Sinbad was pursuing a secret weapon: Greek Fire. Attributed to the ancient Greeks, it was composed of pitch or bitumen, sulfur, and other ingredients. It was used in naval warfare and the Romans also made use of it but with the fall of the ancient Western world, it was temporarily forgotten, but it was rediscovered by the Arabs from whom European Crusaders also learned the method of making it.Written by
According to the TCM Archives, the film received several re-edits to remove dance scenes that were deemed unacceptable by the censors. Production Code Authority director Joseph Breen declared the film "unacceptable" by "reason of indecent dance movements and too scanty costuming," The original opening credits featured a dance that was removed, and other dance scenes were shortened, although this is hard to believe in view of the fact that the dances which remain are surprisingly long and remarkably suggestive, even by modern standards. See more »
[Outside a cave]
Open Sesame, OPEN SESAME
[to a donkey tied to a contraption that opens the doorway]
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Visually Lovely; Fast-Paced; and Diverting; An Expert Entertainment
False statements, repeated often enough, can reinforce false impressions. I believe this is what has happened to "Son of Sinbad". As a writer and aficionado of Grecianzed Near-Eastern adventures, I admire the construction of the plot, the dialogue, the characters and the execution of the visually-lovely little gem. I suppose some have fallen in with the maker's jest at Dale Robertson's Oklahoma accent; but in the main, he is charismatic, intelligent and virile in the part of the son of Sinbad, a man who loves adventure even more than he loves women and who is afraid of neither. The film is all but stolen by Vincent Price, essaying another bright comedic part as Omar Khayyam, poet and victim of Sinbad's ill fortune after he is caught leaving the Sultan's harem. Sally Forrest as Amir is lovely and does quite well with her difficult role as palace servant, secret agent, lover and jealous woman. Leon Askin is superb as the vainglorious Sultan, and Mari Blanchard is very good as a long-lost love, as is Jay Novello as the sinister court buffoon. The plot line is a good and straightforward one. The Mongols are threatening the Sultanate; Simon Aristides and his daughter come to court just in time to save Sinbad and Omar from being executed; when the old man is murdered for his secret of Greek fire, the atom bomb of the ancient world, Sinbad is allowed at his suggestion to take Omar with him and try to retrieve the weapon before the Mongol General who stole it can get its secret from Aristides' daughter and deliver it to his Mongol Khan. Enter Amir, and her organization, with whom Sinbad leagues to use the Greek fire in battle and destroy the Mongol general and his army. The satisfying conclusion of the film finds Sinbad second to the Sultan, his allies, female descendants of the forty thieves, as the Sultan's new bodyguards and Amir and Sinbad II united in matrimony. The film features four extended exotic dance numbers, with lovely music by Victor Young, rousing direction by action-film veteran Ted Tetzlaff, and a surprising number of interesting dialogue-rich scenes, some lovely outdoor scenery and some tongue-in-cheek humor at the Sultan's expense. The costumes are delightful, the art direction is colorful and very fine and Larry Germain's hairstylings are a great asset. This film was never intended to shock, as are so many bad recent films. Its maker, Howard Hughes, however, did intend it to violate silly taboos on the exhibition of females in film; the result is a movie than is fun, very attractively photographed and choreographed and a fine entertainment. If it has suffered, it is because those who have spoken most often about it have not seen it nor perhaps considered its many merits as an attractive "entertainment".
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