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Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

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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 monsters.

Is Ray Harryhausen in the house?

I do believe our favorite dinosaur animator IS lurking in the wings.

And 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 to tourists.

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.
And everbody thinks, "This is really disgusting. Modern civilization has DESTROYED these people."

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 and superstition?
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.

If 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 to.

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 midriff-baring ahn-sahms.

It also stars lots of the aforementioned lurching beasts.
We'll do the drive-in totals at the next break.

[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 utmost capacity."
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

Doctor 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 support.
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 Baby."
Those drive-in totals... We have:

103 dead bodies.
One dead Neanderthal.
Two partial breasts.
Sword fighting.
Stair rolling.
Belly dancing.
Giant mosquito attack.
Dynarama head-butting.
Dynarama arm-biting.
Dynarama cat-scratching.
Skeleton Fu.

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 princess top.
Yummy. Okay, back to the movie.

[fading] Jane 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

Do you 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 "telepathy."

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 really need?

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?
I 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 #3

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 shoulders.

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

Okay, in "The Arabian Nights" as told by Scheherazade, which tale is "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger," guys?
Of course, number 734.

I know 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 airplane today."
"No! Please! My cousin Achmed will fly the airplane today!"
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.

Okay, 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 phone number.
Yes, I know it's certain death, but some things are unforgivable.

"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #5

Am I 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 1940.

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 speaking orangutan.

"Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" Commercial Break #6

Nice 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 Aurora Borealis?
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

So the 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 baboon.

"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 Rocky 3

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

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Tonight’s Host Segments Continue on
Clash Of The Titans

Check out MonsterVision host segments for
The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad
Or host segments for
One Million Years B.C.

Host segment transcript of 3-27-99 broadcast
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