Sinbad the Sailor (1947)

Sinbad the SailorCountry: United States
Director: Richard Wallace
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak, Anthony Quinn, George Tobias, Jane Greer, Mike Mazurki, Sheldon Leonard
Music: Roy Webb

As this Sinbad movie predates Harryhausen’s 7th Voyage Of Sinbad by about ten years, this film doesn’t feature any rubber monsters or mythical creatures. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It simply means this film relies on old fashioned adventure and swashbuckling.

The film opens around a campfire, and Sinbad (Douglas Fairbanks Jnr) is retelling the tales from his previous seven voyages, but the audience is bored. They have all heard his fantastical stories before. And furthermore, they didn’t believe him, the first time he told them. In an earnest attempt to make believers of the men gathered around Sinbad begins retelling the tale of his latest (the 8th) voyage.

Sinbad’s tale begins with a ship floundering off the shore during a violent thunderstorm. Sinbad and his buddy, Abbu (George Tobias), swim out to the ship and take control. On board, the crew is all dead. The water bag has been poisoned. Also on board, Sinbad discovers a map to the fabled land of Derriobah where Alexander The Great is said to have hidden his treasure. Adding to the mystery, in the captain’s quarters, a stained glass window has the same image as an amulet that Sinbad wears around his neck. It is an amulet that he has had since birth.

The legend goes that the King of Derriobah feared that pirates would kidnap his son in an effort to have him reveal the whereabouts of the treasure. So he sent his son off to be brought up in a far away land – away from brigands and pirate treasure seekers. Once the young Prince had grown to manhood, a ship was sent out to find him and bring him back home.

Now the ship has been found, many people believe it will lead them to Derriobah, including Sinbad (who may or may not be the Prince). But as he makes port to take on a crew, the map disappears, and with it, his guide to riches untold of.

Adding to the adventure is Shireen (Maureen O’Hara). Now that Sinbad has lost the map, he believes Shireen is his link to Derriobah. But unfortunately for Sinbad, she has teamed up with the cutthroat Amir of Daipur (Anthony Quinn) in their own quest to find the treasure. Regardless, Sinbad sets sail with his own crew of miscreants in a race to find the lost land and the riches of Alexander The Great.

This film is a nice little adventure tale, but it isn’t too frenetically paced. The running, jumping and swinging style of swashbuckling doesn’t really kick in till the forty minute mark. That’s not to say that the film is boring. It isn’t, but for the first third it concentrates on it’s characters rather than action set pieces. As far as swashbucklers go, this film isn’t bad, but it is a step down from the type of film that Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power had done previously.


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