The very king of monsters for a long time. As a boy he saw “King Kong” when it was on the big screens, and became obsessed with the movie, its special effects techniques and Willis O’Brien’ s work, until he succeeded in really contacting O’Brien himself and becoming his pupil.
Harryhausen improved the stop-motion technique, making it faster and cheaper, and re-christening it “Dynamation”.
The first movie in which he was the sole responsible for visual effects was “The beast from 20,000 fathoms” in 1953, and its success led the way for the huge invasion of giant creatures in the science-fiction cinema of the fifties.
In 1956 Harryhausen took a chance also with spaceships in “Earth versus the flying saucers”, but the result was rather disappointing, and today the movie is remembered for having inspired the Tim Burton spoof “Mars Attacks!”.

Apart from this little failure, Harryhausen’s contribute to fantastic cinema is undoubtable, and his techniques have been used until the computer graphic era.


1953: The beast from 20,000 fathoms
1954: It came from beneath the sea
Earth versus the flying saucers
1956: The animal world
Twenty million miles to Earth
1958: The 7th voyage of Sinbad
1959: The 3 worlds of Gulliver
1960: Mysterious island
1963: Jason and the argonauts
1964: First men in the Moon
1965: One million years B.C.
1968: The Valley of Gwangi
1974: The golden voyage of sinbad
1977: Sinbad and the eye of tiger
Clash of titans