Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The Magic Voyage of Sinbad is the American release title for Sadko, a 1952 Russian fantasy film. Based on the Rimsky-Korsakov opera of the same name, the film details the efforts of seafaring Sadko (Sergei Stolyarov) to rescue the citizens of Covason from their despotic rulers. To do this, he must seek and capture the fabled Bluebird of Happiness (aka The Phoenix). The most fanciful sequence takes place in the undersea domain of King Neptune, which though elaborately staged looks a bit like a special exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Though the film is not a musical, the strains of Rimsky-Korsakov are heard throughout, sometimes taken from sources other than Sadko. Alexander Ptushko is credited with the direction on Sadko, though James Landis is cited in some sources as director; in fact, Landis oversaw the recutting and redubbing of the American version, which was distributed in 1962. The scripter for the revamped Magic Voyage of Sinbad was Francis Ford Coppola, but you'd never know it.