The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

G | 105 mins | Adventure | 1974

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HISTORY

As noted in various contemporary sources, including a 1974 article in Tour De Force , the film was the second Sinbad film to be released by Columbia Pictures in association with producer Charles H. Schneer and special effects innovator Ray Harryhausen after The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958, see entry). The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was followed by a third and final film in the Sinbad series, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977, see entry). The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was credited as the first feature film to utilize Dynamation, a technique of stop-motion animation combined with live action actors created by Harryhausen, who went on to be a story writer and producer of the next two Sinbad films. Although Schneer and Harryhausen had a prolific partnership and co-produced many of their collaborations, including Jason and the Argonauts (1963, see entry) and their last film, Clash of the Titans (1981, see entry), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger were the only pictures for which Harryhausen received a “Story by” credit.
       The Golden Voyage of Sinbad took three years to produce, with one year dedicated entirely to Harryhausen’s special effects. A 29 Mar 1972 Var news item announced that principal photography was scheduled to begin in the summer of 1972, and the film’s first appearance on HR production charts was 30 Jun 1972. A 28 Jun 1972 HR news item stated that actor Tom Baker ... More Less

As noted in various contemporary sources, including a 1974 article in Tour De Force , the film was the second Sinbad film to be released by Columbia Pictures in association with producer Charles H. Schneer and special effects innovator Ray Harryhausen after The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958, see entry). The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was followed by a third and final film in the Sinbad series, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977, see entry). The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was credited as the first feature film to utilize Dynamation, a technique of stop-motion animation combined with live action actors created by Harryhausen, who went on to be a story writer and producer of the next two Sinbad films. Although Schneer and Harryhausen had a prolific partnership and co-produced many of their collaborations, including Jason and the Argonauts (1963, see entry) and their last film, Clash of the Titans (1981, see entry), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger were the only pictures for which Harryhausen received a “Story by” credit.
       The Golden Voyage of Sinbad took three years to produce, with one year dedicated entirely to Harryhausen’s special effects. A 29 Mar 1972 Var news item announced that principal photography was scheduled to begin in the summer of 1972, and the film’s first appearance on HR production charts was 30 Jun 1972. A 28 Jun 1972 HR news item stated that actor Tom Baker had been signed to the role of “Koura” and shooting was already underway in Majorca and Madrid, Spain. HR production charts added London, UK as another primary location. Locations on the island of Majorca included the Arta Caves, the Pueblo Español in Palma, and the beach of Torrent de Pareis, which had also served as a location for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad . In addition, the film was shot on sets built at the Verona Studios near Madrid. Although a 14 Aug 1972 HR news item reported that photography was almost complete, Var announced on 11 Oct 1972 that Schneer moved the production to Malta in response to the country’s campaign to attract filmmakers.
       A 27 Feb 1974 DV news item announced that Columbia promoted the film with, in the studio’s words, “’one of the most ambitious merchandising projects in Columbia’s recent history.’” Merchandise included an adaptation of the film published in a Marvel Comic Group comic book, a novelization of the story in paperback, t-shirts and decals, as well as educational resources about mythology and literature related to the character Sinbad. According to a 25 Oct 1973 HR report, Schneer and Columbia were engaged in multiple meetings about marketing the film in both the United States and England. A Christmas release was planned, but the picture did not show in U.S. theaters until Apr 1974.
       Although critical reception was generally negative, the film made $397,500 in its first four days at the New York Deluxe Showcase, according to a 10 Apr 1974 advertisement in Var .
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
25 Feb 1974
p. 4666.
Daily Variety
10 Jan 1974.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1974.
---
Daily Variety
8 Jan 1975.
---
Films and Filming
Mar 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1972
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 1972
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 1973.
---
LAHExam
2 Aug 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1974.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Apr 1974.
---
New York Times
6 Apr 1974
p. 16.
Time
6 May 1974.
---
Tour De Force
1974.
---
Variety
29 Mar 1972.
---
Variety
11 Oct 1972.
---
Variety
16 Jan 1974
p. 18.
Variety
10 Apr 1974.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Charles H. Schneer production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Filmed in
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
Spec masks by
MUSIC
SOUND
Dubbing ed
Sd rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Creator of spec visual eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Continuity
Asst continuity
Casting
Prod exec
DETAILS
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 6 April 1974
Los Angeles opening: 31 July 1974
Production Date:
late June--late August 1972 in Majorca, Madrid and London
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1974
Copyright Number:
LP49227
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Widescreen/ratio
Dynarama
Duration(in mins):
105
MPAA Rating:
G
Countries:
United Kingdom, Spain, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On Captain Sinbad’s Arabian ship, his crewman, Omar, shoots a winged homunculus flying overhead and the creature drops a golden tablet onto the deck. When Sinbad reaches for the object, he sees the apparition of a young woman with an eye painted on her palm. Despite warnings from first mate, Rachid, who claims the tablet is bad luck, Sinbad fastens it around his neck. In the evening, the ship encounters a storm, but Sinbad is distracted by a dream of the girl from his apparition and the vessel veers out of control. After the storm subsides, Sinbad spots the land of Marabia and he tells Rachid that their arrival is a realization of his dream, but Rachid argues that they are off course and it is dangerous to continue. Sinbad swims to shore where Prince Koura, an evil sorcerer, accuses him of stealing the tablet and threatens him with his armed henchman, Achmed. Sinbad gets away on Achmed’s horse, but Koura gives chase and they arrive at a walled city. Koura is unwelcome, however, and when soldiers go after him, the sorcerer mutters a spell and the city gate drops in front of them. After Koura’s escape, the sorcerer tells Achmed that the winged homunculus is his spy. Meanwhile, Sinbad meets the mask-wearing Vizier of Marabia, who explains that the heirless Sultan left the empire in his care but Koura is determined to overthrow him. Leading Sinbad into a castle chamber, the Vizier shows him a wall painting depicting a mysterious legend and a golden tablet matching the one around Sinbad’s neck. The Vizier reports that his ... +


On Captain Sinbad’s Arabian ship, his crewman, Omar, shoots a winged homunculus flying overhead and the creature drops a golden tablet onto the deck. When Sinbad reaches for the object, he sees the apparition of a young woman with an eye painted on her palm. Despite warnings from first mate, Rachid, who claims the tablet is bad luck, Sinbad fastens it around his neck. In the evening, the ship encounters a storm, but Sinbad is distracted by a dream of the girl from his apparition and the vessel veers out of control. After the storm subsides, Sinbad spots the land of Marabia and he tells Rachid that their arrival is a realization of his dream, but Rachid argues that they are off course and it is dangerous to continue. Sinbad swims to shore where Prince Koura, an evil sorcerer, accuses him of stealing the tablet and threatens him with his armed henchman, Achmed. Sinbad gets away on Achmed’s horse, but Koura gives chase and they arrive at a walled city. Koura is unwelcome, however, and when soldiers go after him, the sorcerer mutters a spell and the city gate drops in front of them. After Koura’s escape, the sorcerer tells Achmed that the winged homunculus is his spy. Meanwhile, Sinbad meets the mask-wearing Vizier of Marabia, who explains that the heirless Sultan left the empire in his care but Koura is determined to overthrow him. Leading Sinbad into a castle chamber, the Vizier shows him a wall painting depicting a mysterious legend and a golden tablet matching the one around Sinbad’s neck. The Vizier reports that his face was disfigured when Koura set fire to the room in an unsuccessful attempt to find the tablet. As Sinbad joins the pieces together, however, Koura’s homunculus spies on them and transmits the conversation back to his master. The Vizier explains that when the missing third piece of the tablet is discovered, great power will be attained but if Koura finds it first, he will enslave the people of Marabia. Vowing to help the Vizier save his land from evil, Sinbad holds the tablet over a fire and casts a shadow on the painting. The silhouette reveals the meridian of a nautical map leading to the missing tablet. Sometime later, Sinbad transcribes the map, but the Vizier spots Koura’s homunculus spying on them and the creature turns to ash in Sinbad’s fist. With the secret location of the tablet revealed, Koura orders a ship to follow Sinbad’s route. Before embarking on his voyage, Sinbad meets Hakim, a local merchant, who offers him gold coins to employ his drunken son, Haroun, as a crewmember. Sinbad refuses, but when he sees that the girl from his dream is Hakim’s slave, Margiana, and the merchant offers to include her in the deal, he changes his mind. Sinbad’s ship sets sail with the Vizier, Haroun and Margiana added to the crew. Sometime later, when Rachid reports that they are in search of a mythical and dangerous island, the Vizier announces that the crew will be rewarded with riches if they find it. Haroun, who is displeased to discover that he is expected to work, is assigned to the lookout mast and he spots Koura’s ship following them. Attempting to lose his adversary, Sinbad leads Koura into a dense fog but the sorcerer uses his potions to animate the female figurehead on Sinbad’s ship. After a battle with the figurehead, Sinbad and his crewmen force her into the ocean. Later, Koura cuts his arm to resurrect the winged homunculus and orders the creature to follow Sinbad, who has spotted their destination. As Sinbad’s crew heads to shore, Koura and Achmed trail close behind. When Sinbad’s team enters the ancient temple of the Oracle of All Knowledge, they see a well that is attended by a guardian and the Vizier presents him with the two tablets. The guardian unleashes a torrent of fire and water from the well and the head of a horned beast appears, speaking in riddles. He tells the crew to go north and that the missing piece of the amulet is underneath a shrine for a many-armed goddess. Meanwhile, outside, Koura creates a potion that makes the temple explode, leaving Sinbad and his crew buried alive. Seeing an opening in the ceiling, Sinbad uses a bow to shoot a rope through the hole, but just as he is about to climb to safety, Koura’s homunculus attacks and Haroun kills it with an arrow. Elsewhere, Koura and Achmed continue their quest to find the missing tablet when they are captured by natives. Before their sacrifice, however, Koura animates the statue of their many-armed goddess and the tribesmen are scared into submission. Sinbad and his crew escape and soon find Koura, but when Sinbad throws the sorcerer Rachid’s sword so they can battle to the death, Koura gives it to the goddess and swords spring from her six arms. Sinbad and his men battle unsuccessfully until Haroun shoves her off a ledge. As she smashes on the ground, Sinbad sees the missing tablet in the rubble. However, Koura returns and takes possession of the three pieces of the tablet, then orders tribesmen to kill Sinbad and his crew. As a sword is wielded over Sinbad’s neck, Margiana holds up her hands in protest and exposes the eye painted on her palm. Recognizing the symbol, the natives put her in an underground chamber as a sacrifice to a one-eyed centaur. When she faints, the centaur carries her away and Sinbad orders the Vizier to remove his mask. With the tribesmen distracted by the disfigured face, Sinbad and his crewmen escape into the centaur’s underground cave. Meanwhile, Koura hikes a mountain and finds an eye painted on a rock. After accidentally destroying his box of magic potions, Koura holds the pieces of the tablet together and the rock crumbles, revealing an entrance to the centaur’s cave. Upon discovering the Fountain of Destiny, Koura drops to the ground and pushes one of the tablet pieces into the water. Meanwhile, Sinbad rescues Margiana and the couple finds Koura praying at the fountain. Koura, who has reversed his age by the magic of the tablet, prays for Sinbad to be killed and the centaur appears. As Sinbad fights against the monster, however, a griffin arrives and attacks the centaur. Koura slashes the griffin’s leg with his sword, enabling the centaur to kill it. When Sinbad’s crew comes to his aid and the centaur attacks Haroun, Sinbad jumps on its back and stabs it to death. Sinbad then swordfights Koura, who becomes invisible until he stands inside the fountain. When Sinbad slays him, the water turns to blood. As Sinbad and Margiana watch the water clear, they notice Sinbad’s reflection in the pool; he is wearing the crown and robes of a king. The crown rises to the surface of the pool, but Sinbad places it on the Vizier’s head and his mask disappears, restoring his face to its natural visage. Praising Allah, the crew returns to Sinbad’s ship. The captain explains to Margiana that he gave the crown away because kings are never truly free and they kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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