The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

Director: Gordon Hessler

Cast: John Philip Law, Caroline Munro, Tom Baker, Douglas Wilmer, Martin Shaw, Gregoire Aslan, Kurt Christian, Takis Emmanuel, David Garfield, Ferdinando Poggi, Aldo Sambrell

At sea, about 800 A.D., Captain Sinbad (Law) and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Arriving at a port city, Sinbad learns of a similar gold tablet, kept by the city’s gold-masked vizier (Wilmer). The two gold tablets interlock, together forming part of a map. The city is threatened by prince Koura (Baker), a practitioner of black magic. Information in the mysterious gold tablets drives Sinbad to enter into an alliance with the vizier to find a power that will allow them to stop Koura. Carrying Margiana (Munro), an enigmatic slave girl that bears a mysterious clue in the palm of her hand, Sinbad’s ship sets out in a voyage to find the source of the magical power. Koura uses his powers to learn of Sinbad’s and the vizier’s plans, and sails in his own ship, determined to be first to reach the mysterious island where he will find the power that will make him invincible. Sinbad, Margiana, and his crew encounter tempests, strange beasts, and the dark interference of Koura during their perilous sea voyage. There is a strong sense of the uncanny in many scenes, as Sinbad and Margiana fight off the evil spells that Koura uses against them. Every time Koura uses his black magic he drains his own life-force, his face shows growing lines and his body weakens further. But the sorcerer is driven by an iron will and an evil ambition, and he pursues and harasses Sinbad relentlessly. They reach the northern island and a fabulous range of ancient ruins, mystifying oracles, and terrifying beasts. A subterranean chamber holds the power they all seek, and Sinbad and Margiana must fight Koura and his terrible monsters or die unspeakable deaths. John Philip Law’s Sinbad is a somewhat reserved captain that functions effectively, with courage and stern concentration. Caroline Munro, one of the most splendidly beautiful women ever filmed, is captivating in her role as Margiana. Tom Baker, who went on to become the most memorable Doctor Who, aptly portrays Koura, the fanatical and tormented sorcerer. Visual effects, including a six-armed sword-bearing Kali, a griffin, and a centaur, were crafted by Ray Harryhausen.

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