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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Before Star Wars and Indiana Jones...

...there was Sinbad, for me. As a kid, I saw these films in Drive-in theaters with my family, and I was enthralled. Featuring the stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, these films were adventure films ahead of their time, and the last one, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, came out in 1977. You can see in that film when you compare it to Star Wars (1977) that filmmaking was taking a big step forward, but these films are great for young kids and families to enjoy even today:

This is 7th Voyage of Sinbad, made in 1958, and the twenty-year distance between this and the other two films is apparent. This feels like an older film, magical though it was to me when I saw it as a re-issue after the second Sinbad film was released. Awesome, awesome score, and the best Cyclops I've ever seen.

Golden Voyage of Sinbad was released in 1974, I believe, and it really impressed me, especially the amazing stop-motion sequence of the six-armed statue of Kali. It wove the themes of destiny, fate, good and evil well, and was shot in Spain.

Here's one of the sequences with Kali.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger was released in '77, and I was really excited to see it because I was really into Sabertooths because of a recent trip to the La Brea Tar Pits with my class at school, and of course the artwork of the magnificent Charles R. Knight. His painting of the LA Tar Pits really impressed me as a kid, so when I saw the sabertooth in this movie run around I was entranced!
I was thirteen when Eye of the Tiger came out, and these three films have always reminded me of being a little kid and watching Sinbad fight monsters at a drive-in theater.

Anyway, there you go.