Charles Schneer, the producer who collaborated with special effects giant Ray Harryhausen on the classics The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad and Jason And The Argonauts, has passed away this past Wednesday, January 21 in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 88.
Schneer’s partnership with Harryhausen stretched for a majority of both their careers. They were introduced to each other by a mutual friend who served with Schneer in the Army during World War II. Schneer had served an Army unit producing training films. After the war, he worked briefly at Universal Pictures before moving on to Columbia Pictures to work at the studio’s low-budget division with producer Sam Katzman. It was here that Schneer pitched Harryhausen the idea of a movie about a giant octopus that attacks the Golden Gate Bridge. The end result was the classic It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955), Schneer’s first producing credit.
The pair quickly followed their success up with Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956) and 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957). They also collaborated on The 3 Worlds Of Gulliver (1960), Mysterious Island (1961), The Valley Gwangi (1969), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1974), Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1977) and 1981’s Clash Of The Titans, the film which would be both their professional swansongs.
In addition to his films with Harryhausen, Schneer produced Hellcats Of The Navy, which starred Ronald Reagan and his future wife Nancy Davis.