Saturday, April 20, 2024

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. (1973) Directed by Gordon Hessier


The second Sinbad outing was bigger but not entirely better than the first. It still had amazing monsters and set pieces but John Phillip law I thought was a little weak in the role. Caroline Munroe is the love interest (love her) and a pre Doctor Who Tom Baker steals the show are the evil sorcerer. It made even more money despite having higher, 2 million dollar, budget. The plot isn’t too much better than 7th Voyage but it moves along and has interesting elements that lift it above many fantasy films and it is a little more consistent. 

Not content to sit on laurels, Harryhaussen created some very memorable creatures in this one. A living ship figurehead, little flying bat winged creatures, a one eyed centaur and there is a incredible sword fight between Sinbad’s sailors and a mutli-armed Cali statue come to life. The griffin looks a little janky but ti all works. 

This was a strong, if not delayed, follow up to 7th Voyage and I do wish Kerwin Matthews had returned but Tom Baker shows what a star he is and I can’t complain about anything important. There is a dumb recurring joke that just bugs me, but that is just me. 

I remember when this came out and saw in the cinema and also at the drive-in with cousins on Cape Cod. It was quite the poplar film among my crowd and it was the first Harryhaussen film I saw in a cinema i think so it ignited my imagination. 

Note: The Sinbad movies were without a doubt a product of their time and I am well aware of that. Women’s roles weren’t very much more than damsels in distress, though all of the main women showed streaks of independence and were crucial to the story. The cast in all the films is almost completely white with rare exception despite being set, in effect, in the Middle East and no one looks like they are Middle Eastern in any way. It’s pretty obvious none of these problems are malicious in any way, just things not thought about in movie making of the time and I could see this trilogy being remade as a streaming series with better plotting in the same storylines with actors that match the locals better and maybe all three strung into one three season storyline with the same Sinbad and  and princess/love interest having more equal roles with modern effects that pay homage to Harryhaussen’s aesthetics. Netflix, Apple TV, whatever I am waiting for your call to develop this idea and bring this character back to modern day thrill seekers! 

No comments: