Son of Sinbad (1955)

SON OF SINBAD (1955)
Article #1492 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-15-2005
Posting Date: 9-12-2005
Directed by Ted Tetzlaff
Featuring Dale Robertson, Sally Forrest, Lili St. Cyr

The Son of the illustrious Sinbad finds his life in danger when his womanizing causes him to sneak into the harem of the Caliph of Bagdad. In order to keep from being executed, he and his pal Omar Khayyam must recover the formula to an explosive known as Green Fire.

Rumor has it that this Howard Hughes production (he was executive producer) was made in order to fulfill promises made to any number of aspiring starlets. This wouldn’t be a surprise; the movie was obviously designed to show off a large female cast. So how do you make a movie with this large a female cast? Why, by grinding the plot to a halt as often as possible to fit in exotic dancing and harem scenes. This movie is so packed with pulchritude that it took two years to finally get it past the censors and onto the movie screens. By that time, the 3D craze had died down (the movie was originally intend to be in 3D), and fourth billed Vincent Price (as Omar Khayyam) had risen to stardom as a result of HOUSE OF WAX.

On its own, it’s moderately entertaining hokum. Unless you count the acres of female flesh, Vincent Price steals the movie. At least he sounds like he fits into the environment; Dale Robertson sounds as if he should be herding cattle rather than engaging in swordfights. Oddly enough, I’m not sure that the movie is really a fantasy. Despite the Arabian Nights trappings, there are no genies, flying carpets, or magical spells to speak of; even the “Open Sesame” command that opens the cave of the Forty (female) Thieves isn’t magic, but a command to a mule. The main fantastic element is a super-explosive created by the combination of certain chemicals in correct proportions, and this feels more like science fiction than fantasy.

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