Friday, August 17, 2012

The (too) Many Faces of SINBAD

Let's face it, SINBAD was played by too many actors. Imagine if every James Bond film was played by a different actor. It might seem daring but really in order to achieve consistency a SINBAD series needed to at least have the same actor in a couple of films. Remarkably enough, it never happened. Sinbad is public domain and basically anyone can make a Sinbad film without infringing on any other film so that might explain it. But even Ray Harryhausen couldn't get the same actor to play the sailor in his 3 productions. BTW, Dwayne The Rock Johnson is slated to play Sinbad in an upcoming retelling of the  Arabian Nights story.

There are two types of Sinbad adventures: those with monsters and filled with special effects or those played pretty much straight, just adventure films with a hero surrounded by beautiful girls. The most popular ones were, of course, the Ray Harryhausen fx filled films but I enjoy seeing Sinbad just in your typical Arabian setting too.

Here's a quick round-up of most of the actors (I didn't include all of them):

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in SINBAD THE SAILOR

Dale Robertson in SON OF SINBAD

Kerwin Mathews in THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD; the first of 3 Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films. This hit would change the concept of Sinbad as a feisty hero struggling against monsters and magic. 

Bruno Piergentili (aka Dan Harrison) in ALI BABA & THE SEVEN SARACENS

Originally, this was a SINBAD film under its Italian title but was changed to Ali Baba.

Guy Williams was CAPTAIN SINBAD

Robert Malcolm in SINBAD & THE CALIPH OF BAGHDAD, probably my favorite Sinbad film. It doesn't have any monsters or extensive fx so it's different than the Harryhausen stuff but as a straight forward adventure, it's typical Pietro Francisci fun.

John Phillip Law was Sinbad in the second Harryhausen fx production, THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD

Sinbad was played by Patrick Wayne in the third and last Harryhausen Sinbad fx films, SINBAD & THE EYE OF THE TIGER.

Lou Ferrigno is the beefiest Sinbad ever in SINBAD OF THE SEVEN SEAS

 Zen Gesner starred in the TV series THE ADVENTURES OF SINBAD


Manu Bennett in SINBAD & THE MINOTAUR

Elliot Knight is the latest actor to portray the legendary sailor in SINBAD, a 2012 TV series made for  the UK market (but filmed in Malta). I haven't seen the series but after looking at the trailer, as the original Sinbad films, this one seems to be a straight forward adventure; the trailer didn't include any  monster and fx.

4 comments:

jim said...

Wow, there sure were a lot of Sinbad's.

And don't forget the Oscar nominated, "Popeye the Sailor meets Sindbad the Sailor" (1936). Even though they spelled Sinbad with an extra "d". lol

Supposedly, Ray Harryhausen considered this Popeye film a great inspiration for his own Sinbad's.

S. R. ORSULAK said...

The new Arabian Nights movie they claim will be a special effects bananza, but I hope they don't overdue it and stick with the storyline.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, the Guy Williams movie also spelled it Sindbad.

The 1952 Russian fantasy movie Sadko was dubbed into English and re-released in the US in the early 1960s as The Magic Voyage of Sinbad. From the opening narration, it must have been marketed as a sequel to Harryhausen's 7th Voyage of Sinbad. The lead actor did look a little like Kerwin Matthews.

The Great Bandit (aka Samurai Pirate) (1963), starring Toshiro Mifune, Mie Hama, and Akiko Wakabayashi, was dubbed into English and shown in the US as The Lost World of Sinbad.

Anonymous said...

The Bond movies were a series, produced by the same studio and using the same cast (although sometimes an actor who quit or died would have to be replaced).

The same with Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Matt Helm, Dirty Harry, Indiana Jones, and other series characters.

Sinbad was never really a movie series. Different studios made movies about the character, each with their own cast. Even the three Harryhausen films were not really a series; each was a stand-alone, with no continuity with the other two.

Similarly, various production companies have made unrelated movies based on heroes from myth and legend, or from actual history. So a lot of different stars have played Hercules, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Davy Crockett, Wyatt Earp,and Wild Bill Hickok.