THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973)
Article 4871 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Gordon Hessler
Featuring John Phillip Law, Caroline Munro, Tom Baker
What it is: Arabian nights fantasy
Sinbad finds himself in competition with an evil black sorcerer for a wonderful treasure – a crown of untold wealth.
I know there are some who consider this the best of Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad movies, but I still lean more towards THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD; I feel the earlier movie is more efficiently mounted, and the Ray Harryhausen creations are more memorable. However, this one does have a few advantages. I think it’s the best acted of the three movies, with Law as an effective Sinbad, several solid turns from the supporting cast, and an (especially) memorable performance by Tom Baker as the black sorcerer Koura; Baker adds several nice touches that bring his character to life, and the movie proved instrumental in him being cast in DOCTOR WHO. There are some definite highlights in Harryhausen’s animation here; my favorite moments of these include the creation and the taming of the homunculus, and the scenes involving the multi-armed statue of Kali, my favorite creation in this movie. I do find myself wondering how it would have turned out if the casting had gone differently; Christopher Lee was the front-runner for the Tom Baker role, and Robert Shaw was desperate for the role of Sinbad; the latter does an uncredited performance as the voice of the Oracle. All in all, it’s a solid entry in the series, and much better than the third one, SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER.