June 29th, 2011: The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

Cast and Crew: Gordon Hessler (Director); Aldo Sambrell, Robert Shaw

What It’s About: When Sinbad (John Phillip Law) intercepts a homunculus carrying one piece of golden map, he begins a quest to find the rest, pursued all the while by the evil sorcerer Koura (Tom Baker).

Why Watch it Today?: Ray Harryhausen, the king of stop motion animation and the man responsible for The Golden Voyage of Sinbad‘s special effects, was born today in 1920.  Before CG, before Lucas and Spielberg invented the special effects blockbuster in the late 1970s with films like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harryhausen’s work in stop motion was the best there was,.  Unlike the FX men that would follow, though, Harryhausen received mostly cult recognition and worked in lower budget fantasy and sci-fi films for matinee audiences rather than in big budget mainstream blockbusters.  The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is one of his best, with classic sequences, fun performances from genre vets Tom Baker and John Phillip Law, and the lovely Caroline Munro as Sinbad’s love interest.

Where to Get It:  iTunes, Netflix (rental) or Amazon

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