Top positive review
Harryhausen’s ‘Golden Voyage’ - good old-fashioned widescreen fun
on 18 February 2018
‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’ (from 1974) is, for me, Ray Harryhausen’s second best movie (next to ‘Jason and the Argonauts’) - more austere than ‘Seventh Voyage’, and superior to ‘Eye of the Tiger’. As Sinbad says, early on in the story: “Every voyage has its own flavour.”
It’s certainly the most opulent of Harryhausen’s fifteen films, with fabulous production design (Angkor-inspired temples and shrines), atmospheric sets, and great locations (Madrid and Majorca) - all seen in fine widescreen. There’s a nice exotic score too, by Miklos Rozsa.
The best stop-motion sequences include those with the six-armed statue of Kali, the creepy creaky figurehead siren, and the brilliantly-animated bat-winged homunculus, reminiscent of the Ymir from ’20 Million Miles to Earth’. (Harryhausen did admit to a little historical inaccuracy for the siren, as Arabian ships never had figureheads.)
‘Golden Voyage’ stars John Phillip Law as a serious, convincing Sinbad, Martin Shaw as his right-hand man Rachid, plus the luscious Caroline Munro as ‘Marabian maiden’ Margiana. Tom Baker too brings sinister gravitas to the role of sorcerer Koura.
DVD extras include a few vintage posters, a few pointless trailers, and twenty minutes of Harryhausen discussing the effects in three of his films: ‘Mysterious Island’, ‘Three Worlds of Gulliver’ and ‘Earth vs the Flying Saucers.’
And should one want to watch 'Golden Voyage' in another language, there are dubbed French, German, Spanish and Italian soundtracks (!)