Setting aside the obvious whitewashing of the cast, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, the next film in the Dragons & Dinosaurs chapter of DK Canada’s extremely entertaining Monsters in the Movies is a lot of fun.
And one that I have a bit of a history with.
Growing up we moved around frequently (being in the Air Force) and one of the places we lived in the late 70s, early 80s, was CFB Borden. There was a theatre on base, and on Saturdays they would do matinees, and show old classic family films, adventures and the occasional Three Stooges feature.
One weekend, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was screening, and my parents wanted me out of the house (I have no idea what my sister was doing at the time). I was hesitant about seeing this film, because it said it was the seventh voyage, I sure as heck hadn’t seen the other six! But I went anyway, and it served as my introduction to the spectacular effects work of Ray Harryhausen, and prepared for The Clash of the Titans which came out a few short years later.
The tale follows Sinbad (Kerwin Matthews), his beloved princess, Parisa (Kathryn Grant) and their interactions with the villainous wizard, Sokurah (Torin Thatcher).
At the beginning of the film, our heroes arrive on Sokurah’s island, where he has absconded with a lamp (and genie) from a cyclops’s treasure trove. When the lamp is lost in the escape, Sokurah is determined to return to the island and reclaim it, and if he has to commit dastardly deeds to do it, he will – including shrinking the lovely Parisa to pocket-size.
No one in Baghdad seems to know how this happened, but logic alone would dictate that the magician who just showed up in town and wants the help of the royal family to arm him and ship him back to his island would have something to do with it. But not one of them seems to have that thought.
And on top of that, Sinbad (in a questionable command decision) recruits a whole bunch of prisoners to man his ship. Well, of course, they’re going to mutiny…
Returning to the island, they confront cyclops, two-headed birds, skeletons, and the reason the film is in this chapter, an impressive fire-breathing dragon. All of them brought to life by Harryhausen’s work.
In the end it’s a fun adventure, and the cast is fun, but the continuity for some of the film is ridiculous, props and characters will appear and disappear depending on the shot, but that just adds to the sheer fun.
Check this one out, and revel in Harryhausen’s unparalleled work. Or pick up a copy of DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies and find something monstrous to watch tonight!