The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

7th voyage of sinbad poster 1958 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Ray Harryhausen effects

Weaknesses in story and acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Studio:  Morningside Productions

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 23, 1958

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Yum…roasted human!!!

Blown off course, Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) and his shipmates find themselves on the island of Colossa where they rescue a magician named Sokurah (Torin Thatcher) from a cyclops.  When Sinbad’s love Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant) is shrunken to the size of a doll, Sinbad must return Sokurah to the island in the hopes of restoring Princess Parisa.  However, Sokurah has other plans for Sinbad and his crew.

Directed by Nathan H. Juran, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a fantasy adventure.  The movie featured stop-motion animation (nicknamed Dynamation by the studios) by Ray Harryhausen.  The fantasy was Harryhausen’s first color stop motion animated film and was widely praised for its special effects.

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Snakewomen make the best entertainers.

The Sinbad movies were favorites of mine as a kid.  The later movies The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger were still relatively “new” movies and all three movies seemed to have a lot of weekend play on stations when it seemed like Godzilla and Planet of the Ape movies ruled the weekend afternoons.  Watching The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a nice trip down memory lane.

The story for the movie might be the most problematic part of the film.  Despite a short running time, the movie feels long.  It has a nice opening with the cyclops and is peppered with special effects throughout but it often feels like Sinbad and his crew are just trudging through the adventure.  The movie also has the problem I have with many old films.  Once the dragon is dead and Sinbad’s men are on the ship, the movie virtually just ends.  I was actually surprised you got resolution with the genie Barani (played by Richard Eyer) since the movie seemed intent on wrapping up as quick as possible.

7th-voyage-of-sinbad-1958-vs-skeleton-warrior-ray-harryhausen-special-effects-kerwin-mathews

I love Jason and the Argonauts!

The acting is also rather wooden.  Kerwin Mathews isn’t very dynamic as the lead and it feels like the studio was simply trying to find a dashing man to fill the role.  Kathryn Grant probably had a difficult role in the movie in that she is generally superimposed for much of the middle of the film.  She’s not a bad damsel in distress but also feels interchangeable with other female leads.  Richard Eyer plays the boy genie which is a bit of a change from the stereotype big bulky genie and that is kind of fun.  Torin Thatcher gets the meatiest role as the evil Sokurah, but I wish that the writers had made his character a bit less dastardly (but fortunately virtually everyone could see through it).

7th-voyage-of-sinbad-1958-cyclops-vs-dragon-monster-ray-harryhausen-special-effects

It’s King Kong vs. Godzilla!!! I mean a cyclops vs a dragon

The special effects are what people watch The 7th Voyage of Sinbad for, and it is still a feast for the eyes.  Yes, computer effects have rendered stop-motion virtually unnecessary, but it is great to see the origins of these effects.  Creatures like the cyclops and the two headed roc are great, but the dragon, the snake woman, and the skeleton (which was used again in Jason and the Argonauts) are even better.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is still a fun movie and can be enjoyed by kids and adults.  Despite advances in special effects, Harryhausen’s spirit and style lives on and this is some of his best work.  Two more Sinbad films followed The 7th Voyage of Sinbad though at a much later date.  The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was released in 1973 and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger was released in 1977.  Both films feature great Harryhausen effects though many feel this is the best of the lot.

Related Links:

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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