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THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER (1960) ***

 

Most of the same people involved with The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad re-teamed for this fantasy adventure based on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. 

 

Kerwin Matthews stars as Gulliver, a struggling doctor who leaves his materialistic fiancée behind to go on a seafaring voyage in search of wealth.  In the land of Lilliput, he’s tied up on the beach by a race of tiny people before being hailed as their savior.  Eventually he’s used as a pawn for war and has to make tracks when the idiot king accuses him of treason.  Gulliver then heads off to the island of Brobdingnag which is populated by nothing but giants where he is reunited with his fiancée, who lives in the king’s dollhouse.  Gulliver is the pride of the king’s court until he is branded as a witch by the king’s indignant sorcerer and has to battle an enormous squirrel (!) and a giant crocodile in order to escape. 

 

Viewers anticipating a third world will be bummed to learn that there isn’t one.  (Unless you count him returning to England as another “world”, that is.)     

 

Ray Harryhausen did the excellent special effects, but fans of his work in such films as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and 20 Million Miles to Earth may be a tad disappointed as most of the effects revolve around things are either really big or really tiny.  The only real “monster” in the flick is the crocodile and while it’s pretty cool, it’s got nothing on Harryhausen’s Rhedasaurus.  Having said that, the movie is still a lot of fun; especially during the Lilliputian segment of the film.  Swift’s social commentary and biting satire is muted, but when the effects work is so great, it doesn’t really matter.  The music by Bernard Herrmann (the same year as his Psycho score) is also superb.   

 

AKA:  The Worlds of Gulliver.

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