Adventure Movies

The adventure movie that “enchanted” John Landis

January 17, 20243 Mins Read

There’s a deep versatility that runs throughout the works of John Landis, and during his remarkable career in the American film industry, he’s proven a degree of quality that has established his reputation, particularly in the realms of comedy cinema.

Landis’ 1978 film National Lampoon’s Animal House remains a cultural touchstone of comedy, while the likes of The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, Three Amigos and Coming to America have also shown his penchant for movies of the hilarious kind. Meanwhile, an American Werewolf in London saw Landis take his humour to the realm of horror.

During an interview with Bomb, Landis was asked about his first impressions of cinema and how they informed a love for the medium that would shine throughout his work. He responded by referring to a film of the 1950s that he saw as a young child that greatly influenced his entire outlook on the world.

“I’ve said this so many times,” Landis began. “When I was eight years old I saw a movie called The 7th Voyage of Sinbad at the Crest Theater, which is still there on Westwood Boulevard. I had what’s called suspension of disbelief. I went nuts. I was enchanted by it.”

“I went home and asked my mother who makes the movie, and she said, ‘the director.’ Which was surprising,” Landis added, noting his aspirations after seeing the film. “So literally, from the time I was eight, I wanted to be a director. So I had an advantage, which was I knew what I wanted to do.”

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is the 1958 Technicolor heroic fantasy adventure movie directed by Nathan H. Juran and starring Kerwin Mathews, Torin Thatcher, Kathryn Grant, Richard Eyer and Alec Mango, distributed by Columbia Pictures.

The film was the first Sinbad movie by Columbia, preceding 1973’s The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and 1977’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. While the film’s title suggests that it focuses on Sinbad’s Seventh Voyage, it is rather more in line with the fictional mariner’s Third and Fifth journeys.

Responding to whether seeing The 7th Voyage of Sinbad immediately turned him into a film fanatic, Landis noted, “Absolutely, I was a maniac; and because I grew up in Los Angeles – I was born in 1950 – in the 1960s I was able to seek out and meet almost all the great filmmakers.”

Check out the trailer for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad below.

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