Having just watched the documentary The Sci-Fi Boys (2006), I was actually kind of keen on seeing one (or more) of Ray Harryhausen’s great movies. Here’s where Turner Classic Movies On Demand pops in and offers The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
The kids and I did the Harryhausen Sinbad cycle but that was 6 years ago now. Felix would have been 7. Clara would have been 4. So, I wasn’t all that surprised that she didn’t remember it at all.
This was my childhood favorite of the Harryhausen adventure films. For some reason, I preferred it even over Jason and the Argonauts (1963), though that is often cited as his most polished achievement. But hopped up on the joys of the clips from his films, sharing the connection with the special effects dudes and other filmmakers who thrilled to his monsters back in the days of our childhood, I was glad to revisit the movie.
Bernard Herrmann’s score channels the Scheherazade, pumps up the adventure, and Nathan H. Juran, who worked with Harryhausen on 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), among other thrillers with giant beings, sets the stage for Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews), the Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant), and the charming Genie (Richard Eyer) to do battle against the evil Sokurah (Torin Thatcher), but more importantly against the cyclopses, the Roc, the dragon and the sword-bearing skeleton.
Clara watched the movie with fresh eyes, no remembering the film at all from age 4, and she really enjoyed it. Since we watched it on demand and not with an accompanying DVD extras, I threw on Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan (2011), which is available on Netflix Streaming. We didn’t end up watching the whole documentary, which actually covers a lot of ground and interviewees with The Sci-Fi Boys, but I wanted to give her some of the background of the way the film was made, the effects crafted. She was really into it.