“You talked of a spell — or has he fallen victim to the plague?”
Just as Prince Kassim (Damien Thomas) is about to be crowned caliph in the kingdom of Charak, his evil stepmother Zenobia (Margaret Whiting) — wanting her son (Kurt Christian) to be ruler instead — casts a spell on him, turning him into a baboon. When the sailor Sinbad (Patrick Wayne) arrives in Charak hoping to request the hand of Kassim’s sister (Jane Seymour) in marriage, he becomes involved in a quest to seek help from a wise alchemist (Patrick Troughton) and his daughter (Taryn Power), who may be able to reverse Zenobia’s spell.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Ray Harryhausen Films
- Royalty and Nobility
- Witches and Wizards
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “third installment of special-effects expert Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad series” — following The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) — is a “disappointing fantasy-adventure, lacking the imagination of the two earlier Sinbad films.” He notes that “Harryhausen’s creatures are derivative of his earlier work”:
… “or are just plain dull (basketball-sized bee, a giant walrus).”
He adds that “the script is too long and lacks excitement,” with “Sinbad himself spend[ing] most of the film as a bystander.”
With that said, there’s plenty of eye candy here for those interested in seeing beautiful Seymour in one of her earlier films, and Tyrone Power, Jr.’s daughter Taryn in one of her few leading roles — and Harryhausen’s animation of the baboon is impressively realistic.
Unfortunately, British theatrical actress Margaret Whiting (who Peary weirdly asserts “sounds like a foreigner!”) is over-the-top as wicked Zenobia.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the 1939 film starring an elephant with her name (alongside Oliver Hardy and Harry Langdon) — though apparently Zenobia was an actual female leader in 3rd-century Syria.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Colorful sets and costumes
- Harryhausen’s effects
No; this one is only must see if you’re a Harryhausen or Sinbad completist.