Sinbad, the prince of Baghdad, sets sail for the uncharted island of Lemuria with a beautiful slave girl, Margianna; Prince Koura is an evil wizard who tries to thwart Sinbad's quest. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
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"Technically a follow-up to the Harryhausen-Schneer classic "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", this Arabian fantasy only shares the title character in a new story. Although it has less stop-motion animation monsters than some of the other entries in the Harryhausen-Schneer fantasy film canon (which includes "Clash of the Titans", "Jason and the Argonauts", and "Mysterious Island"), "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" is one of their absolute best, for three reasons.1)The script. This is usually a weak element in the Harryhausen-Schneer movies, with the narrative haphazardly woven around monsters conceived before the script was written. But "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" surprises: the script is charming and poetic, sounding exactly they way we would always like an Arabian Knights adventure to sound. Just a few lines of Koran-inspired maxims are enough to whisk you back to childhood innocence. The plot is simple but exciting, and villain Koura is a wonderful nasty. And the monsters make sense; they have a good reason to appear.2)The performances. Usually in this series, actors make up part of the budget-saving: adequate at best, laughable at worst. But John Phillip Law makes a fine Sinbad: taciturn, stoic, exotic, and tough...he really matches our vision of what the legendary sailor should be. But it is Tom Baker (later to be the most famous Dr. Who) who steals the show as evil sorcerer Koura. He doesn't try to play the baddie for camp value, doesn't try to make him funny, but instead plays him as sinister and cold-blooded as possible. Great voice intonations as well. Oh, Caroline Munro is in the film, too. I don't really know about her acting, but it doens't really matter with those outfits she almost wears. You'll see what I mean...3)The monsters. Each one is a clever Harryhausen masterwork. The final battle between and griffin and the centaur is fantastic, even if the griffin appears rather abruptly. But the scene with the six-armed statue of Kali is what you will remember: a symphony of flashing swords and stunning stop-motion genius. The actors deserve credit here for convincingly fighting with air.Finally, all this is presented in pristine DVD widescreen. And there's a good documentary on all of Harryhausen's work, with extensive interviews with the master himself and rare footage of his test movies and failed film projects. Get this film. The kids will love it, but you'll love it even more."
By far the best of the Sinbad films...
EquesNiger | Prague, Czech Republic | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the story of Sinbad's pursuit of a hidden treasure amidst seemingly insurmountable danger, falling in love with a beautiful woman (thank Allah that polygamy was allowed, no? He seems to get married in each film!) and being pursued by evil, magickal forces has become "stock" in that they all are basically the same tale, this film is truly exemplary for the acting talent of Thom Baker (spelled Tom in this flick), memorable to most of us as the "best" of the Dr. Who characters. Baker brings an intelligent, almost tragic malevolence to the character of Prince Koura, master swordsman and sorcerer, whose pursuit of arcane and mundane power comes at a very tangible and foreknown cost (he ages whenever he casts a major spell of any sort). In short, you certainly sympathise with him and sometimes almost secretly hope he is successful, since he really has no choice BUT to once he sets out on the path. Again, like all Sinbad films, the scenery is astounding, the special effects (Ray Harryhausen) remarkable even in this day and age of computer graphics, and the story replete with kitsch (pardon the pun) references to Islam."
6 arms and six swords...
S.F. DVD watcher | CA USA | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The scenes with Kali, the 6 armed goddess, are enough to make this movie worth buying. A good story line, several other monsters, and Caroline Munro (the movie's other goddess - WOW!) also make this a keeper.
I enjoy Golden Voyage as much as 7th Voyage."
Good Sunday Matinee
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 11/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First let me say I own all of Harryhausen's movies. I love his work so if I seem a little critical on a couple it is only because I know how great he can be. This movie may not be Harryhausen's best stop motion animation, but it is still a fine film. The hair on the centaur seems to move a little odd and the motion in the Centaur and Griffon fight scene is not as natural looking as the skeleton fight scenes in "Jason and the Argonauts". Otherwise this movie is very well done and packed with creatures. I especially liked the job he did on the magicians familiars. It entertains and has good locations and a decent cast. Those fans of Tom Baker in Dr. Who will enjoy him as an evil magician. It is good Saturday afternoon fare for the entire family. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys movies like "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", "Clash of the Titans", "Willow", and "Krull". I bought this on DVD in the Sinbad Collection set and I am very happy with how well the transfer to DVD was done."
Harryhausen Does It Again
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 01/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is the second of three Sinbad movies featuring the special effects of Ray Harryhausen. The first movie was 1958's "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad." The third movie is "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger," from 1977. Of the three movies, this one is probably the best. Even with the current state of digital special effects the stop-motion miniatures of Dynarama are incredible. It is amazing to see the kind of magic that special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen was able to wrest from his miniatures. As with all Harryhausen miniatures, I was unable to see the wires he used anywhere. According to one of the extra features, each wire was painstakingly painted to match the background, which means that wires had to be painted for each shot. Wow.
In this movie Sinbad (John Phillip Law) encounters a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Soon Sinbad is seeing all sorts of interesting visions, including a beautiful slave girl and a strange looking man who turns out to be an evil wizard. Incidentally, the homunculus and the golden tablet are the property of the evil wizard, and he wants them back, so he creates a storm that drives Sinbad and his men ashore. Once ashore, Sinbad encounters Koura (Tom Baker, who would be the fourth Dr. Who the same year this film was released), an evil magician. Sinbad escapes to a nearby city where he meets with a disfigured Vizier. Soon Sinbad figures out that the golden tablet is part of a map leading to all sorts of riches, which causes Sinbad, the Vizier, and Sinbad's men to go seeking the goodies, ostensibly to keep evil Koura from getting them.
Before Sinbad and company head out, Sinbad encounters a beautiful slave girl that, surprise, looks just like his vision. Through a fortuitous circumstance the slave girl is able to join Sinbad and his men on their quest.
The whole gang, with Koura traveling separately, travel to the mythical island of Lemuria where they encounter a group of natives protecting a shrine. Sinbad is ready to do battle with Koura, but Koura brings to life a statue of six-armed Kali, which also turns out to be the best Harryhausen effect in this movie.
After the encounter with Kali, the natives see that Margiana (Caroline Munro, who has been in a number of movies, including both Dr. Phibes movies and Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me"), the former slave girl, has a symbol on her hand that is also the symbol of another of their gods, a one-eyed centaur. The natives stake Margiana out for the centaur, which carries her into its lair.
Sinbad and his companions escape the natives and follow the centaur. By coincidence, Koura and the centaur are in proximity, as is the fables Fountain of Destiny. Koura has the three golden tablets (obtained earlier in the movie by various nefarious means), which will provide youth, a cloak of darkness and a crown of untold wealth. By the time Sinbad catches up, Koura is already young. Soon Koura acquires the cloak of darkness and becomes mostly invisible.
In the exciting conclusion, involving more Harryhausen special effects, a gryphon fights the centaur as part of the eternal battle of good vs. evil that includes evil wizard Koura and Sinbad.
This movie is superior to "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad." The acting is better, the story is better and the special effects are more numerous and better. I think both movies are valuable for those looking for quality fantasy, movies with Ray Harryhausen special effects, or Sinbad movies. Or you could just get these movies because they are fun to watch.
As a side note, Robert Shaw is uncredited in the role of the floating Oracle of All Knowledge. Shaw was a star of renown, and would soon be Captain Quint in the movie "Jaws," released the year following the release of this film. "