Cast & Crew
After the winds throw his ship off course, Capt. Sinbad dares to drop anchor off the mysterious Island of Colossa. In the morning, Sinbad leads his fiancée, Princess Parisa; Harufa, his second-in-command; and the rest of his crew to the island where they find giant cloven footprints in the sand. As they approach a cave fronted by a massive stone mask, a one-eyed monster known as a Cyclops chases the magician Sokurah out of the mouth of the cave. When the Cyclops attacks Sinbad and his crew, Sokurah summons The Genie from his magic lamp and orders him to erect a barrier to protect them. Unable to penetrate the barrier, the Cyclops angrily watches as the men row away in their boat, then hurls a boulder over the barrier. The resulting wave capsizes the boat, spilling its occupants and the lamp into the water. As Sinbad and the others reach the safety of their ship, the Cyclops pulls the lamp from the sea, infuriating Sokurah, who insists upon returning to retrieve the vessel. Sinbad refuses, stating that he is on an important mission of which peace hangs in the balance. Upon reaching Bagdad, Sinbad is greeted by the Caliph, who regards Sinbad as his son. In one week's time, Sinbad is to marry Parisa, the daughter of a Sultan, and thus cement peaceful relations between their countries. When Sokurah performs at a feast on the eve of the wedding, the Sultan is so impressed that he asks the magician to prophesize the future. The magician foretells war and disaster in Bagdad, then offers to disperse the evil powers in return for a ship and a crew to sail back to Colossa. Furious, the Caliph banishes Sokurah from the city. That night, while Parisa sleeps, Sokurah slips into her chambers and casts a spell that causes her to shrink. In the morning, when Sinbad discovers his now lilliputian princess, he promises to take Sokurah to Colossa if the magician will restore his bride to normal size. Aware that most sailors would consider the mission too dangerous, Sinbad recruits a crew from the prison yard. As they sail the unchartered waters, the criminals plan a mutiny against Sinbad and his loyal band of followers. Just as Sinbad hides the princess in a tiny chest to protect her, the men mutiny. When the mutineers threaten to kill Sokurah, Sinbad surrenders, after which the rebels sentence them to die at dawn. That night, Sokurah tells Sinbad that high winds and strong currents will drive the ship toward the island of screaming demons, and that all within earshot will be driven mad by the hideous screams. After Sinbad and his party stuff rags in their ears to block the screams, Sokurah's prophecy comes true as the others are driven mad. Sinbad seizes the wheel just in time to steer the ship safely through the reef and back to the island of Colossa. As they set up an immense crossbow with which to slay the Cyclops, Sokurah suggests the group split into two for the perilous trek across the Valley of the Cyclops. Sinbad's group finds treasure hidden in the Cyclops' cave and wants to abandon their mission and make off with the riches. As Sinbad argues with them, a Cyclops appears, plucks up the men and tosses them into a cage. Meanwhile, Sokurah's men gorge themselves in a pool of wine while the magician goes in search of the lamp. When the Cyclops ties Harufa onto a spit, intending to roast him for dinner, the desperate Sinbad pulls the chest containing the princess from his pocket and asks her to open the latch at the top of the cage. Once the princess slips the latch, Sinbad and his men climb out of the cage and free Harufa. In the cave, Sokurah seizes the lamp and is then chased by a Cyclops. The drunken men confront the beast, who summarily crushes them. After Sokurah and Sinbad take cover in the rocks, Sinbad thrusts his burning torch into the beast's eye, blinding it. Sinbad then lures the Cyclops to the edge of a cliff, from which it plunges to its death. Distrustful of Sokurah, Sinbad refuses to relinquish the lamp. Needing a shell from an egg of the colossal two-headed Roc bird to complete the potion that will restore Parisa, Sokurah leads the remaining men up to the nesting place of the Rocs. When two of the men find a giant egg, they hungrily crack it open and kill the squawking hatchling. After procuring a fragment of the shell, the men head for Sokurah's cave at the edge of the Cyclops' domain. To discover how to invoke the power of the lamp, Parisa climbs down inside to talk to the genie and discovers that the boyish genie is desperately unhappy because he longs to be free. After the genie shows her a cryptic message about fiery rocks inscribed on the side of the lamp and tells her that his real name is Baronni, Parisa promises to help free him if he will tell her the invocation to call forth his protective powers. Once outside the lamp, Parisa repeats the incantation to Sinbad. At that moment, an angry Roc bird attacks and knocks the lamp out of Sinbad's hands. As Harufa and Sokurah struggle for possession of the lamp, Sokurah kills Harufa, who tosses the lamp to Sinbad before he dies. After the bird snatches Sinbad in his beak and drops him, unconscious, in its nest, Sokurah imprisons the princess in his cave. Upon awakening, Sinbad summons the genie, who tells him that Parisa is being held prisoner at Sokurah's cave. After restraining the fire-breathing dragon that guards the cave, Sinbad slips inside and orders Sokurah to restore the princess to normal size. Although Sokurah complies, Sinbad refuses to relinquish the lamp until he reaches the safety of his ship. Furious, Sokurah raises a skeleton from the dead and orders it to kill Sinbad. After Sinbad vanquishes the skeleton in a duel, he flees with the princess. Sokurah then invokes a spell to destroy the stone bridge that spans a river of fiery rock, thus blocking their escape. The princess summons the genie, who gives them a length of rope to bridge the gap. As they swing across the river, the princess recalls the inscription inside the lamp and casts the lamp into the river to free the genie. When the Cyclops attacks them at the opening of the cave, Sinbad releases the dragon to combat it. After the dragon slays the Cyclops, Sokurah goads it to kill Sinbad. Racing to his camp, Sinbad orders his men to launch the crossbow. Felled by the arrow, the beast collapses and crushes Sokurah. After Sinbad and his ship sail away from Colossa, Parisa says the name "Baronni," after which the genie, now transformed into a cabin boy, appears.
Nana De Herrera
Enzo Musumeci Greco
Pedro De Juan
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad - The Popular 1958 Fantasy-Adventure THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD on DVD
For MonsterKids growing up in the staid, buttoned-down Eisenhower era, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad remains a seminal fantasy text. Fifty years down the line, the fallout of its one-damn-thing-after-another adventure aesthetic can be seen in such contemporary entertainments as the Indiana Jones films and Pirates of the Caribbean and its sequels. In retrospect, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad might seem to newcomers to look like a poor relation. To keep the budget workable, Harryhausen and Schneer had dropped a number of scripted sequences and big effects; that and the use of Spanish actors for all but the principal players gives the film a decidedly modest aspect. (The "beautiful" interior of the Genie's lamp is communicated via red paint and a lot of dry ice.) But it's not the scope of the film that wins the day but the personality of Harryhausen's stable of make-believe creatures, from the fierce Cyclops whom Sinbad and his men battle throughout the film (and who roasts one of the sailors on a spit, albeit non-fatally) to the revived skeleton conjured up by the villainous magician Sokurah to fight our hero for possession of the lamp. Leading actors Kerwin Matthews, Kathryn Grant (aka Mrs. Bing Crosby, who had played a small role opposite Matthews in Phil Karlson's Five Against the House a few years earlier) and Torin Thatcher are all well suited to their onscreen assignments; only pint-sized Richard Eyre is a letdown as the juvenile Genie of the lamp. (The under-age Eyre was doubled by a Spanish child in all of his scenes shot abroad and his close-ups filmed in the postproduction phase.) Bernard Hermann's rousing score more than picks up the slack of any casting deficiencies, becoming almost a character in and of itself as it follows Sinbad and his crew from spectacle to spectacle.
Columbia-Tri-Star released a then nice-looking DVD of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad in 2000 but this 50th anniversary special edition from Sony-Columbia betters that transfer with improved colors and a tighter framing more faithful to Ray Harryhausen's vision for the film. (Harryhausen had been unhappy with the studio-mandated widescreen, preferring to work in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio honored on this release.) Wilkie Collins' cinematography reveals a high degree of grain (particularly in process shots combining live actors with stop-motion armatures) which is wholly consistent for a production of this vintage. For purists, the stripped-down monaural original soundtrack is offered alongside a more robust Dolby 5.1 remix (in French as well as English). English and French subtitles are optional. The roster of bonus features is generous, even if some of them have been ported over from the earlier disc.
A Ray Harryhausen audio commentary is guided by visual effects artist Phil Tippett and others, while a 3-minute promo reel introduces Harryhausen's patented "Dynamation" process to moviegoers ("Anything that the mind can conceive can now be brought to the screen!"). A 10-minute photo gallery is underscored by Bernard Hermann's compositions while Hermann biographer Steve Smith hosts a 26-minute tribute to "The Music of Bernard Hermann." John Landis interviews Harryhausen in a sweet 12-minute bonus feature and astutely points out that the pioneer effects man enjoyed a unique sovereignty that met the criteria for auteur theory. Rounding out the extras are a circa-70s "look back" at the making of the film (featuring Harryhausen Schneer and Kerwin Matthews, who died last year), an audio track of the novelty single "Sinbad May Have Been Bad But He's Been Good to Me" sung by Ann Leonardo and used to promote the film in 1958, a new 23-minute look back at the film guided by Harryhausen himself and a 25-minute tribute to "The Harryhausen Legacy," which features talking head testimonials from directors Frank Darabont and Joe Dante, special effects master John Dykstra, monster make-up man Rick Baker, special and visual effect genius Dennis Muren, former Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest J. Ackerman and the late monster maker Stan Winston, to whose memory this featurette is dedicated.
For more information about The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (50th Anniversary Edition), visit Sony Pictures.To order The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (50th Anniversary Edition), go to TCM Shopping.
by Richard Harland Smith
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad - The Popular 1958 Fantasy-Adventure THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD on DVD
The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad
For The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, key members of the cast and crew, including Kerwin Matthews (still considered the most dashing of all the screen 'Sinbads') were flown to Spain where some of the most difficult sequences were filmed. Among these are the encounter with the giant Cyclops who likes to roast men on a spit over a fire and the skeleton swordfight. The latter scene required Matthews to train with Olympic fencing master, Enzo Musomeci-Greco, choreographing the sword parries and thrusts which he memorized and repeated on film with the appropriate reactions to his non-existent foe. Months later, the animated skeleton warrior would be inserted into this sequence by Harryhausen, matching Matthews blow for blow with it's sword.
Technical challenges aside, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad also had its share of production problems like a near boating accident in the harbor of Barcelona, a load of rented equipment that was lost at sea, or a virus that made several people violently ill. Communication breakdowns between the English speaking and Spanish crew members were also routine. In one instance, Harryhausen, who spoke little Spanish, was filming the Fountain of Destiny scene and called for more mist, using the expression "mucho smoko!" He was later informed that his bastardized Spanish translated as "something to do with picking your nose."
Richard Eyer, who plays the boy genie in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, recalled his experiences on the film for Tom Weaver's book, Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Flashbacks: "The shots of the genie doing the cartwheels and all that were done in Spain with a double; even the final scene where it's over the shoulder of the genie as he's working as a cabin boy on Sinbad's ship, that's not me, that's some Spanish kid. When they were all through in Spain, they filmed just me for about a week - I filmed all my scenes here (Los Angeles) on a set in a studio. So I felt cheated that I didn't get to go to Spain."
When The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was released theatrically, it proved to be one of the top grossing films of 1958 and was considered a great achievement in fantasy filmmaking. Children lucky enough to have seen the film at theatres will never forget the stirring Bernard Herrmann music score, Kerwin Matthews' swashbuckling Sinbad, or Harryhausen's fantastic creations from the giant roc with the two-headed chick to the fire-breathing dragon.
Director: Nathan Juran
Producer: Charles H. Schneer, Ray Harryhausen (associate)
Screenplay: Ken Kolb
Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper
Editor: Edwin H. Bryant, Jerome Thomas
Art Direction: Gil Parrondo
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Cast: Kerwin Mathews (Sinbad), Kathryn Grant (Princess Parisa), Richard Eyer (Baronni the Genie), Torin Thatcher (Sokurah the Magician), Alec Mango (Caliph), Danny Green (Karim)
By Jeff Stafford
The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad
A soundtrack album of Bernard Herrmann's score was released on Columbia's record label, Colpix. In later years it would become one of the most sought after albums by soundtrack collectors.
Onscreen credits read: "In Dynamation, The New Miracle of the Screen." The 7th Voyage of Sinbad was the first film to use the process of Dynamation, a combination of three-dimensional animated figures and live actors. According to publicity materials contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, Dynamation was a mating of animation and live action on a motion picture frame through the use of blue-backing, trick photographic effects. After shooting was completed in Spain, the production moved to a London studio where it took six months to complete the process work of Dynamation. According to the publicity materials, location filming was done in Granada, and along the Costa Brava in Spain. For additional information about films featuring the character of "Sinbad," please see the entry for Sinbad the Sailor in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.