Jason And Argonauts 1963
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
Zeus ... King of the gods of the Greeks.
Write in the ashes, so that l may read the future.
l see ... a great tree at the end of the world.
And in its branches hang the skull and skin of a ram.
They gleam and shine, for it is a prize of the gods. A golden fleece.
We've no time for riddles. Tell me of tonight.
Pelias, you will conquer tonight, overthrow the kingdom of Thessaly.
You will kill King Aristo and wear his crown.
You will do all this without fear, because Zeus commands it.
lf l am protected by Zeus, l will have no need of this.
l will offer it to the gods.
lt is also foretold that although you will win the throne of Aristo, -
- you will, when Zeus ordains, lose it to one of Aristo's children.
- Then Aristo will have no children. - He has three.
Two daughters, Philomela and Briseis, and a son, Jason.
They will die with their father tonight.
Hera, queen of gods, protect this child, my sister, Philomela.
And if l, Briseis, am worthy, take me into your protection.
- Are you the daughter of Aristo? - Be silent! She is praying.
For her sister and for her murdered father, Aristo.
- Are you a priestess? - l serve the gods.
- Has Briseis called upon Hera? - She has.
- Has the goddess heard her prayer? - Yes.
Then pray for me.
- lt is the will of Zeus. - No, it is your will.
Zeus has given you a kingdom. The rest will be your own doing.
The gods abandon you. A one-sandaled man shall come.
- And no gods shall protect you. - A one-sandaled man?
The child who has escaped you. Jason.
Then why was l not told the whole prophecy?
Why did Zeus drive me to kill her, when l only needed to kill Jason?
Zeus can't drive men to do what you have done. They drive themselves.
So that the gods may know them, and that men may understand themselves.
Killing Jason will do you no good.
Kill Jason and you kill yourself.
Zeus, my husband, did you order the profanation of my temple?
That was Pelias. He wasn't content with winning the throne of Thessaly.
He tried to avoid losing it, as l commanded.
l know that you have been insulted.
But be content. The boy, Jason, will avenge you.
- How? - l never arrange precise details.
And because of that a young girl was killed, and my temple was profaned.
- l want to help Jason. - No. You may help Philomela.
- The rest is man's work. - No, l want to help Jason.
As you wish.
How many times did Briseis call upon you by name?
- Five. - Then help her brother five times.
Five times you can help him to overthrow Pelias.
That is my final word.
lt will be 29 years before Jason is a man. lt's an instant on Olympus.
But a long 29 years for King Pelias.
He cautiously travels the roads of Thessaly.
Yes, Pelias. You have had years of waiting for the man -
- who must come to kill you. The man with one sandal.
- l owe you my life. - lt was a good way to ford a river.
- But l lost a sandal. - Where are you travelling?
- To the palace of the king. - Pelias?
- Pelias of Thessaly. - Then l can put you on your way.
But first you must accept the hospitality of my camp.
- You haven't told me your name. - l am Jason, king of Thessaly.
l was rescued and brought up in exile.
- Now l return to claim my kingdom. - l've waited for you for 29 years.
Pelias has turned my kingdom -
- from the pride of Greece, to a savage, evil land.
When your father defended his throne no man fought harder than l.
This time fighting won't be enough. l could find Pelias and kill him.
But people need more than a leader. They feel deserted by the gods.
They need a miracle.
l've heard of a tree with a fleece of gold hanging in its branches.
l heard this, too. So have many men. They say it's a gift of the gods.
lt has the power to heal, bring peace and rid the land of famine.
lf l could bring it to Thessaly, it would inspire the people -
- and wipe out the years of misrule.
My land will be as rich as it was before Pelias murdered my father.
Jason, be advised by me.
Search for the golden fleece. Don't reveal yourself to Pelias.
Build a ship, find a crew. When you have this prize -
- then, and only then, return and kill Pelias.
And now, rest yourself. My companions are yours to command.
Father, why did you let him live?
lf l destroy him, Acastus, l destroy myself.
While he searches for the fleece, he's at the ends of the earth.
- And l am safe. - And if he finds it?
You will be there.
You come to pray to the gods, Jason?
lf l had, l wouldn't have chosen a fallen one.
lt's only a statue.
Sometimes the gods argue. Then great winds blow. Temples fall.
- Hermes ... - Yes?
No, l said the statue was the god Hermes.
Ah, yes. The bringer of dreams and the prowler of the night.
No man can tell you how to find the fleece.
lsn't it time you asked the gods?
They won't answer the believers. Would they answer a non-believer?
- Come with me. - Why?
So that you will believe. And be answered.
You win, my lord. That is, the battle, not the war.
Those waters are too shallow for galleys.
Hera, you really must learn to win without cheating.
Or at least to lose gracefully.
- Greetings, Hermes. - Greetings, my lord Zeus.
- There seems to be a piece missing. - Perhaps l can help.
Welcome to Olympus, Jason.
Jason comes to Mount Olympus at last.
No man calls upon the gods unless he wants something.
We arranged for you to come here.
l didn't believe that mortals could ask the help of the gods.
- Much less visit them. - At least you're honest.
Which is more than l can say about most mortals. What do you want?
- A ship? A crew? - No, those l can find myself.
- What will you use instead of gold? - The hearts of men.
l'm Hera, your protector on this voyage.
But Zeus has decreed a limit to the number of times l may help you.
Don't speak. l know what you'll ask.
Does the golden fleece exist, and where is it?
- That's two questions. - l shall only give one answer.
- Search the land of Colchis. - Then it does exist.
But Colchis is the end of the world. No Greek has sailed there.
Now that you heard that, are you so sure that you won't need my help?
Think carefully. l offered him a ship. A ship and a crew.
- And he refused me. - Refused the help of the gods?
What ship can sail that far? What crew brave enough to sail her?
l shall tell the shipbuilders that the richest cargo waits in Colchis.
That only the strongest ship ever built will survive the voyage.
The athletes of Greece are proud. Only the best will join me.
l shall announce the games. lnvite the strongest of the Greeks.
No greater games shall ever be held. Unless the gods decree otherwise.
l did well to choose you.
The gods are best served by those who want their help least.
Castor of Sparta.
Acastus of Thessaly.
Phalerus of Athens, champion archer of Greece.
Euphemos of Taenarum. Spiros of Syracuse.
- Hercules! - He's here!
l mean to sail with you. Tell me which champion to beat.
No one. l know you can beat us all.
Hercules ... yes.
- Hercules. - Yes?
l'm Hylas. l came too late to compete in the games.
But if l can beat you at something, Jason must give me a place.
After all, he might need brains as well as brawn.
Shall we compete?
See that rock? No thrower has ever reached it.
ls the contest to hit it or pass it?
- You won't get it half way. - After you.
l've never thrown a discus before. l'd like to see how it's done.
Let Hylas have a moment of triumph.
- You shall have your place. - Hail, Hylas.
l have found the finest crew. Now for a ship that is worthy of them.
- Argus? Argus? - Hello?
- ls that you, Argus? - Who's there?
- lt's Jason. - Come aboard.
- So you've come back again. - She's a fine ship.
Yes. She is a fine ship. She's ready to sail.
We've yet to give her a name. l'll call her the Argo after her builder.
After you see the figurehead, you might change your mind. This way.
- ls it forward? - Astern.
But it's supposed to watch over the waters ahead.
l can't help that. Something made me put it here.
Hera, queen of the gods.
- What? - Nothing.
- You don't object to it here? - No.
Nor do l. Makes me feel someone friendly is watching over us.
- When do we sail? - Tomorrow.
- Don't waste it. - lt won't make any difference.
Let him rest. We have to find water. We can't row on three sips a day.
- Take my advice. Put back to lcos. - We'll lose five days' sailing.
We haven't water enough for the time it would take us to reach lcos.
Don't worry. He won't listen to me. But l wish he'd listen to someone.
Still grumbling? Sailors always grumble.
They have something to grumble about. No water, blistered hands.
They should use brine. lt toughens the skin.
Go treat them. l'll steer.
Hera ... you said you'd help me a certain number of times.
- You've told me about Colchis. - And I threw PeIias from his horse.
Pelias? So that was King Pelias.
I know your need. Set saiI and steer north.
You'II reach the IsIe of Bronze at noon.
- l've never heard of it. - No mortaI has.
Hephaestus Iived there making armoured weapons for Zeus.
Do not fear. Hephaestus is gone.
I'II see that you reach the isIe, but Iisten to me very carefuIIy.
Take the helm. Set sail!
We reach land at noon. Then you can fill your bellies.
lt will be safe to take food and water, but nothing else.
Absolutely nothing else.
- Does that include women? - Yes, it does.
lf l meet a girl with a firm leg and a warm heart, no man will stop me.
- Talos will. - ls that a man who wants to fight?
l spoke of no man. Food and water, Hercules, that's all.
Jason, who told you of this island?
The goddess, Hera.
Port helm. Steady as you go.
Furl the sail.
Ashore for food and water.
- Goats, good sailors. - Goats?
- What do you want with goats? - Some of us are hungry and thirsty.
Here's one for the pot.
- lsn't he one of the Titans? - lt might be. He's big enough.
Didn't Jason talk about Talos?
Hephaestus moulded the statues of the gods here.
And set them up for all the world to see.
- lt's a treasure chamber. - The treasure chamber of the gods.
Look at this. And this! A pearl.
- lt's a javelin! - ln a jewel box?
lt's a brooch pin.
lt will make a useful weapon. Let's go back to the ship.
- Hercules ... - What is it?
You'd better put it back. Remember what Jason said.
lt won't be missed.
lf the gods leave this unguarded, they obviously don't want it.
lt must have been the wind.
- You didn't see them after that? - Perhaps Hercules found a woman.
Back water! Back!
I warned you. It's HercuIes' doing. TaIos wiII try to kiII aII of you.
- How can l fight him? - Don't waste the gift of the gods.
Our weapons are useless. l repeat the question.
Then I must answer it. Fight TaIos with your wits.
- Look to his ankIes. - His ankles?
There's nothing eIse I can teII you.
- Jason! - You disobeyed my orders.
Lure him to these rocks. Stay out of reach. l'll hide here, Acastus.
l shall do my very best to send him to you, Jason.
Mind his foot!
Hercules, you left your ...
- Well? - We searched, Argus.
- And l will search again. - Hylas was with us. He was running.
- Then he disappeared. - He could have been hurt.
Like Palinuros. We had to carry him aboard.
Hercules, Hylas is dead.
The gods decided it.
Why kill a boy for my grave fault? l should have stayed with him.
Search until nightfall. We won't sail till then.
Sail when you please. l can't leave this island until l find Hylas.
Jason, will you abandon Hercules, the best man among us?
- l won't sail without him. - Nor shall l.
Come with me.
ls there any man here who does not obey the gods?
We will do as the goddess Hera commands. lf she will speak to us.
This is your Iast chance, Jason.
The Iast time that I can heIp you.
- l understand. - Then know this. HyIas is dead.
HercuIes is not fated to go further with the Argo.
- Zeus has other tasks for him. - And for us, Hera?
SaiI to Phrygia. Seek out Phineas, the bIinded man.
OnIy he can guide you now.
We set sail.
Come on, back to your places!
Come on, back to your places.
Lord Zeus, l was a sinner. l never tried to deny it.
But l didn't sin every day. Why then do you punish me every day?
What in the name of the gods are they?
- Are you Phineas? - Yes.
Take my arm, l can't see yours. Don't flinch.
Zeus gave me the gift of prophecy, but l misused it, so l was blinded.
Zeus ordered the Harpies to torment me.
Jason, listen to me.
The gods have ordered me to tell you what you want to know.
The gods have gone too far with me.
They can punish a man so much, and then one day he abandons them.
He says, ''All right, Zeus, let the earth swallow me.''
l defy you!
Growl away all you like, Zeus. l mean what l say.
Jason, l'll tell you what you want to know only if you meet my price.
- What is your price? - Free me from these Harpies.
lf Zeus sent them to plague him, we can't interfere.
- That's my price. - Then we'll meet it.
We'll make you the master of the Harpies.
Get to the ropes!
Castor, Phalerus! Find some wood to build a cage.
Here you are, you hungry fellow. A big fish for you and more wine.
- We've done our part now. - What do you want to know?
- The way to Colchis. - lt's through the Clashing Rocks.
Steer north-west and you'll reach them in five days.
Turn north-east after the Clashing Rocks. Then you'll reach Colchis.
- But what gods protect you? - None, now.
- Then you won't pass the rocks. - What are they?
They speak for themselves, don't they?
All l can offer you is this.
lt's not much reward for what you've done, but it's all l have.
lf that's all you can tell us, then goodbye.
May the gods be merciful to you.
Phineas, from now on, they'll eat the scraps you leave.
There's not much water here.
Steady as you go. Row easy.
- Easy, all. - Easy, all!
lt's a narrow channel. But what made Phineas so frightened?
- lt looks calm enough. - Too calm. Acastus!
l know the sea god's moods. Most of them are dangerous.
Acastus, take a sounding.
The rest of you be prepared to row. An easy stroke. Save your strength.
They may need it later.
Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!
There she is. She doesn't seem to be in any great difficulty.
- A whole ship's crew. - And Lynceus.
There was no hope of saving him. Not in that sea.
- Are we going through? - Yes.
But ... All right, we're going through.
Back to your places.
- There's no turning back now. - No, Acastus. Not on this voyage.
Drummer! Beat out the stroke!
But keep it easy!
The gods want their entertainment.
- Jason goes too far. - Because he speaks the truth?
Turn back, we're trapped.
- Trapped, Hera. - You've left me only one move.
- Pray to the gods, Jason. - The gods of Greece are cruel.
ln time, all men shall learn to do without them!
Get back to your place.
Pull! Pull till your hearts crack and your backs break!
Keep the stroke going!
Jason dared to speak of the end of the gods, and yet you let him live.
lf l punished every blasphemy, l'd lose all loyalty and respect.
You are the god of many men, but you are nothing without their faith.
You understand that, and yet you remain with me?
- ls it weak of me, my lord? - Not weak, almost human.
We owe thanks to the god that helped us. The others weren't so fortunate.
- Who are you? - Your ship was lost.
We found only two other survivors. They're being looked after.
- When did you sail from Colchis? - Dawn, this morning.
Dawn? Then our journey is nearly over.
- Where have you come from? - Thessaly.
That's the other side of the world. You don't look like a merchant.
- Your vessel's a fighting ship. - We'd be foolish to sail unarmed.
By all accounts your king, Aeétes, fears the gods.
We were sent by the gods. But l will talk to him alone, peacefully.
Now you answer a question. What was your ship doing here?
We came to sacrifice to the gods. To make the sea safe for our ships.
l'm afraid our gods were angry and not so powerful as yours.
- Are you a priestess? - l serve in the temple of Hecate.
A dancer. ls Hecate the god of the Colchians?
l heard they worshipped a strange idol. The skin of a ram.
lts fleece is of gold. The gift of the gods themselves.
lt brought us peace and prosperity.
We'll put you ashore tomorrow. Perhaps you'll show us to the city.
- Now tell me your name. - Medea.
- Who are you? - My name is Jason.
ln a few hours we'll sight Colchis. l'll come in quietly by night.
- l don't want any trouble. - There won't be.
- Just tell us when we attack. - We don't attack.
But you have good fighting men.
- 49 fighting men against a nation? - Better 49 than one.
- We're not pirates. - Aren't you a fighting man?
l'll go up alone and see what the situation is.
You mean spy the land? Why not take a few of us?
lf few go, less can get caught. And what's the fewest?
- One. - Right. l accept your advice.
After sailing this far together, we can speak our minds.
- What's on yours? - We nose our way upstream.
Rush the guards, seize the fleece. We'll be gone before they know it.
A night attack? And in the dark, a man will die. Me.
A javelin in my back. A Greek javelin, Acastus. Maybe yours.
- You'll die for that, Jason. - Keep back.
lt's Euphemus. He's dead.
Look at this. Slashed and bloody.
Acastus must be at the bottom of the sea.
- Make sail! - And Euphemus?
The sea was his kingdom while he was alive. Let it take his body now.
Make sail! Make sail!
You're wounded. We have a flower in Colchis which heals and soothes.
Tomorrow l'll show you.
- What do you call the flower? - lt sprang from Prometheus' blood.
lt has been used over the years for its soothing and curing powers.
The sun is getting high. We must go.
Follow the road to the east. l go another way.
The goddess Hecate has spoken.
There will be one among us today from the ends of the world.
His name is Jason. Any man of whom he asks his way shall say this:
Aeétes, king of Colchis, awaits him in the temple of Hecate.
And that is all any man shall say to him.
Come forward, Jason.
You have done all of us a great service. Tonight we shall feast.
We know of your great heroism. Bring your companions to my palace.
l thank you, my lord. But l don't understand.
- Medea? - Welcome to Colchis.
- To Jason and the Argonauts! - Jason and the Argonauts!
Tell me, why did you come here?
- ln peace. - l said why, not how.
- How many men have you? - Enough.
And you do not threaten us? Envoys who come in deceit remain in death.
l know you've come for the fleece. lf necessary, you will steal it.
We won't part with the gift of the gods. lt brought wealth to Colchis.
To part with it would mean the destruction of our country.
We can no longer welcome you, but treat you as you deserve.
As thieves, as pirates, as murderers.
We give our thanks to one person.
The person who exposed a criminal attempt on our kingdom.
The son of King Pelias of Thessaly. Acastus!
Hecate, queen of darkness. You've always helped me.
Tell me now what l must do. You gave me the gift of foresight.
Why didn't you reveal to me Acastus' treachery?
He who sits drinking with Aeétes, -
- while Jason ... in prison ... condemned to death.
lf l help him in his quest for the fleece, -
- l shall be a traitor to my country and to you, Hecate.
And if not ... to myself.
Help me, Hecate.
Medea, why did you come here? Did Aeétes send you?
l came to ask you to give up your quest and sail away in peace.
- And never return. - Forget about the golden fleece?
Then it was Aeétes. Tell him l will fulfil the task the gods gave me, -
- and never betray the Argonauts, whatever he offers me.
Even if it's Medea, the high priestess of Hecate.
Forget the golden fleece. l fear for your safety.
lf you're set on carrying it away, l must come with you.
- l'll go alone. - No, l have to go with you.
l have no country now. And l love you.
Castor, Phelarus, Dimitris, get to the door.
The rest of you, back to your places.
- The priestess! - Listen.
Go back to the ship and row downstream.
There's a break in the cliff. Anchor there, we'll join you.
- What is it? - Jason has escaped.
- And his men? - All gone. The guards were drugged.
Then he has an accomplice.
- Where's Acastus? - Not in his quarters.
Acastus helped Jason? But there's no reason to it.
Unless it was Medea who mixed the drug.
l saw how she looked at Jason.
She'll guide them to the fleece.
The Argonauts will take ship. The landward way is shorter.
Muster your men!
Phalerus, Castor, come with me. No, not you, Polydeuces.
Stay aboard with the rest of the men and guard the ship.
Jason ... Jason!
Aeétes and the Colchians ... We heard them. They're coming.
Get the fleece.
Guards, follow them up there, and that way.
Hecate, queen of darkness! Avenge yourself against the Thessaliens.
Give me the children of the hydra's teeth. The children of the night!
Fetch me the hydra's teeth. Quickly!
Against the children of the hydra's teeth there is no protection.
The fleece, give me the fleece. lt has the power to heal.
lt's true. lt does have the power to heal.
Hold the guards back, or they may die with Jason and his pirates.
Rise up, you dead, slain of the hydra.
Rise from your graves and avenge us.
Those who steal the golden fleece must die.
Argus, get down to the ship. Take Medea.
Kill! Kill! Kill them all!
That proves l'm a worthy opponent.
Where are you going? The game certainly isn't over.
Let them enjoy a calm sea, a fresh breeze, and each other.
The girl is pretty, and l was always sentimental.
But for Jason there are other adventures.
l have not yet finished with Jason. Let's continue the game another day.
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