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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
Sinbad's Golden Voyage

UK/USA 1974
produced by
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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

On 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.

Caroline Munro 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 ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD

 

 

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