus tells Knox's assistant, Patterson, the news. Patterson delivers the message to Knox.
The Boneyard Collection
Directed by Edward L. Plumb
Genres Comedy, Horror
Actors Forrest J Ackerman, Peter Atkins, George Kennedy, Cassandra Peterson, Candy Clark, Brad Dourif
Roles Ray Harryhausen (segment "Her Morbid Desires")
Rating37% 1.8631251.8631251.8631251.8631251.863125
The Boneyard Collection
Directed by Edward L. Plumb
Genres Comedy, Horror
Actors Forrest J Ackerman, Peter Atkins, George Kennedy, Cassandra Peterson, Candy Clark, Brad Dourif
Roles Ray Harryhausen (segment "Her Morbid Desires")
Rating37% 1.8631251.8631251.8631251.8631251.863125
Elf
Elf (2003)
, 1h37
Directed by Jon Favreau
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Christmas films, Santa Claus in film
Actors Will Ferrell, Edward Asnere, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay
Roles Polar Bear Cub (voice)
Rating70% 3.547213.547213.547213.547213.54721
One Christmas Eve, during a stop at an orphanage, a baby boy named William, captivated by the sight of a teddy bear, crawls into Santa Claus's (Ed Asner) sack of gifts while he is delivering toys. Santa Claus unknowingly takes the boy back to the North Pole, and when discovered, is renamed Buddy because one the elves notices he is wearing "Little Buddy" brand diapers. Papa Elf (Bob Newhart) volunteers to raise him.
Mighty Joe Young, 1h54
Directed by Ron Underwood
Origin USA
Genres Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Films set in Africa, Films about animals, Films about apes, Children's films, Mise en scène d'un mammifère
Actors Bill Paxton, Charlize Theron, Rade Šerbedžija, Frank Welker, Peter Firth, Regina King
Roles Gentleman at Party
Rating57% 2.856072.856072.856072.856072.85607
Jill Young is seen as a child at the beginning of the film when she witnesses the death of her mother, Ruth Young (Linda Purl), and the mother of Joe, an infant mountain gorilla, at the hands of poachers led by Andrei Strasser (Rade Šerbedžija). Strasser loses both his right thumb and trigger finger to Joe, and swears revenge on the gorilla for the damage. Before she dies, Ruth tells Jill to take care of Joe, to which Jill agrees. Twelve years later, Jill has raised Joe who, because of a rare genetic anomaly, has now grown to a height of 16 1/2-feet (5 meters) and weighs 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms). As a result, the other gorillas won't accept him and both are now living in relative peace until a wildlife refuge director, Gregg O'Hara (Bill Paxton), convinces Jill that they would be safer from poachers if they relocate to the United States.
Beverly Hills Cop III, 1h44
Directed by John Landis
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Comedy thriller, Action, Crime
Themes Buddy films
Actors Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Héctor Elizondo, Timothy Carhart, George Lucas, John Saxon
Roles Bar Patron
Rating55% 2.753512.753512.753512.753512.75351
One night in Detroit, Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) plans to arrest a gang of car thieves who run a local chop shop. Unbeknownst to his boss, Inspector G. Douglas Todd (Gil Hill), Foley has canceled the SWAT team, intending to raid the shop using only his team. Meanwhile, a group of men arrive at the chop shop to pick up a cube van that the car thieves had hijacked. The leader of the group confirms that the vehicle still contains its cargo, which consists of crates labelled as property of the U.S. government, then has his men execute the car thieves.
Spies Like Us, 1h42
Directed by John Landis
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Action, Adventure, Spy
Themes Spy films, Political films, Buddy films
Actors Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, Donna Dixon, Bruce Davison, James Daughton
Roles Dr. Marston
Rating63% 3.1986753.1986753.1986753.1986753.198675
Austin Millbarge is a geekish, basement-dwelling codebreaker for The Pentagon who aspires to escape his under-respected job to become a secret agent. Emmett Fitz-Hume, a wisecracking, pencil-pushing son of an envoy, takes the foreign service exam under peer pressure. Millbarge and Fitz-Hume meet during the test, on which Fitz-Hume openly attempts to cheat after an attempt to seduce his immediate supervisor in exchange for the answers backfires. Millbarge, however, was forced to take the test, having had only one day to prepare after his supervisor gives him a notice that was two weeks old.
20 Million Miles to Earth, 1h19
Directed by Nathan Juran
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Fantasy, Adventure, Horror
Themes Space adventure films, Films about magic and magicians, Giant monster films, Space opera, Venus in film, Films about extraterrestrial life, Disaster films
Actors William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia, Ray Harryhausen, John Zaremba, Bart Braverman
Roles Man Feeding Elephant (uncredited)
Rating62% 3.1485753.1485753.1485753.1485753.148575
Off the coast of a small Sicilian fishing village, two fishermen watch in amazement as a spaceship pierces the skies and crashes into the sea. The men, Mondello (Don Orlando) and Verrico (George Khoury), row out to the site and pull two space travelers from the capsized craft before it shudders and sinks into the sea. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., General A. D. McIntosh (Thomas Browne Henry) discovers that the government's missing spacecraft, piloted by Col. Bob Calder (William Hopper), has been located off the coast of Italy. As McIntosh flies to Italy, Pepe (Bart Braverman), a little boy who lives in the fishing village of Gerra, finds a metal capsule that has washed up on the beach. Upon opening the capsule, he finds a jelly-like glob inside and sells it to Dr. Leonardo (Frank Puglia), a visiting zoologist who is studying sea creatures. Meanwhile, Leonardo's medical-student granddaughter Marisa (Joan Taylor) is summoned to town to take care of the injured Calder and his companion, Dr. Sharman. When Calder regains consciousness, he finds Sharman in the last throes of the fatal disease that decimated his crew.

Director

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, 1h53
Directed by Sam Wanamaker, Ray Harryhausen
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Seafaring films, Transport films, Children's films
Actors Patrick Wayne, Taryn Power, Jane Seymour, Patrick Troughton, Nadim Sawalha, Damien Thomas
Rating64% 3.2016053.2016053.2016053.2016053.201605
Sinbad (Patrick Wayne), sailor and Prince of Baghdad, moors at Charak, intent on seeking permission from Prince Kassim to marry Kassim's sister, Princess Farah (Jane Seymour). He quickly gets used to the city and its people, but finds it under curfew. When he shelters in a nearby tent, a witch (whom the audience later learns is Zenobia) summons a trio of ghouls, which emerge from a fire. Sinbad disposes of the ghouls. Meanwhile, Farah and Kassim's evil stepmother, Zenobia (Margaret Whiting), turn Kassim into a baboon (one of Harryhausen's stop-motion creations) just as he was going to be crowned caliph. If Kassim cannot regain his human form within seven moons, then Zenobia's son Rafi will be caliph instead.
The Valley of Gwangi, 1h36
Directed by Ray Harryhausen, Jim O'Connolly
Origin USA
Genres Science fiction, Thriller, Fantastic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Horror, Western
Themes Films about animals, Dinosaur films, La préhistoire, Animaux préhistoriques
Actors James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence Naismith, Freda Jackson, Gustavo Rojo
Rating62% 3.1127453.1127453.1127453.1127453.112745
In Mexico at the turn of the 20th century, a beautiful cowgirl named T.J. Breckenridge (Gila Golan) hosts a struggling rodeo. Her former lover Tuck Kirby (James Franciscus), a heroic former stuntman working for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, wants to buy her out. Along the way, he is followed by a Mexican boy named Lope (Curtis Arden), who intends to join the rodeo on a quest for fame and fortune. T.J. is not interested in Tuck because of this, but Tuck is still attracted to T.J., especially when T.J. jumps off a diving board on her horse. T.J. finally accepts Tuck when he saves a matador from a bull and the two kiss on the lips.
One Million Years B.C., 1h40
Directed by Ray Harryhausen, Don Chaffey
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Films about animals, Dinosaur films, La préhistoire, Animaux préhistoriques
Actors Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Beswick
Rating57% 2.85412.85412.85412.85412.8541
Akoba (Robert Brown) leads a hunting party into the hills to search for prey. One member of the tribe traps a warthog in a pit, and then Akoba's son Tumak (John Richardson) kills it. The tribe brings it home for dinner and Tumak is later banished to the harsh desert because of a fight over a piece of meat with Akoba. After surviving many dangers such as a giant iguana, ape men, Apatosaurus and a giant spider, he collapses on a remote beach, where he is spotted by "Loana the Fair One" (Raquel Welch) and her fellow fisherwomen of the Shell tribe. They are about to help him when an Archelon (which is three times the size of the actual prehistoric Archelon) makes its way to the beach. Men of the Shell tribe arrive and drive it back into the sea. Tumak is taken to their village, where Loana tends to him. Scenes follow emphasising that the Shell tribe is more advanced and more civilized than the Rock tribe. They have cave paintings, music, delicate jewellery made from shells, agriculture, and rudimentary language – all things Tumak seems to have never before encountered.
First Men in the Moon, 1h43
Directed by Ray Harryhausen, Nathan Juran
Origin United-kingdom
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Adventure
Themes Space adventure films, Sur la Lune, Films based on science fiction novels, Alternate history films, Space opera, Sur la Lune, Films about extraterrestrial life
Actors Lionel Jeffries, Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Miles Malleson, Norman Bird, Hugh McDermott
Rating64% 3.2474253.2474253.2474253.2474253.247425
In 1964, the United Nations (UN) has launched a rocket flight to the Moon. A multi-national group of astronauts in the UN spacecraft land on the Moon, believing themselves to be the first lunar explorers. They discover a British Union Jack on the surface and a note naming Katherine Callender, claiming the Moon for Queen Victoria. Attempting to trace Callender, UN authorities find she has died, but find her husband Arnold Bedford now an old man in an old people's home. The nursing home staff do not let him watch television reports of the expedition because, according to the matron, it "excites him", dismissing his claims to have been on the Moon as insane delusion. The UN representatives question him about the Moon and he tells them his story. The rest of the film, as a flashback, shows what Bedford and Professor Cavor did in the 1890s.