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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

By Jerry Renshaw

John Phillip Law stars as the legendary sailor this time around as he finds a talisman and sets sail with his crew for an uncharted island. With a beautiful slave girl (Caroline Munro) in tow, Sinbad takes on the evil sorcerer Koura (Tom Baker), who wants Sinbad's golden talisman to complete a spell. En route to the island, Koura brings the ship's figurehead to life to wreak havoc on the ship and crew. Once there, Sinbad and crew must do battle with a six-armed figure of Kali brandishing a sword in each hand, as well as an enraged Cyclops centaur and a winged griffin, and also deal with the treacherous Koura.

This 1974 entry in the Sinbad franchise is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the film's production values are quite good, and of course the Ray Harryhausen effects are as beautiful as ever. The set design (especially for the scenes inside the cavern) is striking and inventive, and there's Miklós Rózsa's score gracing the soundtrack. On the other hand, the story definitely tends to drag a bit, and Law's indeterminate accent often wavers toward a weird Slavic inflection. Pointing to the film's age, Law and company often tend to look like poncey rock stars with their long hair, beards, and harem pants. That's all nitpicking, though; the action segments, though they're fewer and farther between than in other Sinbad films, redeem the movie with Harryhausen's incredible artistry. It's worth owning just to see the fluid, complex movements of the animated Kali flailing away at six men with her swords. And of course, scream queen Caroline Munro never looked better as the slave girl Margiana. This is rich, well-crafted fantasy fare that the entire family can enjoy.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated GNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Gordon Hessler

Stars: John Phillip Law, Caroline Munro

Released: April 5, 1974

Availability: DVD VHS


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