When it first screened in 1963, Jason and the Argonauts was like nothing moviegoers had ever seen before. And even though today's audiences don't find special effects all that special anymore, the film's stop-motion action fight scenes and carefully crafted monsters are still jaw-dropping. Expect to be blown away when the gigantic bronze statue of Talos comes alive and stomps on the greedy little Greeks stealing from his treasury, and when the seaside cliffs are held back by Poseidon himself to prevent Jason's ship from being crushed between them. But best and baddest of all is the scene in which the villain sows the teeth of the monstrous multiheaded Hydra and summons forth an army of skeletons hell-bent on killing our hero. Besides the eye-popping spectacles veteran special-effects wizard Ray Harryhausen and crew created, there's also the added wonder of pneumatic Nancy Kovack as Medea in her skintight chiton. And we can't forget Todd Armstrong as Jason in his equally appealing tunic. Among these astonishing cinematic wonders is the atmospheric score by none other than Bernard Herrmann, Orson Welles's and Alfred Hitchcock's master composer. 2 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. Free.
Sun., Nov. 1, 2 p.m., 2009