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Film / Captain Sindbad

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Captain Sindbad is a 1963 "Arabian Nights" Days fantasy adventure film starring Guy Williams as heroic swashbuckling adventurer Sindbad. Along with his intrepid crew, he must free a magical kingdom from the evil El Kerim (Pedro Armendáriz) so he can rescue the beautiful Princess Jana (Heidi Bruhl).

One problem. Kerim is basically unkillable because he's had his heart removed and interred inside a block of ice in a tower in the middle of the jungle. After Sindbad fails to kill Kerim the traditional way, he decides to undertake a perilous quest to the tower to personally stab the villain's disembodied heart and end his reign of terror.

The film features lavish sets and colorful costumes and some fairly decent acting, and although the special effects are not much to write home about, some of the monster designs and ideas behind a lot of what Sindbad and his crew face are quite inventive and memorable, even if the budget wasn't quite up to bringing them convincingly to life. It remained out of print for years until Warner Archive offered it on DVD-R as part of their Archive Collection.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A few of the monsters, but most interestingly the guardian of Kerim's heart, a giant hand in an armored gauntlet.
  • Bald of Evil: Kerim has a shaved head.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: After Jafar gets killed by giant alligators.
  • Cute Mute: Quinius.
  • Disney Villain Death: While the two men are Flynning it up on a railed in balcony, Sindbad stabs Kerim in the chest, and then Galgo throws the villain's heart off of the tower, where it explodes. At this, Kerim obligingly reacts by clutching his suddenly bleeding chest where Sindbad stabbed him, then falls over the railing.
  • Dual Wielding: Sindbad uses a sword and a hook at one point.
  • Evil Chancellor: Kerim.
  • Evil Overlord: Kerim again.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The tower where Kerim's heart is kept.
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  • Faux Affably Evil: El Kerim sure seems like a jolly fellow until he petulantly plans to have the Princess' head squished by an elephant for refusing to marry him.
  • Giant Hands of Doom: The gigantic, gauntlet-clad hand Sindbad has to fight inside the tower, which cheekily wags its finger at him when he attempts to enter.
  • Give Me a Sword: Initially, Kerim refuses to arm Sindbad for his battle in the arena, but after lots of pleading from Jana, tosses him his own personal sword for him to use.
  • Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks: Galgo has an impressive array of them in his workshop in all their Technicolor glory, seen most prominently when El Kerim and Colonel Kabar come to visit him at the beginning.
  • Hook Hand: Aram has one, which he loans to his captain for use in climbing the bell rope inside Kerim's tower.
  • Horny Vikings: Sindbad's apparent first mate, Rolf, wears a horned helmet in early scenes.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Kerim to Princess Jana.
  • Immortality: Of the Soul Jar variety - Kerim keeps his heart frozen in a block of ice inside a tower, and as long as it's there, he can't be killed. Sindbad even attempts to run him through unsuccessfully. In the end, he's forced to actually go try and stab the heart itself. Think Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Sindbad stabs Kerim early on to no effect, and Kerim simply pulls the sword free. Later, he does it again during their duel in the tower, again to no effect, but this time Kerim leaves the sword in, allowing Galgo to throw his heart off the balcony, whereupon Kerim suddenly begins bleeding from the sword still in his chest (shades of still another Pirates of the Caribbean movie).
  • Killed Offscreen: Jafar, who has the misfortune of wandering off and attracting the attention of every giant alligator ever.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Colonel Kabar, who behaves sympathetically towards the heroes, to the point where Kerim accuses him of betraying him and locks him up after realizing Sindbad has reached the tower.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Although Colonel Kabar is nominally in charge of Kerim's Mooks, there's noticeably a subordinate officer (played by Guy Doleman from Thunderball) who also issues orders.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The invisible monster in the arena.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Galgo the magician isn't as dumb or clumsy as he seems. Apparently to avoid being tortured, though, he pretends to be stupid and useless around Kerim, who doesn't buy it.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: In addition to the usual jungle perils, the good guys face such bizarre dangers as vines that drag them up into the canopies to some kind of grisly demise, sucking holes of water that slurp people down, and a giant hand.
  • Railing Kill: Although he's already dying, Kerim falls off of the tower by toppling over the balcony railing.
  • Red Shirt: Sindbad loses over half of his guys to various monsters, demons and jungle perils before even reaching the tower. They're yanked up offscreen by killer vines, burned by jets of flame, eaten by alligators, sucked down giant whirlpools and suffocated in bubbling pools of molten muck. It sucks to be a nameless crew member.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Sindbad's name, as you might have noticed, is emphatically spelled with an extra "D" in it, but it's pronounced the same.
  • Swashbuckler: Yes, indeed, much buckle is swashed.
  • Visible Invisibility: Although the creature Sindbad is forced to fight in the arena is (except for one shot where it appears as a green mist) of the completely invisible variety, it leaves rather big reptilian footprints cluing our hero in to its location at any given time, allowing him to have some notion of where his opponent is.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do learn what happens to Kabar. Kerim has him locked up "for execution" before leaving to go confront Sindbad, but considering Kerim dies pretty much immediately afterward, it's unlikely the order was carried out, and yet Kabar is never seen again.


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