The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
Sinbad's Golden Voyage
Ray Harryhausen, Charles H. Schneer for Columbia, Ameran Films
directed by Gordon Hessler
starring John Phillip Law, Caroline Munro, Tom Baker, Douglas Wilmer, Martin Shaw, Grégorie Aslan, Kurt Christian, Takis Emmanuel, David Garfield, Ferdinando Poggi, Aldo Sambrell, Robert Shaw
story by Ray Harryhausen, Brian Clemens, screenplay by Brian Clemens, music by Miklós Rózsa, special visual effects by Ray Harryhausen
Sinbad, Ray Harryhausen's Sinbad Films
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Evil magician Koura (Tom Baker) has set out on a quest to gather all
three parts of a mysterious amulet that would grant him absolute power if
placed in a certain fountain on a certain uncharted magical island. As it
happens though, two parts of the amulet are in the hands of Sinbad (John
Philip Law) and masked Vizier (Douglas Wilmer), who intend to do
everything in their power to thwart Koura's plans and even try to get to
the island before Koura, fighting many a mythical creature (some summoned
by Koura himself, who ages with every spell he casts) along the way.
the island though, Koura has teamed up with the green-skinned natives, and
somehow he gets his hands on all three pieces of the amulet, while Sinbad
and company are to be sacrificed to yet another mythical creature - but
ultimately of course, Sinbad and gang manage to get to the fountain before
Koura is able to gain ultimate power, and even though he regains his youth
and is rendered invisible for his final fight with Sinbad, the good guys
win in the end, and with the last part of the amulet, Vizier becomes the
king again he once was, with even his disfigured face, which he hid behind
a mask throughout the film, restored to normalcy again.
sexes the film up playing a slavegirl turned Sinbad's girlfriend, wearing
a variety of pretty revealing outfits.
The Golden Voyage of
Sinbad has of course, above all else, one raison d'être, and that's
Ray Harryhausen's stop motion creatures, which are pretty much as great
and as inventive as expected. The rest of the film is however less so:
Gordon Hessler's diorectorial effort is pretty lame, rather stagey, and it
seems to lack any spark to make this anything other than a loveless hack
job, lacking each and any Arabian Nights-style atmosphere. While
this means of course The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is less campy than
other films of its kind, the campiness isn't replaced by anything else,
and even the enjoyably ham villainous performance of Tom Baker or the
revealing outfits of Caroline Munro do little to give the film an extra
dimension. That all said, the film is still enjoyable for its effects, but
little above that ...