Sadko (1953)

 |  Adventure, Fantasy  |  1962 (USA)
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Arriving home to find his native land under the yoke of corrupt merchants, an adventurer named Sadko sets sail in search of a mythical bird of happiness.


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Complete credited cast:
Sergei Stolyarov ...
Alla Larionova ...
Ninel Myshkova ...
Princess of Lake Ilmen (as Y. Myshkova)
B. Surovtsev ...
Mikhail Troyanovsky ...
Nadir Malishevsky ...
Vyashta the Giant (as N. Malishevsky)
Nikolay Kryuchkov ...
Ivan Pereverzev ...
Yuri Leonidov ...
Lev Fenin ...
Varangian Leader (as L. Fenin)
Mikhail Astangov ...
Maharaja (as M. Astangov)
Lidiya Vertinskaya ...
The Phoenix (as L. Vertinskaya)
Stepan Kayukov ...
Olga Vikland ...
Neptuna (as O. Vikland)
Sergei Martinson ...
The Monk


An oddly Russian Sinbad seeks to bring happiness to his people - first by trying to give money and goods to the poor, then by seeking out the Blue Bird of Happiness. Written by Jonah Falcon <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Spectacular Scenes From The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Produced! See more »


Adventure | Fantasy


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Release Date:

1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magic Voyage of Sinbad  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Spoofed as "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad" in Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) episode #505, first aired August 14, 1993. See more »

Crazy Credits

(U.S. version) A Moss-Film Production (It was produced by Russia's Mosfilm studios) See more »


Featured in Atlantis: In Search of a Lost Continent (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Iconic adventure fantasy
8 December 2006 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Sadko (not Sinbad, ugh) is a hunk of a poet with a harp. He's got two girls in love with him: one is a nice village girl with a weird pigeon habit, and the other is the Princess of the Sea.... Clearly the thing to do is get out of town quick, so Sadko trades 3 goldfish for 3 boats (they were magic goldfish) and sets sail to find the Bird of Happiness. Along with a small army are Uncle Klepto, Big John, and Timmy the brash young mascot of the group -- these are not their actual names but they might as well be. The heroes are so cliché they're almost iconic.

Sadko and Co. spend the rest of the movie traveling to exotic places and getting into trouble with the locals. They battle Vikings, and play chess with the King of India. They bet a laughing horse for the Bird of Happiness and discover her true nature is not what they thought. They fight and are heroic, and on the return trip a storm threatens to sink the ships, so Sadko goes to the bottom of the sea to soothe an argument between King Neptune and his wife by entertaining them with his harp. Although the Princess loves Sadko she knows he prefers the pigeon girl. She helps him get home again on a speedy seahorse.

This is a very nice looking film. The story is fantastical without being too familiar. There is plenty of Russian flavor to make it semi-exotic to American tastes, and the Russian folk dancing is amazing. The special fx are charming and obvious, like stage tricks. When Sadko lifts a magic fish the light rays emitting from it are actually hundreds of metal wires sticking out of the fish! Most of the exotic locations are drawings, but the India sequence is full of elephants and dancing girls and over the top temples. The Bird of Paradise is satisfyingly surreal in a way that just wouldn't happen now with CGI. The final act in Neptune's Kingdom is a campy delight.

I rate it 8 out of 10. I'd originally seen the Sinbad version and I had to turn the sound down. It was that bad, and obvious the visuals were from a better movie. I'm glad I saw the restored Russian version because the visuals are much clearer and the original soundtrack is pleasant with strong music and the deep serious voices of the men. The story also made a lot more sense. Highly recommend! Would love to see more of this kind of film.

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