Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Overlooked Movies: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

"They were considered B pictures because they were made on a tight budget. But we outlived many of the A pictures made at the same time. ~Ray Harryhausen on his films"

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.

Sinbad battles the creatures of legend in the miracle of Dynarama!

Fun Trivia:
Caroline Munro is the only actress ever to be put under contract by Hammer Films. Caroline was educated in a convent and her religous background caused her to avoid nude scenes...she did however appear in some Noxema commercials in the seventies that were so sexy, religious fanatics got them taken off the air in the Bible Belt.

The evil Koura is played by Tom Baker, better known to sci-fi geeks everywhere as the fourth Doctor. Tom was born Jewish, but he became a monk when he was 15. He bailed on the monastic thing when he was 21 to enlist in the British Army medical corps, and then he left that for the most honorable of professions, acting.

Christopher Lee was a front runner for the role of Koura.

The captioner for this movie decided to have some fun with Prince Koura's lines. When he is mumbling "foreign words" to cast a spell, the captions are backwards lines from Cocoa Puffs and Trix commercials.

Robert Shaw desperately wanted the role of Sinbad but was placated by being cast uncredited as the Oracle. His face was heavily swathed in make-up and his voice electronically altered by a sound engineer.

An early concept drawing for the film showed the one-eyed Centaur having a battle with a Giant Neanderthal man. The Neanderthal man was later replaced by a Griffin, in the final film. The Giant Neanderthal idea was later used in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger

This movie was such a big hit when it came out that they re-released the first Sinbad movie, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, and started production on the third one, Sinbad and the Eye the Tiger.

Fun Quotes:
Sinbad: "You pace the deck like a caged beast, for one who enjoys the hashish you should be more at peace."

Haroun: "I am the lightest."
Sinbad: "But I am the most foolhardy."

Haroun: "My heart is filled with courage! But I have very cowardly legs."

Sinbad: "Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel!"


Johnny Bacardi said...

I saw that one in the theatre on its original run! I was primed by the Marvel Comics adaptation, and also Castle of Frankenstein had a feature article on it. I thought it was the shiznit back then, and these days I still think it's worth a look on the infrequent times it airs.

Didja know that Tom (Dr. Who Baker played the bad guy wizard, and the princess in this one was played by Caroline Munro, who was Dr. Phibes' wife, seen in photos, in those movies?

smallerdemon said...

Ditto Johnny B. Saw it in the theater when I was a kid. Caroline Munroe... ahhhhh... that pretty much is when I knew I like girls and not boys (meaning, in this instance, I pretty knew I was a straight little kid).

Man oh MAN is this a great movie. Wonderful effects. AMAZING color!. Diabolik as Sinbad. Doctor Who as the villain. Creepy Harrhausen creatures. Just everything about it is genuinely fantastic. I own it, of course, and watch it a couple of times a year.

Oh my... and the "savages". Even THEN they knew better than to hire black extras for that and they did "greenface" with white people. Hilariously bad. But that many armed fighting statue? Still nightmare worthy even now.

Richard said...

Yeah, I love this movie...and the surprisingly good Marvel comic tie-in, with art by golden age classic George Tuska!

One more thing about Tom Baker: this film actually won him the part of the Doctor, when the producers went to an afternoon matinee show and saw how he won over audience sympathy to the point where kids were cheering for the "bad guy" to win. And just as Baker captivated children by giving a villain sympathetic and vulnerable traits, he made the Doctor more intriguing by adding flashes of an aloof, alien, menacing quality in with the goofy charm.

Swinebread said...

Hey, I bought this on DVD in last Year!

Johnny Bacardi said...

I must have posted that comment before you finished the post, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned the Dr. Who factoid!

Anyway, love the six-armed statue fight, it's the highlight of the film...

Scurvy said...

I love Ray Harryhausen's work. And Caroline Munro... whoa wa woo wah!

Dr. Zaius said...

I love this film, especially the Kali fight scene. Caroline Munro was enchanting.

Randal Graves said...

Oh man, all hail Ray. I loved this flick!

Dale said...

I remember loving the movie and that background info is hilarious. I'm surprised they didn't all end up in a different dimension with the backwards Cocoa Puffs lines, well, maybe they did.

Booksteve said...

The newspaper ad said the brand new multiplex was near a certain mall outside of town so a friend and I, both age 13, took a long bus ride to the mall, then asked how to find the theaters. Oh, they were nearby all right...if you were DRIVING! About 5 minutes away. Took us 2 hours on a hot summer day to walk there down country roads, however!!And even with the knowledge that another 2 hour walk awaited us afterward (followed by another 45 minute bus ride), we both loved every second of this movie! I still consider it Harryhausen's best overall picture.

Mayren said...

I love Tom Baker. He is the best Dr. Who.
I love your trivia - keep it up Becca.

Ben Varkentine said...


You're it:

Ben V.

(I'm hoping to get you back into blogging this way)

Becca said...

Wow Marvel Comics adaptaion...those were almost always bad but it was still really exciting to get to read a comic adaptation of a movie you were really looking forward to seeing.

And yes it looks like Blogger must have posted this before I finished. I did know the Tom Baker factoid and he is one of the best parts of the film. I also adore Caroline Munro so beautiful. My favorite part of the film is her bad, bad accent... cracks me up every time.

I've never had the pleasure of seeing this on the big screen but it must be great. Any Harryhausen on the big screen must be great.

...and Caroline Munro is one of the reasons I realized I didn't just like boys...I wonder if she realizes how much help she's been? :)

(you may have answered this elsewhere but I must know...did you get RAB from Harry Potter or are they mysteriously meaningful in some other way. Just curious)

There's a great documentary on the first Tom Baker episode of Doctor Who, Robot, where they talk a bit about what he was doing before he did Who and how he got the job...very cool documentary. The episode is pretty enjoyable too even if the effects are a bit on the terrible side. Tom is great so is Elizabeth as Sarah Jane.

...of course based on your comment there's a pretty good chance you've seen it. :)

And what an excellent addition to any library it makes!

Harryhausen and Munro are perfect in every way. It's true.

Dr. Zaius-
That scene might be my second favorite Harryhausen's a close second after the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts.

Ray is my god.

Maybe we are the ones in a different dimension...spooky...still that cocoa puffs thing cracks me up.

A 2 hour walk on a summer day! Wow you really had to work for this one! At least it was worth the walk. Thanks for sharing that great memory!

Thanks! Tom Baker does indeed rock!

Okay I'm going to really put the effort back into consistant posting. Thanks for tagging me...I do love the tags!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

When my father was in the military they would show this as a Saturday matinee at least every two months. My all time favorite childhood movie and I know the words by heart. Caroline Munro was the first girl I ever had a crush on and who could blame me. The line about trusting in Allah but tying up your camel I made into a poster in my classroom. Every year during the Myths and Legends unit I get to introduce this film to a whole new generation of fans and its something they still remember to this day.