It was a shame when I heard that special effects creator and animator Ray Harryhausen died at the age of 92, and I visited an exhibition of his work a year or two before, so I knew his death was significant and films he worked on may be shown, and sure enough came this classic. Basically adventurer Sinbad (Kerwin Mathews) and his crew are travelling to his wedding, but get lost at sea and accidentally find the island of Colossa, and there they rescue Sokurah the magician (Torin Thatcher) from the giant Cyclops. Fleeing from the monster Sokurah uses a magical lamp with a child Genie named Baronni (Richard Eyer), but when a boulder is thrown by the creature he drops the lamp into the sea, but they manage to escape and return to Baghdad for the wedding of Sinbad and Princess Parisa (Kathryn Grant). Sokurah requests during a celebration, feast and peace offering between the Caliph of Baghdad (Alec Mango) and the Sultan of Chandra (Harold Kasket) to have a ship and crew sail back to Colossa, but his request is refused. So the deceitful uses his powers to shrink the princess, and he lies to Sinbad that the only way to revive her is to get the necessary ingredient for a magic potion that can only be obtained from Colossa, and the only friend that will sail with the captain is Harufa (Alfred Brown). So they enlist a who crew of prisoners who are offered a pardon for their crimes if they will sail with them to the island, they do set sail but of course the criminals and cons have their own idea to take control, which is unsuccessful. They eventually reach the island and the crew searches for the egg shell of a Roc, a large two-headed bird, this is what is needed for the potion, they are again confronted by the Cyclops which kills some of the men and places Sinbad and others in a cage. The shrunken Parisa is able to release the men from the cage from above opening the lock, and Sinbad manages to blind the Cyclops in its one eye with a lighted torch, and helpless it is led the edge of a cliff and falls to its death. The crew search for the nest of the Roc, and soon enough they find one of the beach, and the egg in it hatches and the large hatchling attacks some of the men, but it is defeated and killed, and Sinbad takes the piece of shell for the potion. The angry parent of the hatchling grabs the lead sailor and drops him into its nest, he escapes from it, and having found the lamp earlier he summons the Genie who tells him what happened when he was unconscious. The princess has been taken into the caves of the island, so Sinbad travels beneath, and slips past a fire-breathing dragon chained up as guard to the caverns, and there he finds the magician, and threatened he agrees to restore the princess back to her normal size. Sinbad refuses to give Sokurah the lamp until they get back to the ship, so the villain brings a skeleton warrior to life to fight with the sailor, but eventually it is defeated, and he and the princess flee. When a bridge is collapsed by the magician the princess summons the Genie to help them escape over the river of molten lava, and after crossing she throws the lamp into the lava to release the Genie from its captivity. The couple leave the cave and are encountered by another Cyclops, but the dragon is released from its chains and the two monsters fight to the death, and Sokurah tries to get the dragon to kill them, but the ship crew fire a giant crossbow, and falling to its death the beast crushes the magician. The crew manage to escape the island, and in the end the Genie has become Baronni as a real boy and now a cabin boy, and as a thank you for his release from captivity he took the treasure the Cyclops took from the cave, this serves as a wedding gift for Sinbad and Parisa. Also starring Danny Green as Karim, Nana DeHerrera as Sadi and Virgilio Teixeira as Ali. Mathews as the famous sailor does alright, Grant is beautiful if a little corny as the princess, and Thatcher is not bad as the pantomime villain, for me the best thing about the film was of course the brilliant stop-motion animation from Harryhausen, the Cyclops, two- headed bird and warrior skeleton are some of the best creations on screen, and the story is filled with action and magic to keep everyone happy, a great fantasy adventure. Very good!
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