The Golden Voyage of Sinbad from 1973 is a diamond in the rough when it comes to Sinbad lore. John Phillip Law is my favorite of the three Captains Sinbad who appeared in the Schneer-Harryhausen fantasy films. He feels like a rogue who could be a hero.
He comes across as more legitimate visually and tonally than does Kerwin Mathews and both of them are much better actors than the later Patrick Wayne. Teamed with the exotic and attractive Caroline Munro and you have a delightful pair of protagonists to watch as the adventures unfold.
The villain of this one is Prince Koura played wonderfully by Tom Baker. Reports say that his performance here convinced the Doctor Who folks to give him that gig which made him a superstar among fantasy fans. If he'd never been Who, he'd still have been one of the best villains in a Sinbad movie. The way his magical efforts keep draining him as the movie progresses is remarkable to watch. I was also struck by the loyalty his man has for him throughout the film, which never waivers. Koura must have some characteristic which instills such loyalty, making him a worthy opponent.
The battle with the goddess Kali is among my favorite Harryhausen moments in any of his films and works beautifully in this one. I think I might like it a little better than the famous skeleton fight from Jason and the Argonauts...a little. The Centuar and the Griffin are fine as they go, but lack the visual impact of earlier Harryhausen beasts like the Cyclops or the Hydra.
This movie got the full adaptation treatment from Mighty Marvel in two issues of the science fiction comic Worlds Unknown. Clearly the folks at Marvel saw potential in crossing over these stories with fans of Conan.
And for fans of the lovely Caroline Munro here you go. First with the rest of the cast and then by her lovely lonesome.
Yum. More Sinbad tomorrow.