Movie Mini-Review: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

cyclops

Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation and Bernard Herrmann’s rousing music give this movie wings. You can see and hear their passions in this movie, and these achievements pretty much make The 7th Voyage of Sinbad what it is: sweet, charming, escapist fare for the whole family. The story is set in motion by an evil sorcerer (Torin Thatcher) who miniaturizes and kidnaps a beautiful princess (Kathryn Grant), compelling Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) to brave an island of fantastic monsters to rescue her.

The cast does an admirable job with some of the clunkiest dialogue in movie history. Kerwin Mathews is the most charismatic Sinbad of all the Harryhausen adventures (all subsequent Sinbads are just beefy driftwood), while Kathryn Grant and Torin Thatcher do commendable jobs embodying the stereotypical princess and sorcerer roles. And when I talk about the acting, I need to include Harryhausen’s performances as well. Even though he’s animating monsters, he always manages to make us feel for them, and 7th Voyage‘s Cyclops and Dragon are cases in point. I’m not a fan of the snake woman early in the film, but the climactic sword fight with the skeletal warrior is the best-staged use of stop-motion animation I’ve ever seen.

Rating: 3.5/5 ★★★½☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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