Random Film of the Day*: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

*For the next few days, I’m going to add a random film the great Ray Harryhausen worked on. The legendary special effects MASTER passed away on May 7, 2013 at age 92 in London and yes, the film world has lost a true giant as well as a fine and talented gentleman…

the golden voyage of sinbadHa! Motivation-killer flu, you can’t keep me from posting! Anyway, onward! It took Charles H. Schneer and Ray Harryhausen fifteen years to follow up their classic fantasy film The 7th Voyage of Sinbad with the second of three movies starring the fabled sailor and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad both looks and feels almost as timeless as that first adventure.

Much better casting for some of the principals in this “sequel” meant more engaging characters, Ray’s animation and effects work were mostly superb and composer Miklós Rózsa contributed a truly outstanding and memorable score that’s one of his best works of that era. As with the other Schneer/Harryhausen family films, this one’s not just for the kids and it’ll bring a nice Saturday morning smile to your face if you haven’t seen it before…

While at sea, Sinbad (John Philip Law) nabs a strange golden amulet from the tiny winged creature that just so happens to be one of three pieces of a larger puzzle needed by the evil wizard Koura (Tom Baker) for a certain ritual. Naturally, the wizard uses his magic to waylay our hero and his crew meet up with a masked Vizer who hides his face because it was horribly burned in a fire (yep, thanks to that wizard again). After seeing his amulet and relaying the tale of what happens when the other two pieces are joined on a faraway island’s magic fountain, the Vizer and Sinbad set sail for that island, taking with them the beautiful Margiana (Caroline Munro), the girl Sinbad saw in a dream after he put on the amulet.

Of course, Koura follows suit and uses his powers a few times in order to try and stop Sinbad and the Vizer. Unfortunately, each time he casts a spell, he ages, so as each attempt fails, you almost feel sorry for the wizard… but not quite, as you probably want Sinbad to not kick the bucket before the movie ends. The movie balances its plot’s serious moments and great villain (played to perfection by a pre-Doctor Who Baker) with some amazingly animated Harryhausen action set pieces and dashes of humor. As far as effects go, it’s the dramatic battle against a huge statute of the multi-armed goddess Kali that’s the high point for some fans.

There’s also a battle against the magically brought to life figurehead of SInbad’s ship, a few more of those tiny winged homunculus flitting around and a very, very cranky centaur battling a griffin near the finale. The film’s tidy 1:45 running time means there’s barely a dull moment  (the kids won’t be bored) and by the time the rousing finale rolls around, you’ll be wanting more. Fortunately for you and the kid(s), Schneer and Harryhausen had one more SInbad film up their sleeves, and while it’s not quite as good, it’s still worth checking out (which we shall do tomorrow, dear reader)…

1 thought on “Random Film of the Day*: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

  1. Pingback: Random Film of the Day*: Sinbad and The Eye of the Tiger | "DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.