Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Magic Voyage Of Sinbad / The Day The Earth Froze|
Actors: Sergei Stolyarov, Alla Larionova, Yelena Myshkova, B. Surovtsev, Mikhail Troyanovsky
Director: Aleksandr Ptushko
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
It's a double feature of fantasy and spectacle from American International Pictures, which imported a series of foreign films in the early 1960s packed with eye-popping special effects, strange storylines and breathtaking ... more »
Fairy Tales for the Eyes
J. A. Eyon | Seattle - USA | 10/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A little necessary background:
SADKO is a Russian fable about a harpist living in Novgorod who charms the Sea King and winds up rich. He also winds up sailing overseas to sell wares and, during a storm, is forced overboard where he once again charms the Sea King with his harp and is compelled to chose a wife from among the King's maidens before finding his way home to happily-everlasting-ness. (This has been turned into a famous opera by Rimsky-Korsakov called SAKDO.)
KALEVALA (pronounced: kah-lay-vah'-lah) is a Finnish epic poem compiled by Finnish poet Elias Lönnrot. It is at the heart of the Finnish culture and very familiar and dear to them. A few characters crop up thru out the poem. As does the magical Sampo which would spare the owners the rigor of work.
Which brings me to the movies:
THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD was a Soviet Union's filming of SADKO dubbed by American Capitalist running dog Roger Corman into a Sinbad story. So now Sinbad is a tall, stocky blonde with heavy fur clothes to keep out the heat. The city of Novgorod substitutes for an Arabic city. But, even more ludicrious is the effort by the Soviet filmmakers, halfway thru the country's failed experiment in Socialism, to turn Sadko into a self-sacrificing proletariat (christians and liberals will be turned on by the message, too).
I can still recommend this film because the cinematography perfectly evokes a fairy tale, and the story can be enjoyable if you manage to put away your sophistication and see it thru a youngster's eyes. I saw it as a young teenager, and the scene with the Bird of Happiness with Rimsky-Korsakov's SONG OF INDIA filling my ears is one I recalled for all these years and caused me to search for the film until I finally found it again.
While the Finnish poem, KALEVALA, has very little plot spread diffusely thruout the enormous length, THE DAY THE EARTH FROZE pulls the threads together. There's something uneven about the plot. It is slow in spots, then engrossing in other spots. It is however, like the movie above, a visual delight, despite the (very obvious) skimpy production values.
I saw part of this film mocked by the Mystery Science Theater folk, but I kept thinking how I'd like to see the film without the intrusive teasing. I was very happy to find it on DVD and see it in its pristine form.
However, the cast credits are a hoot. They actors listed in the movie must be the voice dubbing actors (or they're entirely made up). Curiously, Amazon lists a different and more authentic-sounding cast (altho, they say the story is based on "Norse/Scandanavian mythology" -- which would be a surprise to the non-Scandanavian Finns)."
S. Murray | NYC | 08/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Day the Earth Froze is a Finnish fantasy given the MST3K treatment in season 4... I don't know if this is on any of the MST3K Rhino compilations but it should be, it was in my top 3 best Mystery Science Theaters ever. This is the famous Sampo movie... any MSTie would know that Sampo was referenced in many of their subsequent rips (this and Manos Hand of Fate), but this flick is actually quite good on it's own, if not bizarre and Finnishly surreal. The Sampo is a mythical device, sort of a cornucopia, that looks like an overwrought espresso machine, that dispenses gold, flour and salt... all the Finnish neccesities! (classic Tom Servo comment, "You'd be surprised that the line for the gold isn't that long") This was acquired by Roger Corman at one point and re-editted by Francis Ford Coppola, for redistribution in the states for cash. I believe the Sinbad movie was similarly reworked, as noted by the other reviewer. I haven't seen it so I can't comment on it, but for a very bizarre Wizard of Oz via Finland flick, the Day the Earth Froze is worth the price of admission."
Cool old films, but get a used copy and save some $$$
Hose Nose | Motor City, USA | 05/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though the price for this DVD combo disc has dropped considerably since it's initial release I simply could never justify buying it for myself, so one year I asked for it for Christmas. If you must have this DVD, pick up a used copy and save yourself a few bucks. I had long sought the "Sinbad" film, and had enjoyed the lampooning of "Froze" on an old episode of Mystery Science Theater.
The video & audio quality of both films is pretty bad. Looks like both were 'mastered' from old late night TV airings, or a horribly washed out VHS tape. I don't know whether these were originally in some sort of widescreen but I suspect that's the case, so be warned that both of these films are 4x3 pan & scan format. If you're hoping for nice 'Scope version of either movie, you're out of luck. That said, these aren't exactly popular movies available everywhere. In fact, the only other source I'm aware of is Sinister Cinema, and they're $19 each at that site, so for the price ($10 new, $6 used), you can't complain too much.
The "Sinbad" flick was originally a Russian film that had nothing to do with the Arabian adventurer's exploits, but the distributors figured (with good reason) that a story about a heroic Commie released in the Bay of Pigs era probably wouldn't generate much box office, so it was re-tooled as a Sinbad story. It is pretty cool, and features some neat visuals.
The Day the Earth Froze is a little hard to follow, but I suspect that this is more the fault of the sloppy adaption of the script into English and the dubbing. It's a fine fantasy film with some amazing visual effects. A note to younger viewers... these were made long before the age of CGI, so if you're expecting realistic F/X and super-detailed visuals you'll be disappointed. These movies require suspension of disbelief and good old fashioned imagination. If you have these traits then hop aboard, otherwise steer clear!
One can only hope & pray that some day a company with access to decent film source elements will affect a quality restoration & remastering of these two great lesser-known fantasy pictures. Until then we have this DVD to bookmark that space in our collections until something better shows up."