Directed by Nathan Juran
Produced by Charles H.Schneer and Ray Harryhausen
Written by Kenneth Kolb
Who’s in this?
Kerwin Matthews as the baby faced adventurer/sailor Sinbad.
Torin Thatcher as Sokurah the magician, he has to be evil because he has sinister eyebrows and he’s bald.
Kathryn Grant as Princess Parisa who is also engaged to Sinbad.
Richard Eyer as the child genie Barani, he must be western genie because he’s very pale or maybe that’s what spending all those years in the bottle will do.
Alec Mango as Caliph of Bagdad, he is the ruler of Sinbad’s home city and looks at Sinbad as a son.
Harold Kasket as the Sultan, arrogant windbag, all around sourpuss and daddy of the princess.
Alfred Brown as Sinbad’s loyal right hand man Harufa.
Nana De Herrera as Sadi, assistant and watchdog of the Princess.
What’s it about?
This was the first of three Sinbad films that Harryhausen and Charles Schneer would create. Sinbad is on his ship and headed back to Bagdad so he can wed his bride to be who is also on board. They stop at the island of Colossa which turns out to be the land of caved stone faces and bald magicians carrying magic lamps while fleeing a fuzzy legged cyclops. Sinbad and his men try to help the magician and eventually they get back to the ship, but baldie is upset because he left his magic lamp behind and the cyclops picked it up like a shiny penny. They head back to Bagdad with Sokurah aboard. The magician tries to get them to go back because he wants that neato lamp. Sinbad and the princess say no way, Jose. They are set to get married and the marriage will bring a bond between their two nations. Once back at Bagdad Sokurah begins plotting on how to return to Colossa. He offers to do entertainment for the night which involves turning Sadi into a wild snake woman. Which is all fun and games until her tail tries and nearly does strangle her. Then Sokurah is asked to tell the future and being a shifty never do well he says the marriage between Sinbad and the princess will end in horror. Sinbad wisely socks him and the Caliph says something like get your rotten tail out out of my city, you sidewindin’ bald phony or you’ll have your nasty fish eyes burnt out of your worthless skull. Sokurah leaves, but he’s a bold jerk this one and he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve so he shrinks the princess. Sinbad begs him to help, the snake says he can help but needs to get back to Colossa to get ingredients for his potion. To combat the Cyclops Sokurah has designed plans for gigantic crossbow. Sinbad can’t get a good crew because everyone has heard of the Cyclops and doesn’t want to come near his fuzzy legs. So Sinbad has to get a crew of criminals who choose facing the Cyclops over getting hanged by the neck, what great choices. So off they go and of course the criminals amongst the crew mutiny and take over because there are more of them, oh those dastardly fellows. Sinbad also brought the tiny princes with him so he could keep her safe. It’s not that easy out on the seas. Some screamin’ beasties wail and cause the criminal crew headaches as the beasties try to drive the crew out of control so they’ll smash their ship. Sinbad and his few loyal followers plug up their ears, take control of the ship and get to their destination. The wizard of course wants to split up so he takes a group and Sinbad leads the other. Poor Sinbad is unlucky though as he has run-ins with a Cyclops and the big and litte Rocs. During this time the princess learns that the little boy genie in the bottle doesn’t really want to be a genie and she vows to help him if she can. During this time everyone learns that Sokurah is a snake in the grass because he leaves Sinbad for dead twice and kills Harufa. Eventually Sinbad gets back on track and makes it to Sokurah’s lab to pin him down about making the princess full size. He does, but then makes a fighting mad skeleton pop up too. Oh krickey he’s a plucky bag of bones, but Sinbad does a bit of fancy sword work and wins out. Sinbad and the princes flee with the Genie in a lamp, Sinbad throws the lamp away thinking he is releasing the genie but not knowing for sure if he is or not. Sokurah sicks his pet dragon on the heroes. You just knew those super mean reclusive types would have a pet like that. The dragon runs into one of them nasty Cyclops fellows, but wins so on after the good guy. Now what was that weapon Sinbad had made just for giant monsters? Oh, yeah a gigantic crossbow so thwack! Dragons goes down, Sokura gets squished like a rotten tomato and it’s time for the heroes to leave this nutty island. Sinbad, the princes and survivors leave. The former genie appears as a normal boy ready to serve as Sinbad’s cabin boy plus he brought the Cyclops’ treasue with him. Cue the fantastic Bernard Herrmann score and roll the credits.
What monsters (Harryhausen creations) are in this?
Cyclops-Big, growling and awesome. He’s the most impressive feature in this film.
Roc-babies and the mommy-We see the babies at first and they are decent figures, but the mother Roc is very cool. Particularly while in flight.
Skeleton-He’s so great due to the interaction/fight with Sinbad. Very well done.
Dragon-Fits in the plot. No Cyclops, but very nice.
Sadi’s half snake person-This one is just alright compared to the others in this film.
Percentage of time that Sokurah gives evil looks-He’s almost pure evil so 91% of his screen time.
Number of times Sokurah gets socked in the face-twice which is about 900,000 less than he deserves.
Number of morons who kill the baby Roc birds bringing down the wrath of their mother-two I think.
Number of Cyclops eye balls that get poked with flaming pointy sticks-one
The negatives? The only thing that bothers me on this film is when the creatures are trying to bring the boat to crash on the shores it seems a bit cheap because it’s the only we don’t see a menace.
The positives? This film a true classic, one of the best fantasy films of all time. The monsters make it, Harrhausen was a genius on most of his films, but this one is a great example of how great his work could be. It took Ray Harryhausen 11 months to complete the animation sequences for the film and it paid off. The locations are top notch. Despite the lack of facial hair Matthews makes a pretty good Sinbad.
There you go.