Wednesday, February 14, 2018
The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad!
I've seen The 7th Voyage of Sinbad many many times, but always in the context of the fact it's an important Ray Harryhausen movie. This time I was watching it as part of a long part of films drawn from the mythology of The Arabian Nights. So I have to say the story was more a focus than the techniques of filming for the very first time, which sadly should be the way one watches any movie.
I will assume everyone has seen this movie, so this is a spoiler rich overview. I've never been particularly warm to Kerwin Mathews as Sinbad, but this time his performance didn't annoy as much as it has in the past. I was more plugged into Sinbad as a character and frankly he's quite the piece of work. Head over heels in love with his Princess (Kathryn Grant) he puts everyone else around him at extreme risk and frankly their lives are less important to him than hers or his own.
Beyond the striking creations of the Cyclops and the Dragon, this movie offers up a fantastic villain in Torin Thatcher as Sokurah the Magician. His grasping for power is what motivates all the action in the movie and his schemes put all the characters into extreme danger, but it's readily evident he cares not a whit for anyone. Even his own personal safety is secondary to his getting and keeping power, particularly the magic lamp which will give him control of a very youthful-looking genie.
The scene pictured above of Kerwin Mathews at the wheel of his ship was mentioned in some of the extra material I watched and he said he was incredibly ill on the day this scene was shot and he stepped out of his sickbed for this one scene only. It has become a signature image for the movie thanks to the comic and the soundtrack album which both sport it as a cover.
Marvel adapted the story, combining in one vigorous image by Gil Kane and Joe Sinnott Sinbad, his Princess, the Cyclops and the deadly sword-swinging skeletons.
More Sinbad tomorrow.