Ray Harryhausen had specialized in visual effects since the 1940s. While his works were prominently featured in films like It Came From Beneath the Sea and 20 Million Miles to Earth never had a single film been dedicated to his creations. When the time came for Harryhausen to step up to the plate, he selected an Arabian Nights style fantasy to really show his stuff. Fantasy films were changed forever.
Adventurer and all around hero Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) is returning to Baghdad with the lovely Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant) when his ship takes an unexpected detour to the island of Colossa. There he meets Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) a scheming sorcerer who has just pissed off a huge Cyclopes! Sinbad and his men rescue Sokurah and discover that the man has a magic lamp complete with Genie (Richard Eyer). Unfortunately the Cyclopes have taken the lamp, and Sokurah demands it back. Sinbad knows a no win scenario when he sees one and he refuses. They sail from Colossa with a grumpy Sokurah in tow.
When they reach civilization Sinbad parties it up with the Parisa, but Sokurah uses his dark magic to shrink the princess to a handy pocket size. Of course the only way to restore the princess to her proper height is to return to Colossa and obtain the shell from the egg of a huge bird called the Rok. Sinbad grumbles, but he decides to go back, and face the dangers of the island. But it is more than just lumbering Cyclopes and huge birds. He will also face a fire breathing dragon and even an animated skeleton. Will The 7th Voyage of Sinbad be his final journey?
- Impressive Dynamation effects by Harryhausen
- Creates an immersive world on the island of Colossa
- Wonderful golden age score by Bernard Herrmann
- Everyone seems awfully white and American to be from the Middle East
- Some over the top acting (especially by Thatcher) leads to chuckles
- Some of the effects lack the polish that we’d see in later films
Harryhausen knocks it out of the park with this one. His creatures are amazing and impressive, giving everything an overwhelming scale that hadn’t been seen since King Kong. Beyond that he builds his fantasy world using classic mythic tropes and fairy tale plot points. It makes for a fun ride, even if Mathews feels more like a cowboy than Sinbad. I also love Thatcher, in spite of the fact that he’s the exact opposite of subtle. While it is not my favorite of the Sinbad trilogy, it is a lot of fun.
Scores (out of 5)
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