This film is glorious – brilliant Technicolor, solid action and suspense, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. doing a fantastic tribute to his father by acting in the same style, with the same gestures and the same bigger than life presence. And it doesn’t hurt that beautiful Maureen O’Hara is the heroine, or that clever, shifty Walter Slezak is the villain. The director is Richard Wallace and the screenplay is by John Twist. One or both should have credit for the green light that emphasizes Slezak’s greed as the story is introduced. A very good touch and one that exemplifies the constant invention that makes the film so special.
The rest of the cast is impressive as well: Anthony Quinn plays the second villain, cast possibly because of his work with Hope, Crosby, and Lamour, since he had a similar role in “Road to Singapore” and a VERY similar role in “Road to Morocco”. And George Tobias is Sinbad’s friend, Jane Greer (very young) is a harem girl, Mike Mazurki is an oafish bad guy as usual, and Alan Napier is Sinbad’s father. Nice surprise: Sheldon Leonard, so young that I only recognized him by his voice, plays an earnest fellow trying to conduct an auction despite interruptions by Fairbanks and spirited bidding by O’Hara, forcing Fairbanks into bidding against her.
The story purports to be Sinbad’s own version of his Eighth Voyage (Scheherazade stopped after the Seventh), and the work of everyone involved, but especially of the actors and designers, gives this a real Arabian Nights quality. I was greatly entertained by this film and look forward to seeing it many more times.