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"Sinbad and the Eye
of the Tiger" Intro|
Why are we even showing this movie on TNT? Aren't we currently at WAR with Iraq? We're saluting Iraqi culture at the same moment that we're bombing the holy bejabbers out of em! I'm Joe Bob Briggs, and it's Spring, time
for all the big-haired mamas to polish up those white pumps and hike up
those Hanes sheer-top pantyhose. Tonight we've got "Sinbad and the Eye of
the Tiger," in which John Wayne's son fights all kinds of Gumby monsters,
and Clash Of The Titans, where Harry Hamlin fights all kinds of Gumby
Is Ray Harryhausen in the house?
I do believe
our favorite dinosaur animator IS lurking in the wings.
speaking of Jurassic jungle parties, I was reading this National
Geographic article last week. And have you ever noticed how every once in
a while some photographer or hiker or anthropologist or somebody finds a
new "Stone Age Tribe" living in Papua New Guinea or Borneo or the Congo or
the Amazon River Basin, and somebody writes a book about how "gentle" and
"unspoiled" they are because all they do all day is run around nekkid in a
cave. And then a couple years later some photographer will go back there,
and they'll all be wearin Metallica sweatshirts and sellin bootleg videos
And everbody goes "Oh, isn't that AWFUL!" And then
the missionaries show up-- Baptists and Catholics and those French guys
with the funny shirts-- and they turn all the Stone Age Nekkid People into
Christians, and this makes the anthropologists mad because they think "You
oughta leave em alone." And then the tribes-people start buying Evinrude
motors for their canoes, and tradin in their loincloths for Levi's, and
basically turnin themselves into Jungle Mall Rats.
thinks, "This is really disgusting. Modern civilization has DESTROYED
But lemme splain somethin here. What if the Outer
Mongolian Tribespeople WANT Evinrude speed boats? What if they're sick to
death of paddlin their canoes all day? What if it's EASIER to buy some
cheap denim workshirts from German tourists than to sew banana leaves
together? And I don't much like missionaries either, but I gotta ask:
Isn't it THEIR goldurn choice whether they wanna be Baptists or
tree-worshippers? What if bein a Baptist makes em FEEL BETTER, because
they're switchin over from some religion that's full of fear and revenge
In other words, why don't we just let the dang
people choose what they want? If Indian tribes in Ecuador wanna drive
around the jungle in Toyotas, THAT'S WHAT THEY WANNA DO.
African tribes wanna spend all their money on cellular phones so they
don't have to use drum signals anymore, I DON'T BLAME EM. If the Stone Age
people of Papua New Guinea wanna charge tourists five bucks to come into
the village and look at their Sacred Baboon Statue, LET EM MAKE A LITTLE
JACK FOR THE PUBLIC TREASURY.
Show em everything we have. Let em
use what they want. They can go to the mall if they want
Anyhow, I got your ancient civilization right here--it's
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger."
If you don't know the name Ray
Harryhausen, he's the special-effects maestro who did the dinosaurs in One Million Years B.C. he did "It Came from Beneath the Sea" -- all
those kinda pre-computer-animation lurching-beast movies. This is the
third Sinbad movie he did, and it stars Patrick Wayne as Sinbad, who goes
to the ends of the earth to turn a baboon back into a prince so he can get
a little nookie reward from a very hot Jane Seymour, who wears many
It also stars lots of the aforementioned
We'll do the drive-in totals at the next
[fading] You have to put these things in a historical
perspective when you watch em. You have to say, "It expressed the essence
of the era to which it belonged, using the available technologies to the
If you don't say that, it's kinda crappy. But if
you do say that, it's . . . well, it's John Wayne's son trying to E-mote,
isn't it? Is it John Wayne's son or did they use stop-motion animation for
that performance? No, unfortunately, it's John Wayne's son. He tries to
reproduce the EFFECT of stop-motion animation, though, like one of those
animatronic actors at Epcot.
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #1
Quinn, Medicine Woman, as the virgin princess who goes braless and wears
cornrows. How come Bo Derek got all the credit for cornrows? "10" came out
in 1979. Here Jane Seymour's doing it two years earlier [just 4 years after her first major movie role, as the virgin psychic in the James Bond film “Live & Let Die”]. Did I mention the
bra-less top? Cantilever construction on that baby -- no visible means of
But let's not dwell on that. Then on the other end of the
Hot Sexy Mama scale, we've got the evil stepmother Zenobia, who looks like
a drag queen workin 11th Avenue.
But you know who that is?
Margaret Whiting, the great jazz singer who sang with Percy Faith and had
13 gold records and CREATED songs like "That Old Black Magic," which was
written for her. I think she also originated "One For My
Those drive-in totals... We have:
103 dead bodies.
One dead Neanderthal.
Two partial breasts.
Giant mosquito attack.
Three stars, if you keep in mind
that it was made in 1977, almost two decades before Jurassic Park. And
two decades before THIS, special effects consisted of swinging a toy
spaceship on a fishing rod.
Anyhow, who can think about that when
Jane Seymour is dressed up in that pink "I Dream of Jeannie" babydoll
Yummy. Okay, back to the movie.
Seymour is the queen of the mini-series.
But nobody really
remembers her fine work in the 1979 TV movie classic: "Dallas Cowboy
Cheerleaders," a gripping account of the reality behind the glamour. A
moving story that premiered one night before "Monday Night Football." Some
of us couldn't watch the game that night, we were so . . . moved. I get
teary just remembering it. [DAB EYES...]
[sings] "It's a quarter to three.
No one in the place, except me and the woman at the end of the bar who
looks like Margaret Whiting."
Story of my life. "So set em up,
Joe. Jane Seymour left the bar, and she stepped on my toe."
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #2
notice how, no matter how many voyages Sinbad goes on, there's always one
MORE voyage before he can get the girl? Talk about high maintenance. Jane
Seymour and her two enormous talents are REALLY motivating this plot,
aren't they? The evil queen turns her brother into a baboon, and if they
don't find a way to turn him back into Prince Kassim before six moons go
by, then Xenobia's idiot son will ascend the throne, causing Jane Seymour
to be so hacked off that Sinbad will get no nookie. But the only guy who
can help is an ancient Greek alchemist, the hermit of Marouk, who is
"ringed with deadly reefs." Although they got through the deadly reefs
pretty damn quick, didn't they? Of course, they weren't counting on the
boulder-throwing savages who protect the ancient city until a blonde
rescues them with her "telepathia," which is the ancient Greek word for
But the Greek hermit's real purpose is to prove that
the baboon is really Prince Kassim in baboon form, and the way he does
this--did you notice--is he says "Hmmmm, if it's a baboon, and we show him
his image in a mirror, he'll ATTACK the mirror." So he HANDS THE MIRROR TO
JANE SEYMOUR. "Here, show him his image." And the monkey cries-- good
thing for you, Jane, it really IS your brother. But you know what they
The ancient runic cuneiform manuscripts once
consulted by Archimedes of Syracuse. And that tells em that they need to
journey to Hyperborea, land of the Alimapah, which is impossible because
it's in a valley surrounded by solid ice in the coldest region of the
world. Fortunately, he rummages around in his Hermit of Marouk residence
and goes "Oh, you know what? Here's the KEY to the place. Okay, let's go.
Hurry up, though. We're being chased by a golden minotaur who's rowing
their big boat." Does that about sum up the plot at this point?
thought so. Don't make me say that stuff again.
[fading] "That old
black magic has me . . . in its spell." They should have Margaret Whiting
burst into song at this point.
It goes with the movie, right?
She's the queen of black magic.
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break
Patrick Wayne -- what an actor! Shouldn't he have waited
until his voice developed to start acting? He sounds like he's 14 years
old. "I'm Sinbad the Sailor Man." Anyhoo, Patrick had a hard time
following in Daddy's footsteps. Although, it's interesting, because John
Wayne didn't think he himself was a good actor. He once said that he was
just playin John Wayne in every movie, but nobody seemed to mind. Some
guys, they just have a quality. Jimmy Stewart had a quality. Clint
Eastwood has a quality. Patrick Wayne doesn't really have a quality. And
he's actually much better-looking than his father, but maybe that's
another thing that works against him--he doesn't really have a flaw,
either. You need two things to be a major movie star: a quality, and a
flaw. John Wayne looked kinda roughed up, even when he was young. Jimmy
Stewart looked vulnerable all the time. Clark Gable had big ears. Arnold
Schwarzenegger has trouble with the language. Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise
are short--I think they hit about five-foot-two standing on each other's
See, you gotta have a flaw.
But the real star
of this movie is Ray Harryhausen.
All the creatures in the movie
so far--the skeletons with the bug-eyes and the over-developed quadriceps,
the Minotor, the hostile baboon-- those were all animated by Ray
Harryhausen. Ray Harryhausen went to see King Kong at Grauman's Chinese
Theater when he was eight years old --and the experience forever changed
his life. All he wanted to do after that was make movies using stop-motion
animation. Which is just about the most tedious, boring, painstaking way
to make movies in existence-- for me and you. Where you sit there and
click off ONE frame of the film, and then you move the creature's
knee-joint one millimeter to the left, and you click off ANOTHER frame,
and MAYBE you end up shooting 12 frames a day or 24 frames a day.
Twenty-four frames a day is ONE SECOND of actual screen time. So you can
see how long this stuff takes.
Anyway, that was Ray's specialty,
and he had gained a huge cult following by 1981, with movies like "The
Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" and Jason and the Argonauts and "The Beast
From 20,000 Fathoms"--he made a total of 17 films, all of them low-budget,
with pretty bad acting, and the main reason people loved em is they were
waiting for the sequences where the dinosaurs got into a fight, or the
giant pterodactyl ate somebody--Ray Harryhausen's special effects. Ray
preferred spending two years animating something rather than sticking a
guy in a costume, even though, if you ask ME, sometimes a guy walkin
around in a costume looks more organic than that herky-jerky thing Ray
does. Anyway, back to the movie.
[fading] I just realized
something. All my ex-wives had a quality and a flaw, too. Their
quality was between their neckline and their waist, and their flaw was
between their nose and their chin.
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #4
in "The Arabian Nights" as told by Scheherazade, which tale is "Sinbad and
the Eye of the Tiger," guys?
Of course, number 734.
that, you know that, a little baby in its cradle knows that. But, if
you'll recall, there was NO GIANT WALRUS in the book! Where did the giant
walrus come from? Ray Harryhausen and Beverley Cross wrote this movie, and
they decided that the 1001 tales available to them just didn't give enough
options, they wanted to stick the actors in snow suits in 110-degree
weather and have em pretend they were cold. They went all over the world
to make this movie: Jordan, Malta, Spain, England.
But my question
is, why are we even showing this movie on TNT? Aren't we currently at WAR
with Iraq? Why are we showing a movie based on the only book that ever
came out of Baghdad that we read in the U.S.? We're saluting Iraqi culture
at the same moment that we're bombing the holy bejabbers out of em.
Course, it's not much of a war. Their guys say "Samir, you fly the
"No! Please! My cousin Achmed will fly the airplane
And our guys are having Arby's roastbeef out in the gulf, going
"What do you think? Tomahawk Number 7 or Tomahawk Number 9 today?
Here we go!
Oh what the hell, let's launch both! Do we
still have some of that Dijon mustard?" Sinbad go bye-bye.
let's get back to "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger," the adaptation of the
Iraqi classic, as directed by Sam Wanamaker, the silver-haired guy who
played Goldie Hawn's father in "Private Benjamin" and Diane Keaton's boss
in "Baby Boom." You'd know him if you saw him. Anyhow, let's get back to
the flick. Go.
[fading] Did I just do that? Did I just mention two
women from "First Wives Club" on "MonsterVision"? Did I really do that?
Would you just beat my head in with a monkey wrench, please? What's
happening to me? If I ever do that again, you can give my ex-wife my home
Yes, I know it's certain death, but some things are
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #5
wrong, or did I see Jane Seymour's right hooter in that skinny dipping
scene? There's one problem, though. Either she doesn't have a right
nipple, or she was wearing a body stocking, and I don't know which one
upsets me more. I'm not too happy when body stockings are employed, but I
also like my women anatomically correct.
The other gal in this
movie, the cute Nordic-looking one that the baboon has a crush on--and who
can blame him--is Taryn Power. Daughter of Tyrone Power, and granddaughter
of Tyrone Power, Sr., who was a big silent film star. Tyrone Power, Jr.,
starred in "The Razor's Edge," the one from 1946, and he was Zorro in
He became more famous than his dad, so he got to drop the
"Junior" and just be Tyrone Power. Big heartthrob in the 30s, 40s and 50s,
died at the age of 44, so he was kind of immortalized. His daughter Taryn
Power actually met Patrick Wayne before "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger,"
in an Adult Children of Famous Fathers Who Can't Really Act But Are Too
Rich and Unskilled to Do Anything Else support group. I don't know why
they were in that group, cause I think they both do a fine job in this
flick. Okay, let's roll it.
[fading] I should mention that some of
the dialogue in that scene where the baboon is translating for the Cro
Magnin Man was a little off. The troglodyte was grunting in Middle
Neanderthal instead of Early Neanderthal, and the baboon was actually
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #6
Aurora Borealis, huh? Again, remember that this flick was made WAY back in
the early days of the talkies, way, WAY back in 1977. Same year Close
Encounters of the Third Kind came out. Same year Star Wars came out.
You have to keep it all in perspective. So, you know, we're lucky the
dialogue's even synched up. Actually, the dialogue's NOT really synched up
in this movie, is it? Sometimes it looks like it was dubbed into Japanese
and back. Oh, well, roll it.
[fading] You know who has a nice
Jane Seymour. Actually, the technical term would
be "Aurora Boreales." Plural. "Doctor Quinn, medicate me."
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #7
evil queen with the bird foot loses her weenie son, and wails about it.
Okay, what exactly are the rules here? Aren't we supposed to know what the
rules are? WHERE exactly are they? They're somewhere called Hyperborea,
which is at the North Pole, but you can walk around in your bathing suit--
except inside the shrine of the four elements, where they have Egyptian
statues and an unexplained LION frozen inside a big ice cube. And ice is
not one of the four elements, not directly, anyway, so there goes that
theory. And what's with the blue light pouring into the golden pool
surrounded by the giant Pharaohs? Why are there Egyptian Pharaohs at the
North Pole? Isn't Egypt a hot country? And if the palace is melting and
falling apart, why do you need to stick the baboon in a cage and hoist him
up high. Where did it say "Hoist the baboon"? Which one of the ancient
runic cuneiforms said that? But we got one of the great Ray Harryhausen
fight scenes coming up here in the conclusion to "Sinbad and the Eye of
the Tiger," so roll it.
[fading] Normally when they do stop-motion
animation using a creature with fur, the animators get their hands all
over it each time they move it that eighth of a millimeter, so the
creature looks like it's standing in the middle of a hurricane with its
hair blowing all over the place. Ray had a secret method to prevent that
from happening. I don't want to give away all his secrets, so I'm just
gonna say two words: Aqua Net. The man was a genius. Okay, let's zap the
"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Outro
Nothing like a giant
sabertooth tiger wrestling a giant troglodyte followed by an avalanche
scene to bring alive those Tales of the 1001 Arabian Nights as told by
Scheherazade. The original title of that movie was "Sinbad at the World's
End," but that would have left out the whole giant sabertooth tiger scene.
I guess the whole time you're watching the movie, you're supposed
to be thinking, "Where's the goldang eye of the tiger? When do we get to
the eye of the tiger part?" And, of course, that same scene subsequently
inspired "Eye of the Tiger," the Academy Award-nominated theme song of
An anthropologist visits a remote tribe and is disappointed that missionaries have converted them. “Don’t you know that religion's nothing but silly superstition? Don’t you know that no one believes in religion anymore?” The chief stops him and points to a big rock with dark stains on it. “You see that rock? Before the missionaries came, we would have beaten your head against that rock and cooked you and the tribe would have shared your flesh.” The anthropologist says, “You know what? Thank God for missionaries!”
"Sinbad & The Eye Of The Tiger" is available on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
Host segment transcript of 3-27-99 broadcast
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