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Ali Baba And The Seven Saracens (Emimmo Salvi, 1964) *1/2
To begin with, the name of the most popular Arabian Nights character i.e. Sinbad has been variably spelled over the years and around the world from Sindbad to Simbad and Szindbad. Moreover, the character of Sinbad has been included in films in which he had nothing to do with originally the Russian adventure outing SADKO (1953) became THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD in the U.S. just as, in this case, he became Ali Baba when it crossed over the Atlantic! These facts alone are more interesting than anything that occurs in this film because where are the seafaring adventures of Sinbad The Sailor to be seen in this one, not to mention the sundry creatures he generally struggled with? On the other hand, if this is Ali Baba, whatever happened to the Forty Thieves?
One thing is certain: I wasn't expecting Gordon Mitchell who had previously portrayed such legendary heroic figures as Achilles and Maciste to be the villain here, nor Sinbad to be incarnated by a teenager still wet behind the ears, thus making for possibly the lamest Sinbad in film history! Appropriately, then, the seven Saracens of the title are even more anonymous than the hero and, what's worse, they don't even engage him in battle! At least, the heroine's physical attributes are well in evidence but that's small compensation when set against the obligatory and unfunny comic relief provided by Sinbad's midget cellmate/sidekick and, for good measure (ugh!) a court eunuch with a bad facial tick; the pits, however, are reached by the silly gyrations of a particularly animated dancer preceding every ritual at court!
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