Magic Voyage of Sinbad (1953)

For some reason, I’ve decided to see how Sinbad is treated all over the world, which means that I’ve now gone to Russia to watch Sadko, which was exported to the U.S. by Roger Corman in 1962. Ten minutes were cut, the movie was dubbed into English — the script adaptor was a young Francis Ford Coppola — and Sadko was renamed Sinbad. So perhaps I’m not watching Sinbad at all.

Actually, I’m not. I’m watching a Russian opera and here I thought this was going to have stop-motion creatures battling people. Instead, I’m watching the story of Sadko seeking the sweet bird of happiness, which is not a metaphor.

That said, this movie has some ingenuity, as the land of the Ocean King is obviously not underwater but all tricked out with in-camera special effects. I mean, there’s a moment where our hero rides a seahorse to escape.

While this doesn’t have the Harryhausen effects that the Sinbad title — American kids were fooled into seeing a Russian film in the midst of the Cuban Missle Crisis, so if there’s ever anyone as carny as Corman, you let me know — but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a spectacle.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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