A cowboy named Tuck Kirby seeks fame and fortune by capturing an Allosaurus living in the Forbidden Valley and putting it in a Mexican circus. His victim, called the Gwangi, turns out to have an aversion to being shown in public.
When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen.
Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile Sinbad meets the Vizier who has another part of the interlocking golden map, and they mount a quest across the seas to solve the riddle of the map, accompanied by a slave girl with a mysterious tattoo of an eye on her palm. They encounter strange beasts, tempests, and the dark interference of Koura along the way.Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Margiana's costume changes after she's rescued by Sinbad from the one-eyed centaur. See more »
[shouting from the crow's nest]
A fine clear morning! And all is well!
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At 0:49:27 on the VHS version (PAL time) (and presumably on the original release print) you can see when Sinbad is helping Margiana from the boat to the sand on the beach, for a couple of seconds and by mere accident, Caroline Munro's nipple. On the DVD it's been covered by a digital addition to her hair. See more »
Mostly excellent film, but there are a couple flaws
After Sinbad (Jon Phillip Law) happens upon a strange gold "bauble" while at sea, his ship ends up at a town where a similar gold piece is kept by a Vizier (Douglas Wilmer), whose city is threatened by the evil prince Koura (Tom Baker). Sinbad, his crew, the Vizier, and two other people from the town begin an adventure to solve the mystery of the "baubles".
This is a fine fantasy/adventure film, and definitely one worth watching by any fans of the genre, as well as Ray Harryhausen fans. Mostly excellent, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad also has a couple of flaws that brought my score down to an 8 out of 10.
The main problem is that the film tends to meander at times. There are also a few minor problems with direction or editing, such as the less-than-convincing sword fight in the cave near the end of the film. Also, the mostly episodic nature of the script lessens the overall impact. It often feels like a string of short stories arbitrarily strung together, although in the end, the overarching goal ties the film together well enough.
But what "short stories" those are! The script, production/set design and costumes easily propel you into a captivating fantasy world, and Harryhausen's creatures, as always, are a delight to watch. No, they're not exactly realistic--no more realistic looking than cgi, in my opinion--but I'm not looking for realism when I watch a film like this. I'm looking for brilliant artistry, especially if it has a horror edge, and Harryhausen's stop-motion animated creatures fit the bill.
Most of the scenarios in the film are cleverly conceived. They're constantly leading to intriguing puzzles that have to be solved by our heroes, somewhat similar to a fantasy role-playing computer game, which films like this surely influenced. This maintains a gradually heightening suspense throughout the length of the film, as each puzzle tends to be more difficult than the previous one, and most are accompanied by fascinating beasties of some kind.
Although this genre is not usually noted for its fantastic performances, everyone in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad does a great job. Even as a Doctor Who fan who grew up watching the Tom Baker era of that show, it took me awhile to figure out who Baker was here. He is a joy to watch as a slightly campy villain. An even bigger joy to watch was Caroline Munro, who is breathtakingly beautiful. And Law, as Sinbad, is completely convincing and cool.
As long as you don't expect a masterpiece, you should have a lot of fun watching this film.
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