“Cold certainly. Difficult and dangerous perhaps.”
When the evil witch Queen Zenobia (Margaret Whiting) casts a spell on the heir to the throne of Charnak, Prince Kassim (Damien Thomas), he is transformed into a baboon. Unable to take the throne, Kassim hides away from the public. Queen Zenobia is Kassim's step mother. She has plans to put her son on the throne and Kassim is in the way. Should Kassim remain a baboon for seven moons the transformation will be permanent and Zenobia's son Rafi (Kurt Christian) will become Caliph. Kassim's sister Farah (Jane Seymour) is engaged to Sinbad (Patrick Wayne). She refuses to marry as long as Kassim is bewitched. Sinbad agrees to search for a cure for Queen Zenobia's spell.
Sinbad and his crew, along with Kassim and Farah sail to the island of Casgar to find the hermit Melanthius (Patrick Troughton). He is said to be an alchemist. Sinbad hopes that Melanthius can help. Melanthius and his daughter Dione (Taryn Power) agree to help. They set sail again to find the fabled land of Hyperborea in the polar region. Melanthius believes that they will find a shrine and a column of light. The light is said to have powers that can break the spell that Zenobia cast. Unknown by Sinbad and the others is that Zenobia and her son Rafi are following every move that Sinbad makes. Zenobia is determined that Sinbad will not fulfill his promise to Kassim and Farah.
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" was released in 1977 and was directed by Sam Wanamaker. The film is part of the sword and sandal sub-genre. It is the last Sinbad movie with the Ray Harryhausen special touch. The number and quality of Harryhausen’s visual effects are amazing. Starting with the bug eyed devil skeletons or “ghouls”, the baboon, the Minoton, which is actually a combination of Ray’s work and a guy in a suit, (the same guy who played Chewbacca), a troglodyte, a sabretooth tiger, walrus, hornet all wonderful characters themselves. And Harry’s touch extends. He also wrote the story and produced “Eye of the Tiger”
The movie takes you from Charnak to the island of Casgar to Hyperborea. It is your basic fantasy adventure story. On the way, there are dangers that they must overcome and creatures that awe. Every character created for the screen has its own personality. The Minoton obedient, the baboon human, the troglodyte tender. The only way you can inject that kind of personality into a miniature puppet is if you have talent. It also doesn’t hurt if you are magic.
Although the tale may be well worn, each time you watch it the magic starts again and you are taken to exotic places and many, many adventures.
Sinbad in “The Eye of the Tiger” is left handed. Patrick Troughton was one of two actors in the Sinbad stories that also was a Dr. Who. Troughton was the second doctor. Tom Baker who was the fourth doctor was Sinbad's nemesis, Koura, in "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad". Patrick Wayne is the son of John Wayne. Taryn Power is the daughter of Tyrone Power.