PICTURE OF THE DAY: THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973) – Kali Battle

For some reason, the spring season often makes me think of Ray Harryhausen movies. Not sure why, but part of it, I think, is that there is something about the rebirth of trees and flowers and longer daylight hours that evoke feelings of great colorful adventures, the likes of which were captured by the imagination of Ray Harryhausen.

Hence, today’s Picture of the Day, which comes from THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1973), the second Sinbad movie in Harryhausen’s special effects Sinbad trilogy. The first was THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958), followed by GOLDEN, and the third was SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (1977). 7TH and GOLDEN are generally considered the better two movies of the series, and the jury is still out over which one of these two is the best. I find them equally as good.

Our picture of the day comes from the movie’s signature scene, the battle between Sinbad and Kali, the goddess of death. It’s the most memorable sequence in the film and features some of Harryhausen’s best special effects, both in this movie and in his entire career. I still prefer the skeleton battle in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963), but the Kali battle in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD is still energetic and exciting.

Ray Harryhausen remains the master of stop motion animation effects. There doesn’t exist a movie with inferior Harryhausen effects. That’s because he always brought his “A” game to every film he put his name on. It’s also why he didn’t make more movies, because he spent as much time as needed to get his effects done right, and so often his projects would take longer to make than the traditional movie.

That’s John Phillip Law as Sinbad in the photo, and he plays the lead hero with a cool, confident charisma that for my money makes him the best Sinbad in the three Harryhausen Sinbad movies. And that’s Tom Baker in the background as the evil magician Koura, the villain who brings Kali to life so she can battle Sinbad and his crew. Baker would of course go on to play Doctor Who in the 1970s.

THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD is a rousing adventure. As seen in this photo, it provides colorful action, impressive set design, and topnotch stop motion animation effects by the best to have ever done it, Ray Harryhausen, and it tells an exciting story to boot.

Grand entertainment for a bright spring day.

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