MovieChat Forums > Jason and the Argonauts (1963) Discussion > Couldn't they have figured out what happ...

Couldn't they have figured out what happened to Hylas?


CONTAINS SPOILERS!

After Talos falls on Hylas, crushing him to death, Jason's crew begins an arduous search for him. Apparently not one of the Argonauts ever stops to think that Talos might have fallen on top of Hylas -- even though, by their own conversation, they last saw him running back in the direction of the teetering monster to fetch Hercules's golden "spear"...before he mysteriously "disappeared". Ooooohh.

Now, for crying out loud! What did they think happened to him? I mean, they see Hylas running back toward a 300-foot hunk of metal that's about to fall over, and no one has the wit to figure out that maybe the thing fell on him? Why do they search all over the island for him when they know he was last seen on the beach, near Talos? Did they really think he was wounded and had somehow wandered miles away? Are they all so dense that it never even occurs to any of them that the reason they can't find Hylas is that he's buried under a thousand tons of bronze? And why are they so shocked, after Hercules leaves, to learn from Hera that Hylas is indeed dead? (And for that matter, why doesn't she tell them what happened to him?)

Yes, I know, it's a plot device to peel Hercules away from the Argonauts and get Hera involved again, but this always struck me as an absurdly stupid and non-credible dramatic point in an otherwise enjoyable -- indeed, excellent -- fantasy. If Hylas had wandered off by himself somewhere unseen by the rest and been killed, their inability to find out what had happened to him might be reasonable. But when the whole thing takes place right in front of them, even if no one witnessed the actual moment that Talos landed on Hylas, a modicum of logic or deductive reasoning should lead them to the blatantly obvious truth -- or at to least consider the possibility. Granted, they wouldn't have been able to physically roll Talos off Hylas to check, but a few brains and a little common sense seem to have been sorely lacking in this bunch.

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Well hobnob, it is like this....actually I can't really give you any logical answer.

I'm thinking that it is human emotion or rather human denial (especially for Hercules), that makes them search for Hylas. I have the feeling Jason knows that Hylas is dead (and perhaps others fear it as well), but go through these fruitless hunts anyway for the benefit of Hercules. Even Argos (Laurence Naismith) stated that one of them got hurt during Talos' attack, but they eventually found him and had to carry him back to the ship. Covering all the bases to appease good old Herc I guess. It does bring the question of what would have a grief-stricken Hercules done had they not bothered to do these thorough but unrewarding searches?

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Well, denial is certainly in play here -- witness the crew's reactions when Hera tells them Hylas is dead: "Hylas is dead! Hylas is dead!" You practically expect them to follow this with, "Can you imagine? I never dreamed!" That's part of the silliness of this whole portion of the movie.

Anyway, beyond Jason telling Hercules that Hylas was dead -- which he seems to have assumed, without bothering to figure out what might have happened to him -- no one, including Jason or Hercules, advances the theory that, hey, maybe Hylas didn't manage to get away from Talos as he fell over. They know everything up to and including Hylas running out onto the beach in front of Talos -- but then can't even guess that the giant collapsed on top of him?! Not believable, made the worse by the fact that no one even considers the notion that that's what might have happened.

Actually, plot-wise, it would have made as much sense, maybe more, for Hercules and the rest to have seen Hylas crushed. Hercules could have equally shown the same remorse -- for a boy getting killed for his, Hercules's, transgression -- and decided to leave the Argo because of his discouragement and guilt, or even perhaps because he doesn't want to risk bringing any more harm to the Argonauts. That would have made more sense in advancing the plot, and still have achieved the same ends, but for more valid and logical reasons.

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Actually, plot-wise, it would have made as much sense, maybe more, for Hercules and the rest to have seen Hylas crushed. Hercules could have equally shown the same remorse -- for a boy getting killed for his, Hercules's, transgression -- and decided to leave the Argo because of his discouragement and guilt, or even perhaps because he doesn't want to risk bringing any more harm to the Argonauts.

Actually, that does sound more logical. Hobnob, if you were around back then, you should have employed your services to write at least that segment!

Still, if it were me in that situation, I probably would have done what Hercules was requesting (and possibly saving my hide!). In Hercules’ mental state, telling him that Hylas is dead over and over again is obviously not helping at all, which then forced Jason to eventually leave without him.

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Ah, Big G, think of all the movies we could have made so much better if only we'd been of age and inclination!

Of course, as Hera tells everyone after the fact, we know that Herc was not destined to go on with the Argonauts anyway, so, per Greek mythology, the Fates had written the course of events this way...including, I suppose, the crew's general denseness regarding Hylas's end. So, you see, even the most talented scriptwriters would have been helpless to avoid staging the proceedings exactly as filmed!

Though it would have been interesting to see a fed-up Hercules deck Jason if he'd in fact kept telling him, "Quit wastin' yer time, Herc -- that Hylas guy, he's, like, smushed." Or, you know, some similarly Homeric language.

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Though it would have been interesting to see a fed-up Hercules deck Jason if he'd in fact kept telling him, "Quit wastin' yer time, Herc -- that Hylas guy, he's, like, smushed." Or, you know, some similarly Homeric language.

Of course, that would not have made Hera very happy and if one knows mythology, she was not a Hercules fan! But since he was Zeus' son, what could she do? Heck, we're be going to CLASH OF THE TITANS territory!

Hobnob, off topic, I just received GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH. I will probably see it this weekend, since it will be raining here in So. Cal. Now I will be able to compare and contrast to THE BIG CIRCUS. Review coming soon and probably on THE BIG CIRCUS board.

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Is there anything to the fact that Zeus spelled backward is Suez?

The eastern African anchor to the southern African anchor of the Pillars of Hercules, perhaps?

Talk about a titanic clash.

Looking forward to your comparison thread on the TBC board regarding it vs. TGSOE.

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[deleted]

Blaspheming infidel! May the gods curse you!

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[deleted]

Can't blame Herc for wanting to search for his p-ssy boy. That was pretty hot nookie.

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I think they all knew what happened to Hylas, certainly Jason did, but...nobody wanted to tell the Herc. He could get kind of wild and crazy at times.

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No, none of them knew, including Jason. Why send out search parties when Jason needed all hands to rebuild the Argo, if they knew he was dead? To keep up appearances for Hercules's sake? Jason told Hercules that Hylas was dead to try to settle things so he'd leave with them, not because he actually knew what had happened to him. And again, when Jason speaks with Hera in front of the crew they're all shocked to learn that Hylas is dead, as if this was inconceivable. So plainly they were as clueless -- in every sense of the word -- as Hercules.

Under the circumstances, the first thing anyone should guess is that he's been crushed by Talos. For the men to wander all over the island looking for him, as if he had have gone off someplace right after Talos fell, is preposterous. This plot point is the film's one indulgence of stupidity.

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It's a guy thing..

We all know when the sh**t hits the fan, what guys do.. They knew Hercules would lose his mind, and go nuts if they told him point blank.. So.. they do what guys do..

They kept working on the ship, and hoping someone else would have the balls to tell Herc. (and of course, talking in great detail about the incident the whole time, they were supposed to be working)..

*Sigh*, as usual, it took a woman to just "put it out there", basically. This way, they have someone else as the scape goat.. which through out mythology to politics, from Adam and Even to Ben Carson's wife - it's the woman who gets thrown under the bus.. Yet will point out the obvious when no one else will..



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