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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is a fantasy film released in 1974 and starring John Phillip Law as Sinbad. It includes a score by composer Miklós Rózsa and is noted for the stop-motion effects by Ray Harryhausen. The film is the second of three Sinbad films that Harryhausen made for Columbia, the others being The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977).

Plot

While sailing, Sinbad (John Phillip Law) comes across a golden tablet dropped by a mysterious flying creature. He wears the tablet as an amulet around his neck. That night, Sinbad has a strange dream in which he sees a man dressed in black, repeatedly calling Sinbad's name, and also about a mysterious girl with an eye tattooed on her right palm. During his sleep, a mysterious storm throws his ship off course, and the next day Sinbad and his men find themselves near a coastal town in the country of Marabia.

Swimming to the beach, Sinbad is intercepted by a dark-cloaked man, who demands his amulet. Sinbad narrowly escapes into the city, where the city guard forces the hostile stranger to flee. Soon, Sinbad encounters the Grand Vizier of Marabia (Douglas Wilmer). The Vizier, who wears a golden mask to hide his disfigured face, says that Sinbad's amulet is actually one piece of a puzzle; the Vizier has another. The Vizier relates to Sinbad a legend that the three pieces, when joined together, will reveal a map showing the way to the Fountain of Destiny, hidden somewhere on the lost continent of Lemuria. The legend tells that he who bears the three pieces of the puzzle to the fountain will receive "youth, a shield of darkness, and a crown of untold riches."

Sinbad agrees to help the Vizier find the fountain. They join forces against Koura (Tom Baker), the black-cloaked man who is an evil magician bent on conquering Marabia. Koura had locked the Vizier in a room and set it on fire, horribly burning his face. The creature that dropped the gold tablet was one of Koura's minions, a homunculus created by his black magic.

Shortly afterward, Sinbad meets the girl he saw in his dream, Margiana (Caroline Munro). She, her master's son Haroun (Kurt Christian), and the Vizier board Sinbad's ship. Koura hires a ship and crew of his own and follows Sinbad, using his magic several times to try to stop Sinbad. However, each attempt drains away part of his life force and he ages noticeably each time.

Along his journey, Sinbad fights the wooden figurehead from his own ship, a six-armed Kali idol (both animated by Koura's magic) and a one-eyed centaur, against whom a griffin also fights. Once they reach the fountain, Koura obtains all the pieces, assembles the puzzle, and drops it in the fountain. His health is restored and he becomes invisible (the "cloak of darkness"). However, he is slain in a sword duel by Sinbad, who then takes the "crown of untold riches" that rises out of the fountain and gives it to the Grand Vizier. Sinbad explains to Margiana that he values freedom more, and a king is never really free. The crown's magic powers causes the Vizer's mask to dissolve to reveal his healed face.

Cast



Production

The entire film was completed for $982,351, a remarkably small sum even for a film in the early 1970s.

Originally, they wanted to use the Alhambramarker palace for some of the shots, but the authorities asked for a huge rental fee. Eventually, they found the Palacio de Generalifemarker, Palma, Majorcamarker. Other scenes were film in the Caves of Artàmarker (the temple of the Oracle) and the Torrente de Pareis.

The miniature set for the Fountain of Destiny was huge. The monoliths were 32 inches high and the fountain was constantly maintained at a height of 51 inches. The rock background was over 15 feet high and the whole thing was built on a wooden platform 32 inches from the ground.

Ray Harryhausen confessed that when he was animating the centaur, he had in mind an opera tenor in his final death throes. The actual model of the centaur was about 13 inches high and had ocelot fur on its legs and a small doll's eye in its forehead.

During production, Harryhausen was also producing a film called King of the Geniis, which was to include Sinbad and dinosaurs. Harryhausen made a poster and three key drawings, but it never was produced because of the box-office failure of The Valley of Gwangi. Leftover ideas became Golden Voyage.

An early charcoal/pencil illustration showed the one-eyed centaur battling a giant Neanderthal man, who was later replaced by a griffin in the final version. The giant Neanderthal was later used in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977).

When Sinbad drives his sword into the centaur's neck, a process called "shadow boxing" was used. Law played out the scene by himself, pin-pointing where the sword would stop and then the centaur's "neck" was added at that particular spot. Fernando Poggi provided his valuable expertise for the swordfight sequences. Poggi strapped two of his stuntmen together with a very large belt to help simulate the six arms of the living statue of Kali, giving the actors at least four arms to practice against.

A "Valley of the Vipers" sequence was deleted.

The captioner for the movie had some fun with Koura's lines. When he is mumbling "foreign words" to cast a spell, the captions are backwards lines from Cocoa Puffs and Trix breakfast cereal commercials.

Adaptations



See also



External links




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