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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Nathan Juran
USA 1958

In the mid-fifties, Ray Harryhausen was recognized as one of the best special effects craftsmen in Hollywood, amazing filmgoers with his startling stop-motion effects in sci-fi thrillers like The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953). It wasn't until 1958 that he was able to bring to the screen a personal project he had been shopping around to the studios for years - The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Movies based on the Arabian Nights and other exotic fairy tales were out of vogue at the time but producer Charles H. Schneer believed in the project and Harryhausen's vision. After all, he had already enjoyed three highly successful collaborations with the special effects wizard on It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), and 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957).

For The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, key members of the cast and crew, including Kerwin Matthews (still considered the most dashing of all the screen 'Sinbads') were flown to Spain where some of the most difficult sequences were filmed. Among these are the encounter with the giant Cyclops who likes to roast men on a spit over a fire and the skeleton swordfight. The latter scene required Matthews to train with Olympic fencing master, Enzo Musomeci-Greco, choreographing the sword parries and thrusts which he memorized and repeated on film with the appropriate reactions to his non-existent foe. Months later, the animated skeleton warrior would be inserted into this sequence by Harryhausen, matching Matthews blow for blow with it's sword.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 5th, 1958

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Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
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Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #010 Spine #012 Spine #013 Spine #019 Spine #020

Comparison:

 Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Indicator (UK) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Presently only available in Indicator's The Sinbad Trilogy limited edition, Region FREE, Blu-ray

Distribution

Sony

Region 1 - NTSC

Columbia Tri-Star
Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Sony

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Indicator (Powerhouse)

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:27:57 1:28:00 1:28:09 1:28:07.824
Video

1:66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1:85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.98 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Feature: 24.3 Gig, MPEG4-AVC

1.66:1 aspect ratio

Dual-layered, 1080P Blu-ray

1.66:1 Disc Size: 45,909,676,884 bytes

Feature Size:  31,470,824,832 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.82 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate:

 

Sony (50th Anniversary Edition)

 

Bitrate:

20th Century Fox (Special Edition)

 

Bitrate:

Indicator (Powerhouse)

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Audio English 5.1, English mono, DUBs:  French, 2.0 Dolby Digital

Mono English, DUBs in Spanish and Portuguese

English 5.1 TrueHD, English mono DUBs: French TrueHD, Thai 5.1

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3624 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3624 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio Undetermined 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai, none English, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional + simplified), None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen
anamorphic - 1:66:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Ray Harryhausen, stop-motion animators Phil Tippett and Randall William Cook, Bernard Herrmann biographer, Steven Smith and Ray’s agent, Arnold Kunert
• Remembering The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
(23:31)
• The Harryhausen Legacy (25:32)
• The Music of Bernhard Herrmann
(26:51)
• Photo Gallery
• 'Sinbad...' Music video
• Outtakes (5:00)
• A Look Behind the Voyage' (11:45)

• `This is Dynamation' (3:26)

DVD Release Date: October 7th, 2008
Keep case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:85:1

Edition Details:
• A Look Behind the Voyage' (11:45)
• `Jason and the Argonauts' (Landis interviews Harryhausen) (11:52)
• `This is Dynamation' (3:26)
• `The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles' (57:53)
• Trailers for 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
 

DVD Release Date: November 30th, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio: 1:66:1

Feature: 24.3 Gig, MPEG4-AVC

1.66:1 aspect ratio

Dual-layered, 1080P Blu-ray

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Ray Harryhausen, stop-motion animators Phil Tippett and Randall William Cook, Bernard Herrmann biographer, Steven Smith and Ray’s agent, Arnold Kunert
• Remembering The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (23:31)
• The Harryhausen Legacy (25:32)

• The Music of Bernhard Herrmann (26:51)
• Photo Gallery
• 'Sinbad...' Music video
• A Look Behind the Voyage' (11:45)

• `This is Dynamation' (3:26)

• `Jason and the Argonauts' (Landis interviews Harryhausen) (11:52)

DVD Release Date: October 7th, 2008
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Indicator

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
 

Disc Size: 45,909,676,884 bytes

Feature Size:  31,470,824,832 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.82 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• The 7th Voyage of Sinbad audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen
• Remembering Sinbad: Previously unreleased audio interviews with Ray Harryhausen
(23:31) and producer Charles H. Schneer (11:52)

• The Secret of Sinbad - New interview with SFX maestro Phil Tippett (11:23)

• The Music of Bernard Herrmann (26:52)
• New interviews with actors Tom Baker, Caroline Munro and Jane Seymour
• Original Super 8 cut-down versions of four installments - The Cyclops, The Strange Voyage, The Evil Magician, The Dragon's Lair  (31:16)
• Archival documentaries, interviews and featurettes

• Music Promo (2;34)

• Birthday Tribute to Ray Harryhausen (0:58)
• Original trailers and promotional films - This is Dynamation (with optional commentary - 3:25) and the Re-Release Trailer (1:46)
• Isolated scores by Bernard Herrmann, Miklós Rózsa and Roy Budd

• Image Gallery
• Promotional and on-set photography, poster art and archive materials
• Box set exclusive 80-page book with new essays, and film credits
• Limited edition box set of 6,000


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 26th, 2016
Customt
Blu-ray Package (see image below)

Chapters 12

 

Package - Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray (June 2017): Presently, this Blu-ray is not available individually from Indicator - it is only in their Sinbad Trilogy package containing, this, THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (Nathan Juran, 1958), plus THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD (Gordon Hessler, 1973) and SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER (Sam Wanamaker, 1977.) The colors on the more technically robust Indicator show themselves as richer and deeper. The overall image is darker. There are some noticeable aspect anomalies in the Sony - when you directly compare exact frame captures. The Indicator is in 1.66:1, skin tones shift - mostly cooler although there are sequences where they have a warmer hue. Grain is finer and more consistent than the 2008 Sony. I think it is more film-like in appearance. I love the look in-motion - it's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate.

Indicator advance upon the Sony in the audio as well giving the option of an original mono track via linear PCM (24-bit) as well as the option of a healthy DTS-HD Master 5.1 at whopping 3624 kbps (24-bit). It sounds marvelous - effects like the mythical monsters, Sokurah's magic and the rousing adventurous score by the great Bernard Herrmann (Cape Fear, The Magnificent Ambersons, Taxi Driver, The Wrong Man, etc. etc.) which is also available in an isolated score option. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

This, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Blu-ray disc offers the previously released audio commentary with Ray Harryhausen as found on the Sony DVD and Blu-ray plus Remembering Sinbad: with previously unreleased interviews with Ray Harryhausen (23:31) and producer Charles H. Schneer (11:52). The Secret of Sinbad is a new, 11-minute, interview with SFX maestro Phil Tippett. Included is the older 27-minute The Music of Bernard Herrmann featurette and original Super 8 cut-down versions of four installments - The Cyclops, The Strange Voyage, The Evil Magician, The Dragon's Lair running over 1/2 hour in total. There is a Music Promo, an Image Gallery, a 'Birthday Tribute' to Ray Harryhausen and the original This is Dynamation (with optional commentary) and the Re-Release trailer. I've been informed that the other Blu-rays include new interviews with actors Tom Baker, Caroline Munro and Jane Seymour and more but we will review them once they arrive. The Indicator Blu-ray package is limited to 6,000 units.

What's not to love? This exceeded my high expectations - I adore The 7th Voyage of Sinbad - and all Harryhuasen effect-films. What a package - besting the Sony in every category. Stay tuned for comparisons of the other two films in the set. Great news so far!

***

I guess the real questions are - "Why is this is a 1.66:1 aspect ratio?" and "Are the dragons on the Isle of Colossa dark green or light green?"

From Lawrence French's excellent article in Cinefantastique (interview with Ray Harryhausen HERE) we know that Ray Harryhausen never really wanted his movies to be projected in any of the then new “widescreen” formats. He accepted the 1.85 aspect ratio under protest from the studio, but he hated working in the extreme widescreen formats, especially when he had to make First Men in the Moon in Panavision. It appears many shots are cropped too closely from both the top and bottom of the frame in the 1.85 format, so Columbia’s new 1.66 format transfer of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad will be a compromise that includes more information in the frame - which you can see in our captures below - extensively in the top and bottom but a bit on the two sides as well.

As for the colors - it can usually be a moot point in a film like this excepting for one pet peeve that I am always noted for mentioning; skin tones. Most other color details can be extremely hard to validate - especially when hues are only marginally altered - and even more so when it is a fantasy film. But the redness of skin tones is a clear sign of some boosting (usually in black/red levels). This is common digital manipulation to bring up detail a few notches. It usually works too... as and as long as it isn't overdone it can achieve its desired ends (Criterion are one company who appear to utilize this form of processing to improve their DVD image quality). In the new 50th Anniversary editions (both SD and Blu-ray) it appears that this has taken place. Personally, I don't find the adjusted colors abhorrently unnatural - other may disagree. The Blu-ray has it more prominently (and at least not orangey) than the SD and it also exhibits more detail (Duh!).

Fans of film grain will probably appreciate this visible attribute in the Blu-ray transfer. It really gives the 1080p transfer a more film-like look and I'm glad I don't see evidence of DNR to remove it. Long live grain even if this also has some noise interspersed. It's thick on the screen and it makes me love The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad just that much more. Aside from some early flickering the image is quite strong.

Audio - yes - a TrueHD bump that sounds pretty decently mixed. I liked it a lot, but I also appreciate the original mono being available as well. The good thing about these 'artificial' bumps is that it makes the viewing experience seem more than a repeat. I've seen this film a dozen times or more and I relish this newly rendered image and audio which makes the experience come alive to some degree. I trust you can only do so much with the original elements of The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and I wasn't expecting modern standards. I'm happy with what I see and hear. 

Supplements are excellent - even on the old SD-DVD. But the 50th Anniversary editions duplicate the old extras - 'A Look Behind the Voyage' (11:45) , `Jason and the Argonauts' (Landis interviews Harryhausen) (11:52), `This is Dynamation' (3:26) and `The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles' (57:53) - and augment with much more. I don't see anything additional on the Blu-ray beyond the new SD-DVD. The commentary is okay - it's always nice to hear Harryhausen but some of the questions fired at him sound pretty geeky - 'What did you make the roc's eggshell out of Ray?". That's okay, I suppose because I, too, love the answers which generally come with an anecdote. I did like the Herrmann stuff with his biographer giving some solid input on the man beyond his greatness. Bottom line on the extras are they are great - fans will not want to miss out.

This is part of my three favorite Harryhausen works (the other two being Mysterious Island and Jason and the Argonauts). I can hope the other two come to Blu-ray soon. There was no way I wasn't going to own this in the best possible home theater representation. If you can remember this film is 50 years old you are more likely to accept that the transfer is not going to be like Iron Man. I'm content and will watch this Blu-ray a third and fourth time within the next week. Does that sound like an endorsement? It sure is Harufa.      

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

(Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Some of the Extras on the Blu-ray

 

 

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


1) Sony (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Indicator Blu-ray

Sound:

Indicator Blu-ray

Extras:

Indicator Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Presently only available in Indicator's The Sinbad Trilogy limited edition, Region FREE, Blu-ray

Distribution

Sony

Region 1 - NTSC

Columbia Tri-Star
Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Sony

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Indicator (Powerhouse)

Region FREE - Blu-ray


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...