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There's a handful of moviemakers out there that make incredible movies no matter what plot is given to them. Ray Harryhausen is one of them. Not that his movies don't have a good story, just that they're all about fun and adventure rather than sophisticated plotlines and character arcs. Among his finest are the Sinbad movies and today I'm featuring the Dynamation spectacular, "The 8th Wonder of the Screen!", The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
Sinbad enters the scene doing what he does best: sailing the seven seas. The beginning of his seventh voyage on those seven seas is found on the island of Colossa where he and his crew land in hopes of finding food. When some of the crew come across a set of giant cloved hoofprints, they realize they've found much more than they wanted. The prints are revealed to be those of a giant Cyclops that chases the magician Sokurah out of a nearby cave. As Sinbad and his men fight off the beast, Sokurah uses a magic lamp to summon a genie to save them. In their escape back to the ship, the Cyclops knocks the lamp from Sokurah's grasp and takes it back to it's hoard.
Back at Sinbad's home of Bagdad, he is preparing to be married to Princess Parisa of Chandra as Sokurah is invited to entertain both nations during the Sultan's Feast. Sokurah's goal is to convince the Caliph to provide him with a ship and huge crossbow so he may return to Colossa to retrieve his magic lamp. He is denied and upon prophesying war between the two nations, he is banished from Bagdad. The magician gets his revenge that night by secretly shrinking the princess to less than a foot tall. He tells Sinbad the only way to reverse the spell involves returning to Colossa and obtaining a piece of egg shell from the deadly two-headed Roc after battling through the island's other monstrous creatures.
Not only does Sokurah conjure a serpent woman at the feast, but also a skeleton warrior (later featured with five companions in 'Jason and the Argonauts') back at his fortress. The Dynamation fun continues with the Roc and it's hatchling, the guardian dragon, along with the star of the monsters, the two Colossi. Harryhausen gives us a full show with some of the most iconic creations in his arsenal and you'll love every minute of it. This is fantasy at it's finest.
Sinbad, in this first Harryhausen outing, is played by Kerwin Matthews who would star in the nearly identical (and also great fun) 'Jack the Giant Killer' just four years later. There's a reason it was emulated, because no child or child at heart could ask for more adventure. Bernard Herrmann tops it off with an exciting score that I dare you to get out of your head anytime soon after. This is classic fun all around that the whole family can enjoy. That's why I give The 7th Voyage of Sinbad:
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