Monday, 3 August 2009

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad boasts stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen, and a script by Brian Clemens. With those two involved you just can’t go wrong. And this 1974 movie is every bit as much fun as you’d expect it to to be.

John Phillip Law is surprisingly lively and entertaining as the hero Sinbad, and then there’s Tom Baker as the villainous Prince Koura and the bodacious Caroline Munro as the beautiful slave girl Sinbad falls for. Her main role in the movie is to display as much cleavage as as is humanly possible, and she does a heroic job. With her and John Phillip Law onboard no-one can complain about a lack of eye candy whichever way your tastes run.

Sinbad has quite by accident come into possession of a mysterious gold tablet, which it turns out is one of three that together form a sort of key that can unlock vast powers. The Grand Vizier of Mabaria has another piece, but the evil Prince Koura is also determined to possess all three pieces. Sinbad must prevent this from happening by setting out on a dangerous voyage to find the third tablet, but he must also battle magical creatures summoned up by the wicked Koura.

There are adventures a-plenty, and there are some very clever monsters. Ray Harryhausen really excelled himself in this one. The eight-armed statue of the goddess Kali that comes to life wielding eight swords is particularly impressive. And there are cute but evil little winged humunculi devil things. I want one of those. The monsters are imaginative and even witty rather than relying on simply being huge and terrifying.

Director Gordon Hessler keeps things moving, the support cast is extremely solid, and everything looks right. Tom Baker is a memorable and interesting villain, and it’s all great fun.


Drake said...

One of my favorite films. Saw it at the theater when it came out.
They just don't make movies like this anymore.

venoms5 said...

This is such an awesome movie. It's my favorite of the Sinbad films and is the most successful in capturing the Arbian Nights feel of this trilogy, IMO.

A great write up for a great movie.

Kester Pelagius said...

Nice review of a classic movie.

Ray Cine 42 N.Y.C. said...

I remember first watching this flick as a kid on Easter Sunday at the theater with my family. I really love this flick. Good review.