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Film: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel.

1974 Arabian Nights Days fantasy movie by Ray Harryhausen starring John Philip Law, Tom Baker, and Caroline Munro's Cleavage.

Sinbad the Sailor searches for the lost continent of Lemuria with the help of his trusty crew along with the disfigured Grand Vizier of Marabia and the perpetually under-dressed ex-slavegirl Margiana. Along the way they will battle the evil sorcerer Prince Koura and encounter fantastic creatures such as the griffin and -in the film's most technically stunning moment — a six-armed statue of Kali brought to life through Koura's magic.

With special effects by Ray Harryhausen and a musical score by Miklós Rózsa (who also scored the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad) The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is definitely an enjoyable experience — they don't make 'em like this anymore.

Not to be confused with the MST3K-featured The Magic Voyage of Sinbad (actually the film Sadko).

This movie provides examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: Caroline Munro, oiled.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Sinbad's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are all conventionally gorgeous young men and women, except for the character whose disfigurement is part of the plot (and even he hides his face under a beautifully-designed metal mask except for one significant scene). Koura has a striking but not remotely pretty appearence, with Creepy Blue Eyes and a huge, hooked nose, and becomes visibly older and uglier (with crackled skin and red-rimmed eyes) from the effects of his magic overuse. His allies consist of sailors with more asymmetrical faces than Sinbad's crew, heavily painted tribespeople, and monsters.
  • Benevolent Boss: Believe it or not, Prince Koura. He never indulges in a Kick the Dog moment with his second-in-command, Achmed, and as the final confrontation with Sinbad approaches Koura actually sends him to safety rather than place his life at risk.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: Margiana.
  • Bishounen Line: Koura starts off middle-aged, becomes increasingly elderly and twisted-looking as he starts throwing around more and more magic power, and then finally becomes younger looking than we've yet seen him for the final confrontation. Shortly followed by turning invisible, which may be considered a further increase in prettiness depending on your opinion of Tom Baker's appearence.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: Prince Koura in the Fountain of Destiny.
  • Blood Magic: The evil wizard Prince Koura uses his own blood to create a homunculus.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Prince Koura can use black magic, but at the price of aging every time he casts a spell. You have to wonder if he'd been a teenager before he started his sorcerous reign of terror...
  • Catch Phrase: see the page quote.
  • Creepy Cute (In-Universe): The bat-homunculus. A tiny demon made from Koura's blood, Achmed is scared of it but Koura clearly finds it adorable, his eyes melting as he looks at it and clucking at it to lure it onto his arm like it was a pet.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sinbad. For example, when Haroun's father says Allah will smile upon Sinbad for taking on lazy Haroun, Sinbad quips, "More likely he will laugh in my face."
  • Dual Wielding: Kali, with six blades.
  • Dull Surprise: John Phillip Law, all the time.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: At one of Haroun's goofs and the joke Sinbad and the Vizier make about Sinbad's Catch Phrase.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Sinbad's crew lives in a world of Dull Surprise and Eye Takes. Koura, however, is a universe unto himself of Chewing the Scenery, the Evil Laugh, wailing, trembling, moaning magic words in an ecstatic sort of way and shouting people's names really loudly.
  • Fanfare: For the Grand Vizier.
  • Flynning: All over the movie, particularly pronounced in the fight with Kali. The fight with Koura might be justified, as he's invisible at the time and the only visible part of him is his sword.
  • Free Sample Plot Coupon: The Grand Vizier of Marabia gives Sinbad a quest to find the three golden tablets before the evil Koura does. Luckily Sinbad accidentally acquired the first tablet from Koura before meeting the Vizier, and uses it to locate the area where the other two tablets can be found.
  • Give Me a Sword
  • The Good Chancellor: One of the few Arabian Nights movies with a good Grand Vizier instead of an evil one.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The Grand Vizier (who, as mentioned above, is a good guy, unusual for these sorts of stories) had his entire face burned off thanks to the mischief of Prince Koura, and so now wears a golden mask. He takes it off to scare some hostile tribesmen away, and later regains his face when Sinbad crowns him Sultan.
  • Hollywood Torches
  • Horned Humanoid: Explains the plot for them.
  • Human Sacrifice: Mariana's birthmark signals that she is supposed to be one for the Cyclops Centaur
  • Large Ham: it's Tom Baker, what do you expect? This is especially true when he's controlling the figurehead and when he swordfights with Sinbad near the end.
    • It's true from his very first scene:
SINBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!
  • Living Statue: The animated figurehead and Kali.
  • Mad Oracle
  • MacGuffin Location: The Fountain of Destiny
  • Ms. Fanservice: Margiana, played by Caroline Munro. Lord have mercy. Essentially her only role in the story is to look pretty in not very much clothing— even her significant birthmark turns out to just mean that she's supposed to be a sacrifice to the Centaur.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Kali.
  • Neutral Female: Margiana, so much
  • Occult Blue Eyes / Creepy Blue Eyes: Koura has strangely-coloured, unearthly blue eyes that receive a lot of camera and colour-contrast attention whenever he uses his magic. Played up with copious Eyedscreen and some truly stunning Idiosyncratic Wipes where the scene transitions from a shot of his face around his eyes, leaving them staring disembodied over the emerging scene for a very unsettling effect.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It's about 50/50 whether Tom Baker can be bothered to affect Koura's vague Arabic accent in a scene.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The Cyclops-centaur.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different
  • Our Gryphons Are Different
  • Plunder: The Crown of Many Riches.
  • The Power of Blood
    • Blood Magic: Prince Koura uses his own blood to create the bat-homonculus.
  • Power Degeneration: See Cast from Lifespan.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Kali. Lemuria too, if mistaking a failed biogeographic hypothesis from 1864 for an "ancient myth" counts.
  • Saved By The Phlebotinum: Prince Koura's youth is restored by one of the fountain.
  • Slave Liberation: Sinbad values freedom and doesn't like slavery, so he frees Margiana as soon as she's brought to his ship. Later, he does this for himself by refusing the Crown of Many Riches. As he puts it, "A king is never truly free."
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: At the end Sinbad must fight Koura while Koura is invisible after being granted a "shield of darkness".
  • The Stoner: Haroun's father is tired of him lying around all day smoking hashish, so he pays Sinbad gold and a slavegirl to take the boy away.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: The second half of the movie is just Koura overdoing the magic and variously attacking Sinbad's crew with possessed statues, magic exploding temples, green-skinned savages and so on, hoovering up the Plot Coupons as he goes. The only thing Sinbad's crew is really capable of is fighting off whatever he throws at them and chasing after him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to Koura's second-in-command and the ship he came on? Koura sends the sailors who row him to Lemuria and later his second back to the ship, and that's the last we hear of it.
    • So presumably they lived happily ever after.
    • Also, what exactly happened to Omar, the sailor in Sinbad's crew with a shaved head? He just disappears halfway through the battle with the centaur. We can see his legs sticking out from behind a rock but what happened to him? How did he die?
  • You Didn't Ask: Haroun is glad to finally be on land. When Sinbad asks him "Even dangerous land?" he panics, asking why Sinbad didn't tell him this was going to be dangerous. Sinbad responds with this trope.


Jason and the ArgonautsFantasy FilmsSinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
KilldozerFilms of the 1970sHerbie Rides Again

alternative title(s): The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad
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