The Magic Sword (1962)

Article #1718 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-27-2005
Posting Date: 4-26-2006
Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Featuring Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood, Gary Lockwood

A young man raised by a sorceress decides to save the life of a princess when she is kidnapped by an evil magician who plans to feed her to his dragon.

This is one of the better Bert I. Gordon movies. It was one of his rare forays into fantasy rather than science fiction or horror, and here he tackles the epic quest story. The special effects are uneven, but I think they’re consistently better than they are in many of his other movies; I like the dragon in particular. Furthermore, he has a likable cast (which includes Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood and Vampira herself, Maila Nurmi). It’s a little turgid on occasion, but it’s consistently entertaining. Paul Frees provides a small bit of dubbing on one occasion, and you should be able to recognize his voice when he does. Apparently, Richard Kiel is on hand as one of the pinheads in Lodac’s castle, but in all honesty, I’ve never been able to spot him. If he is, this is the only movie to feature both Kiel and Angelo Rossitto, who portrays a dwarf (of course), who terrorizes the princess at one point.

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