Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad.
Meanwhile Sinbad meets the Vizier who has another part of the interlocking golden map, and they mount a quest across the seas to solve the riddle of the map, accompanied by a slave girl with a mysterious tattoo of an eye on her palm.
They encounter strange beasts, tempests, and the dark interference of Koura along the way.
John Phillip Law ... Sinbad
Caroline Munro ... Margiana
Tom Baker ... Koura
Douglas Wilmer ... Vizier
Martin Shaw ... Rachid
Grégoire Aslan ... Hakim
Kurt Christian ... Haroun
Takis Emmanuel ... Achmed
David Garfield ... Abdul (as John D. Garfield)
Ferdinando Poggi ... Kali stand-in (as Fernando Poggi)
Aldo Sambrell ... Omar
DivX 3 / MP3
Made 14 years after The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad, this follow up is ,unsurprisingly, not as good, but that WAS a ground breaking classic. Perhaps sensing that they could not top the first film, the filmmakers give this movie a slightly different feel. If 7th Voyage was full of colour and size, Golden Voyage is somewhat darker and less spectacular.
Most of the action occurs at night or in caves, while none of the creatures are especially large. This makes Golden Voyage slightly less of a delightful romp, but it's certainly not just a rehash. There is a strong sense of the uncanny to some scenes,such as the villain's resurrection of the tiny humunculus, or the coming to life of the ship's figurehead.
After Sinbad (Jon Phillip Law) happens upon a strange gold "bauble" while at sea, his ship ends up at a town where a similar gold piece is kept by a Vizier (Douglas Wilmer), whose city is threatened by the evil prince Koura (Tom Baker). Sinbad, his crew, the Vizier, and two other people from the town begin an adventure to solve the mystery of the "baubles".
This is a fine fantasy/adventure film, and definitely one worth watching by any fans of the genre, as well as Ray Harryhausen fans. Mostly excellent, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad also has a couple of flaws that brought my score down to an 8 out of 10.
The main problem is that the film tends to meander at times. There are also a few minor problems with direction or editing, such as the less-than-convincing sword fight in the cave near the end of the film. Also, the mostly episodic nature of the script lessens the overall impact. It often feels like a string of short stories arbitrarily strung together, although in the end, the overarching goal ties the film together well enough.
But what "short stories" those are! The script, production/set design and costumes easily propel you into a captivating fantasy world, and Harryhausen's creatures, as always, are a delight to watch. No, they're not exactly realistic--no more realistic looking than cgi, in my opinion--but I'm not looking for realism when I watch a film like this. I'm looking for brilliant artistry, especially if it has a horror edge, and Harryhausen's stop-motion animated creatures fit the bill.
Most of the scenarios in the film are cleverly conceived. They're constantly leading to intriguing puzzles that have to be solved by our heroes, somewhat similar to a fantasy role-playing computer game, which films like this surely influenced. This maintains a gradually heightening suspense throughout the length of the film, as each puzzle tends to be more difficult than the previous one, and most are accompanied by fascinating beasties of some kind.
Although this genre is not usually noted for its fantastic performances, everyone in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad does a great job. Even as a Doctor Who fan who grew up watching the Tom Baker era of that show, it took me awhile to figure out who Baker was here. He is a joy to watch as a slightly campy villain. An even bigger joy to watch was Caroline Munro, who is breathtakingly beautiful. And Law, as Sinbad, is completely convincing and cool.
As long as you don't expect a masterpiece, you should have a lot of fun watching this film.
* The captioner for this movie decided to have some fun with Prince Koura's lines. When he is mumbling "foreign words" to cast a spell, the captions are backwards lines from Cocoa Puffs and Trix commercials.
* Takis Emmanuel is dubbed by 'Robert Rietty'
* This film helped Tom Baker get the lead role in "Doctor Who" (1963)
* Christopher Lee was a front runner for the role of Koura.
* Robert Shaw desperately wanted the role of Sinbad but was placated by being cast uncredited as the Oracle. His face was heavily swathed in make-up and his voice electronically altered by a sound engineer.