Sinbad, the Sailor (1947)

Sinbad, the Sailor (1947), directed by Richard Wallace.

It's a busy week for Sinbad: steal the royal yacht, evade a mysterious assassin, frustrate the ruthless emir, get the girl, and find Alexander the Great's long-lost treasure island.

These Arabian Nights fantasies were a staple of the afternoon movies when I was a kid. Were they intended for children when made? The dialogue and action are geared to that level, with the smooching scenes flying by quickly. Although...that harem scene...

Despite the Technicolor (which I never saw on TV at the time) and rich costumes, these productions look inalterably cheap, a result of being done completely on sound stages, even the sailing scenes. I was glad to see it again, but it's a rental, not a keeper.

Not much swashbuckling, just lots of comical escape and evasion. Douglas Fairbanks Jr is acting peculiar with a silent-film style of hearty, flamboyant poses. Is this an early retro-adventure, hearkening back to the silent era? Maybe he is just imitating his father, a noted adventure film actor of that period.

Vast quantities of flowery pseudo-Persian declamations. All these Americans and Europeans playing Middle Eastern characters contribute to the children's pageant fantasy aspect. Everyone's skin is darkened -- even Anthony Quinn's -- with the exception of Maureen O'Hara, who we are to believe is a Kurdish princess.

Another appearance of Mike Mazurki, the hardest working big ugly guy in Hollywood.

This is only the second time I have seen bastinado performed in a motion picture.

Warner Archive title available for rent from ClassicFlix. This is the first dual-layer manufactured-on-demand DVD I can recall.

Note: he isn't really fondling her boobs in pane #6 below. She is smiling, though. Sort of.