Captain Sindbad (1963)

Article #1110 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-29-2004
Posting Date: 8-26-2004
Directed by Byron Haskins
Featuring Guy Williams, Heidi Bruhl, Pedro Armendariz

Sindbad finds himself trying to save a princess from a cruel tyrant who is seemingly impervious to being killed.

I don’t want to be too hard on this Arabian Nights fantasy; it’s spirited, energetic, and really trying its best to entertain. Unfortunately, it’s constantly straining against the limitations of a budget that is obviously too small for its ambitions, and the movie suffers for it. As a result, the exteriors look like interiors, the models and miniatures look like models and miniatures, and one never gets a real sense that the sets extend to a real world beyond the range of the cameras. Consequently, the movie is infected with a cheesiness that is so inescapable that when it is announced that Sindbad must do battle with a truly terrifying beastie in the arena, it comes as no real surprise that the primary visual attribute of said beastie is invisibility. We also get some pathetic-looking crocodiles, a puppet hydra, and a beating disembodied heart that looks more like a Valentines day gift than a real bodily organ. The movie still can be enjoyed, but it does require that you to give it the benefit of the doubt and play along with the illusions. The most notable acting performance is Abraham Sofaer’s as the eccentric magician, Galgo; I can’t quite decide whether it’s good or bad, but I will go so far as to say that it is entertainingly strange.

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