Golden Boy (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, 1973)

Sinbad_Golden_PosterWhile at sea, Sinbad happens upon a golden tablet that he decides to wear as an amulet. During the night, his ship is hit with a storm and Sinbad has a dream of a man dressed in black and a beautiful woman.  He and his crew find themselves near Marabia.  There he is met by a man who wants the amulet.  After a chase, Sinbad meets the Grand Vizier who wears a Golden Mask to conceal his deformed face. He tells Sinbad about the tablet, that it is only part of a larger puzzle that will reveal a map to the Foutain of Destiny.

The mysterious cloaked man, Prince Koura also seeks the fountain, for nefarious purposes. Sinbad agrees to help the Visier.  Before they leave, he meets Margiana-the beautiful woman from his dream. Her master wants him to hire his son, and Sinbad agrees on the condition that Margiana goes with them.

As they try and reach the Fountain, Koura uses dark magic to try and interfere with Sinbad’s journey.  However, this has a side effect of draining his lifeforce.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad is, on the one hand, great fantasy fun.   It features the art of Harryhausen, with fantastical monsters and magical adventure.

On the other hand, it falls into the grand Hollywood tradition of brownface.  Featuring John Phillip Law as Sinbad, facing off against Doctor Who’s Tom Baker, the cast is largely white actors playing characters of middle eastern heritage.  While it is hard to complain about the casting of the beautiful Caroline Munro as Margiana, the character is rather thin in development.

It is mainly the visual elements of the Golden Voyage that make it enjoyable, as the story is a rather standard quest.

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