"The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1973)"
Twlight Time Blu-Ray Review
Starring John Phillip Law, Douglas Wilmer,
Tom Baker, Caroline Munro, Gregoire Aslan
Directed By Gordon Hessler
Color/1973/1 Hour 45 Minutes/Rated G
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Before and not too long ago, before the use of CGI has completely dominated and expanded the limits to which filmmaking was done were films that used practical special effects that were both astounding and unique as seen in films like "Blade Runner", "Star Wars", "Superman The Movie" and "The Thing" to name a few. The original "Clash Of The Titans" featured great practical special stop motion effects that were very legendary has propelled that film into great cult status over the years and enjoyed it thanks to the great memorable work of the great Ray Harryhausen, the master when it came to puppetry and stop motion. His legendary work in films such as "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad", and "Jason And The Argonauts" that really propelled the great filmmaker into legendary status. After the success of "Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad", it would take about fifteen years to revisit the legendary adventures of Sinbad to which fantasy films such as the ones Harryhausen was involved where now overlooked due to the climate of new age films and politics of the era and it really wouldn't be until "Star Wars" and "Superman The Movie" where these effects would flourish again late in the decade.
"The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" was released in 1973 with director Gordon Hessler at the helm and starring "Barbaella's" own John Phillip Law as the legendary Sinbad, as he and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura (Tom Baker), the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile, Sinbad meets the Vizier (Douglas Willimer), who has another part of the interlocking golden map and they set out on a quest across the seas to solve the map's mysterious riddle. They're accompanied by a slave girl named Margiana (the sexy Caroline Munro, "The Spy Who Loved Me", "Starcrash") with a mysterious tattoo of an eye on the palm of her hand that may be part of the riddle. They encounter strange beasts, tempests, and the dark interference of Koura along the way.
The film is dated but there is alot of affection that it has going for it especially the special effects and the exceptional musical score by the great Miklos Rosza that is one of his best in his late career. Munro is very alluering and appealing eye candy, but Law is pretty decent as Sinbad and is a good presence, eventhough he's not the ideal choice for a charamastic role as this one. The film is entertaining for what it is: an old fashioned adventure that is very much a throw back to those films of the 40's and 50's and sadly, it didn't catch on as well as it should've, but it did well enough to get another sequel in "Sinbad And The Eye of The Tiger" four years later (and is also a Twilight Time title).
The picture quality is great for a picture that's more than 40 years old with vibrant colors and full of richness that was lacking in their most recent release of "Titus" another film that was shot with vibrant colors and production design. The sound is also very robust with Rosza's magnificent score getting the full benefits of the format with great clarity along with the dialog, which is just fine. Rosza's score gets a well deserved isolated track on the disc along with the films' theatrical trailer and three featurettes on films that Ray Harryhausen was involved with in "Mysterious Island", "3 Worlds of Gulliver" and "Earth Vs. Flying Saucer". Another terrific booklet featuring excellent liner notes by Julie Kirgo is also on hand here which only adds to this fine package.
While the film is dated in every respect, "The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad" is still escapist, joyful fun which is why we used to love movies so much and every ounce, nauance and color on screen is clearly devoted to this love which is really lacking today. It's a disc that is definitely worth seeking out along with its' sequel for those who really appreciate throwback films of this great nature. A great and worthy addition to anyone's blu-ray collection without question.