(Expanded, edited version)
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
The film begins with Sinbad (Kerwin Matthews) on board his ship, with Harufa (Alfred Brown) his chief lieutenant, sailing through a thick fog, en route to Baghdad from the Kingdom of Chandra (1) with a special cargo, the Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant) (2), accompanied by her handmaid, Sadi (Nana DeHerrera): Parisa will wed her beloved Sinbad to avert a war between Chandra and Bagdad (3).
The ship stops for supplies at the Isle of Colossa (4). While loading food and water, a magician named Sokourah (5) (Torin Thatcher) emerges from a mask-crowned stone portal, chased by a Cyclops with satyr's legs (created as a stop-motion model, like most of the non-human cast, by Ray Harryhausen). The wizard rubs a magic lamp and is helped by a boy genie, Baronni (Richard Eyer), (6) who creates a magic barrier between the Cyclops and Sinbad's crew, who escape, taking Sokourah with them. But the Cyclops throws a rock to sink their boat, and the lamp is lost: the Cyclops recovers it from the shallow surf.
Now at sea, Sokourah tries to persuade Sinbad with a bagful of jewels into returning to Colossa to regain the magic lamp; but Sinbad's mission is to go to Bagdad and avert war with Chandra by marrying Parisa. Once in Bagdad, Sokourah tries to convince the Caliph (Alec Mango), to grant him a ship for an expedition to Colossa, also showing him designs for a giant crossbow. But the Caliph listens to Sinbad about the perils of returning to Colossa, and even after putting on a fantastic magic show during a feast for the Caliph and Parisa's father, the Sultan of Chandra (Harold Kasket), during which Sadi is transformed into a blue four-armed snake-woman which performs an exotic dance, Sokourah's request is denied. Sokourah then prophesies war between Chandra and Baghdad, which upsets the Caliph and the Sultan, and Sokourah is banished from the city.
Sokourah steals into Parisa's bedchamber at night, and enchants her with the green smoke of a magic candle, which shrinks Parisa down to a few inches high. In the morning, Sadi discovers her and calls for the Caliph, Sinbad, and the Sultan: the Sultan becomes infuriated, vowing to avenge Parisa by laying waste to Bagdad.
Sinbad seeks out Sokourah, and implores him to restore Parisa to her normal size, being apparently unaware that Sokourah was responsible for her miniaturization. Sokourah initially feigns helplessness, but finally concedes he can restore the Princess but he needs as a vital ingredient a piece of eggshell from the Roc (7), a giant bird that nests on the peaks of the Isle of Colossa. Sinbad now agrees to the voyage, and musters a crew partly from the condemned men from the Caliphs prison - a murderous rabble whose loyalty is questionable. Parisa journeys with Sinbad in a jeweled casket, and the giant crossbow is also made and loaded aboard.
The crew mutiny once out at sea, and force Sinbad to yield by threatening Sokourah. They then lock up Sinbad, his loyal crew member Harufa and Sokourah, who curses the crew with madness: he knows that a storm will drive the ship towards rocks south of Colossa inhabited by wailing demons whose screams are unbearable: Sinbad saves his and his companions sanity by using waxed cloth to block their ears. The mutiny ringleader dies in a fall from the mast, and the men release Sinbad to save the ship. The ship and a more obedient crew arrive at Colossa.
As the giant crossbow is assembled on the beach in front of the stone mask, Sinbad and Sokourah each lead a party through the Valley of the Cyclops, with Sinbad secretly (for a few minutes, at least) followed by his lieutenant, Harufa. Sinbads band discovers a giant spiked club and a store house full of treasure; though Sinbad tries to stop them, they become greedy trying to seize it: a Cyclops discovers them, hauls all five of them out, and locks them in a cage, from which it extracts Harufa whom it ties to a roasting-spit and starts to barbecue. Sokourah hears the shouts of Sinbad and the other trapped men, but does not release them, instead entering the treasure-chamber to find the magic lamp. Sinbad now reveals the tiny Princess Parisa, who manages to unfasten the cage's latch, enabling Sinbad and the men to escape. The four men who were with Sokourah, having become drunk on a stream flowing with wine, now attack: the Cyclops kills two by squashing them with an uprooted tree. During the following fight Sinbad manages to free Harufa, seize the lamp from Sokourah, and kill the Cyclops by first blinding him with a burning stake from the fire, and then leading him over a cliff, where the Cyclops falls to his death in the stream below.
Sinbad is now suspicious of Sokourah, and refuses to let him have the lamp until Sokourah restores Parisa to her normal size. Sinbad, Sokourah, Harufa and the remaining three crewmen all climb a steep, rocky mountain (losing one man who falls off en route), until they find a giant egg. The two hungry crewmen break the egg with axes, releasing a two-headed yellow-down-covered Roc hatchling, which they kill and roast: Sinbad takes some of the eggshell. Parisa enters the lamp to speak with the genie, where he reveals to her his name, the magic words needed to use the lamp, which she passes onto Sinbad, and a prophecy which would free the genie to become, as he desires, a real boy - "into fiery rock, to rise, you must fall".
Shortly an adult Roc appears, attacks the crew, knocking the two remaining crewmen off the mountain to fall to death, and carries Sinbad, unconscious, off to its nest. Sokourah seizes the opportunity to kill Sinbad's right-hand man Harufa with a spear, and takes Parisa prisoner. Sinbad escapes from the Roc's nest, and summoning the genie of the lamp, discovers that Parisa is being held in Sokourah's castle in a cave at the foot of the mountain. This is guarded by a chained wingless green fire-breathing horned Dragon, which Sinbad must bypass by winding in its chain on one of a pair of windlasses.
At Sokourah's castle, Sinbad orders Sokourah at the point of a sword to restore Parisa to normal. Using the prepared potion, the piece of eggshell, and an incantation, Sokourah fills a large chest, into which the Princess has been placed, with green smoke, and Parisa becomes normal size again. However, Sinbad refuses to give up the lamp until he and the Princess are safely back at his ship: enraged, Sokourah animates a skeleton which, armed with scimitar and shield, fights Sinbad, he ultimately defeating it by pushing it off the top of a spiral staircase. Sokourah tries again to stop Sinbad and Parisa escaping by magically smashing a rock bridge over a channel of molten lava: the genie, summoned, helps them by materializing a rope they use to swing across the chasm to safety.
Parisa realizes the chasm is the "fiery rock" mentioned in the prophecy of release for the genie, and casts the lamp into the lava flow, infuriating Sokourah. Sinbad and Parisa manage to sneak their way past Sokourah's guard Dragon, but another Cyclops enters the cave and blocks their way. Sinbad releases the Dragon by cutting the ropes of the windlass, enabling it to break its chain; the Dragon then fights and kills the Cyclops, biting its throat out. Sokourah follows shortly after, and with his dragon, chases Sinbad and Parisa back to the stone mask, where the giant crossbow is used to shoot the Dragon, which falls onto Sokourah, presumably killing him: the Dragon drags itself to the beach before expiring.
As Sinbad and Parisa escape, back on board ship, Parisa calls Baronni by name he reappears, now a genie no longer but Sinbads cabin boy who has also thoughtfully filled Sinbad's cabin with the Cyclops' treasure, as a "sort of a wedding present".
Notes (1) Spelling uncertain: historically, 'Chandra' is a Hindu lunar deity (2) This spelling of 'Parisa' is used p163 in 'The Art of Ray Harryhausen', by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton, 2006, Billboard Books, New York (3) This spelling of 'Bagdad' rather than 'Baghdad' is used as a text overlay in the film, although the video sleeve has 'Baghdad' (and so may be unreliable on other points) (4) This spelling of 'Colossa' is used p162 in 'The Art of Ray Harryhausen' (5) Spelt 'Sokourah' in 'The Art of Ray Harryhausen' p 162 et. seq., and so used here, although the video sleeve has 'Sokurah': the role is not given in the title credits (6) Spelling uncertain, and could also be 'Birani' or any phonetic variant: in the title credits simply 'The Genie' (7)The roc or rukh is a giant bird in Persian mythology, probably inspired in part by the eggs or even sightings of the Aepyornis elephant bird, a now-extinct three-metre-tall flightless bird of Madagascar, for which there were reported sightings at least in folklore memory recorded in 1658. The eggs were known at least as early as 1420, according to a caption in the 1456 Fra Mauro map: Marco Polo also gave an account of the rukh in 1298.
The film begins with Sinbad and his crew sailing through a thick fog. They are enroute to Bagdad, returning from the Kingdom of Chandra with special booty, the Princess Parisa and her handmaid, Sadi. The ship must stop for supplies at the Island of Colossus. While loading supplies, a wizard named Sokurah emerges from a cave, chased by a cyclops. The wizard rubs a lamp and is helped by a boy genie. Sinbad's crew narrowly escapes the cyclops, taking Sokurah with them. But, the lamp is lost to the sea during the escape. The gigantic cyclops recovers its precious lamp from the shallow surf.
Now at sea, Sokurah tries to bribe Sinbad into returning to Colossus and retaking the magic lamp, but Sinbad's primary mission is to go to Bagdad and avert war with Chandra by marrying Parisa. Once in Bagdad, Sokurah tries to convince Sinbad's uncle the Caliph to lend him a ship for an expedition to Colossus. But, the Caliph listens to Sinbad, and even after putting on a fantastic magic show before the Caliph of Bagdad and Parisa'a father, the Sultan of Chandra, Sokurah 's request is denied. During Sokurah's performance, he prophesies war between Chandra and Bagdad. The dark prophecies upset the Caliph and the Sultan, and Sokurah is bannished from the city.
Sokurah steals into Parisa's bedchamber at night, and enchants her with the smoke of a magic candle, which shrinks Parisa down to the size of a small bird. In the morning, Parisa's handmaid discovers her enchantment. The Caliph, Sinbad, and Parisa's father the Sultan are shocked. The Sultan blames Bagdad, and becomes infuriated. He vows to avenge Parisa by laying waste to Bagdad.
Sinbad seeks out Sokurah, and implores him to restore Parisa to her normal size. He is unaware, at this point, that Sokurah commited the treachery. Sokurah feigns helplessness, but finally concedes he may be able to help restore the Princess by using the egg shell from the Roc, a giant bird that lives on the Isle of Colossus. Sinbad agrees. He musters a crew from the prison. These are murderous, lecherous rabble whose loyalty is questionable.
The crew proves unreliable once out at sea, where they mutiny and lock up Sinbad, crew and the magician Sokurah. Before they are locked in the hold, Sokurah curses the crew with a storm and madness. His curse plays out when a storm and the unbearable wail of sirens drives the crew mad. In their madness, they release Sinbad and his men to save the ship. The ship and a more obedient crew arrive at Colossus.
The crew discover a store house full of treasure, and become greedy. Sinbad finds the magic lamp. The cyclops discovers them, and locks them in cages. It is soon learned the cyclops eats men. Sokurah has the opportunity to release the caged men, but leaves them behind without explanation. Sinbad reveals the tiny Princess Parisa to the men, who were unaware of her presence in a tiny tent crafted by the Royal Jeweler. Parisa manages to unfasten the cage's latch, and all escape. Parisa enters the lamp to speak with the genie, where he reveals to her his name and the magic words needed to use the lamp.
Sinbad is now suspicious of Sokurah's intentions, but catches up with him. The magician is still needed to restore Parisa to her normal size. All the men climb a steep, rocky mountain, where they find pieces of the Roc's shell. The hungry men resort to killing a two-headed Roc hatchling for food. Later, while roasting the gigantic chick, the mother Roc appears, and carries Sinbad off to its nest. Sokurah seizes the opportunity to kill Sinbad's right-hand man Harufa, and takes Parisa. Sinbad escapes from the Roc's nest, and using the lamp, discovers that Parisa is being held in Sokurah's fortress in a cave.
Sinbad finds the cave, and Parisa. He orders Sokurah at the point of a sword to restore Parisa to normal. Using the piece of shell and an incantation, Parisa becomes normal size again. But, Sokurah will not let Sinbad go with the lamp, and enchants a skeleton to life. Sinbad fights the skeleton, defeating it. He and Parisa narrowly escape Sokurah's chambers. There is another obstacle before them, a fiery chasm. The genie, whose name we learn is Baronni, helps Sinbad and Parisa one final time, by materializing a rope they use to swing across the chasm to safety.
In an unselfish act, Parisa takes the lamp and casts it into the chasm of fire, for she recalls a promise of freedom, which read, "Into the fire you must go." Sinbad and Parisa manage to sneak their way past Sokurah's guard dragon, but another cyclops enters the cave and blocks their way. Sinbad helps the dragon to escape its iron collar, and the dragon and cyclops engage in battle. Sinbad and Parisa escape the cave, and the dragon kills the cyclops. Sokurah follows shortly after, and with his dragon, chases Sinbad, Parisa and the crew.
The crew have one more weapon, a giant crossbow, which was originally intended for the cyclops. The crew unleash the arrow on the dragon, which falls to its death, also crushing Sokurah. The crew escape. Parisa is restored, but they have no lamp. Parisa affectionately remembers Baronni, and mentions his name.
"Did someone call Baronni? Here I am!" It is Baronni, no longer the genie, but Captain Sinbad's cabin boy. In his final act of magic, Baronni fills Sinbad's cabin with the Cyclops' treasure, "as a sort of a wedding present." The ship is safely on its way back to Bagdad.