Sadko

In one of the darkest years for Soviet cinema-new films numbered fewer than forty in 1952, partly because of economic problems and partly out of fear-the master of Soviet fantastic cinema managed to create his most beautiful work. Aleksandr Ptushko-already internationally famous for The New Gulliver and The Stone Flower-transformed the Arab seafarer Sindbad into Sadko, a medieval Russian adventurer. Sadko sets out on a voyage in search of true happiness, something he's sure must exist in some far-off land. His travels take him to every exotic corner of the globe, as well as to a sprawling undersea kingdom, before he finally returns to the arms of his beloved Lubava. Special effects master Ptushko creates a true cinema of enchantment, with every character, object, and background alive with wondrous possibilities. Years later, Sadko was purchased by American producer Roger Corman, who released the film as The Magic Voyage of Sinbad after it had been re-edited by a very young Francis Ford Coppola.

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