23 December 1999 | 020345
DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BEST FILMS I HAVE EVER SEEN
Jack The Giant Killer is a unique film in its own right. Personally, I think it is a far nicer film than The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (although I still have fond memories of that film, rest assured)and its one that I enjoy watching again and again and again. All the cast (Kerwin Matthews, Judi Meredith, Torin Thatcher, Anna-Lee, Walter Burke, Don Beddoes, et al) give fine performances and the special effects (most notably, the stop-motion animation, the cartoon-style animation) stand up well to the test of time. The story is nice and straight forward and easy to understand.
However, for me it is Judi Meredith who really made the film. The scenes where Pendragon (Torin Thatcher) uses that jewelled staff to turn her from a beautiful, kind princess into a beautiful, cold and icy witch had a real effect on me when I saw the film for the first time on BBC1 in the summer of 1976. Even more effective was when she showed Jack (Kerwin Matthews) her reflection as a wicked witch in the mirror and said "Gaze upon my true form. Am I not beautiful?" then she laughed an evil laugh! It was good that Jack managed to break the spell afterwards. On the other hand, I wish I could have seen a little more of Elaine as a witch, in this film.
I had no idea that this film was released as a musical until a few years ago. I haven't seen the musical so I cannot really comment on it. However, perhaps it's just as well as I have heard that the musical numbers are lousy. I saw the film again on Channel Four at Christmas 1997 and it was wonderful to see it again.
Jack The Giant Killer offers an enjoyable story, great action scenes, competent direction, great special effects and a professional cast. Its a must for anybody who likes fantasy films.