When I was 12, this oversized bus stop-size poster of THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD had a special place on this young movie fan’s wall. How can you top all the creatures, action and adventure brought to you in the early seventies, jaw-dropping Harry Harryhausen effects of Dynarama???
Of course, by today’s standards, the stop motion special effects creatures are crap, but they still hold a certain nostalgic charm, as does this fast paced, fun film.
John Philip Law (Barbarella) is a perfectly cast Sinbad, funny, dashing and up for any battle. Luckily for any 12 year old boy, Bond girl Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me) is the gorgeous and formidable heroine along for the adventure.
Constructed like an old Saturday morning serial, a great action scene comes along every ten minutes or so as Sinbad ventures out on a quest for the missing pieces of a magic golden tablet.
If they can find them all, they will gain access to a spectacular temple and the Oracle of All Knowledge.
I would have to think hard about what I would ask the Oracle of All Knowledge if I had that opportunity, but I have a feeling that Sinbad would probably ask him where to find the best local bar.
It’s undeniable fun for the whole family as he surrounds himself with enjoyable sidekicks and wages war against nasty bad guy Koura, who’s also after the tablet for much more nefarious (in a G rated kind of way) purposes.
A giant, female ships masthead comes to life, battling all the men on the boat 1/3 her size. Strange beasts and six-armed, sword wielding statues relentlessly attack our heroes.
The legendary Ray Harryhausen brings them all to life with miniature models that he would move a fraction of an inch at a time and then superimpose next to the actors. It’s old school and fun, but my grandson wouldn’t watch it for more than about 30 seconds, disregarding it with a hilarious “that’s fake!” quip and heading back to his perfectly digitally rendered video games.
Miklos Rozsa (Time After Time, Ben Hur) delivers a stirring, excellent music score that’s damn near perfect and Ted Moore (From Russia With Love, Diamonds Are Forever) uses his camera to make everything feel larger than life.
Goofy throwback fun to a time of much simpler pleasures, THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD still retains plenty of its luster, earning a perfect Saturday morning B for this 12 year old kid at heart.