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Ray Harryhausen exhibition - London Film Museum

Ray Harryhausen exhibition

Preview by Jack Foley

ON June 29, 2010, the London Film Museum opened its latest exhibition celebrating the work of effects legend Ray Harryhausen.

Entitled Ray Harryhausen – Myths and Legends – the exhibition focuses on the work of the effects genius and showcases the techniques he used to bring his Dynamation creatures to life.

The launch date was an extra special one as it was also Ray’s 90th birthday.

Ray is the father of modern day special effects. Without his imagination and wonderful fantasy films made in the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s there would probably be no George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Nick Park or Peter Jackson.

It was Ray who inspired these fantasy filmmakers and it is to him that each one credits Ray as their inspiration.

Ray began his art after seeing King Kong (1933) and following his first feature film Mighty Joe Young in 1949 went on to develop a technique known as Dynamation, which is a process that allows animated models to be integrated with live action.

Other films followed, amongst which were The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1952), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), One Million Years BC (1966), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Clash of the Titans (1981).

These classic films ‘starred’ such creations at Cyclops, dragons, living skeleton warriors, a Medusa, a giant crab, scorpions and bees and, of course, dinosaurs.

The exhibition has been put together by the London Film Museum Advisory Panel including Leslie Hardcastle (founder of MOMI) and Jonathan Sands (Chief Executive of the museum), and with kind permission from The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

The exhibition is housed in the rooms opposite the Charlie Chaplin – The Great Londoner Exhibition and will be there for 12 months.

View photos from the exhibition

  1. There’s an absolutely terrific 90th Birthday Tribute about how Ray Harryhausen literally changed the face of all of modern motion pictures – and it really is true! The article is at the prestigious Films In Review, the oldest film journal in the United States. Here’s the link:

    Victoria    Jun 27    #