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The story happens in 1948, in a fictional country, called Zakharstan (in the novel "Caravans" is probably Afghanistan). Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) is a young U.S. Embassy employee who is responsible to follow Ellen Jasper (Jennifer O'Neill), the daughter of Senator Jasper, who later has married Colonel Nazrullah (Behrouz Vossoughi) and disappeared. During the investigation, Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) realizes that Ellen Jasper (Jennifer O'Neill) has escaped from her husband, Colonel Nazrullah (Behrouz Vossoughi), living among a tribe whose leader is Zulffiqar (Anthony Quinn). He will fail to convince her to be reunited with his father. But, Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) has realized that the leader of tribe is an outlaw who resists against the government's proposals for a permanent settlement of his tribe and also with cooperation of another rebel man, Shakkur (Mohamad Ali Keshavarz), are engaged to Russian arms trafficking ... Written by
I love to watch 60s and 70s films mostly for nostalgic reasons (I was a young woman then). So when this came up on Netflix I was pleased. I vaguely remembered seeing it when I was young, but I did not remember the film at all (I never read the book). I was sadly reminded why.
This film is just a bit of spectacularly photographed fluff. Jennifer O,Neill was one of the most beautiful women of her time, but she could NEVER act. And is it only me, or do her clothes look too much like crisp, brand new Barbie-disguised-as-Sheherezade costumes?
Also, the plot is so rushed I felt like I was fast-forwarding to the end. They don't give us any real reason to like Ellen, or even understand her motives. When Miller asks her what prompted her inconsiderate behavior to her parents, she answers with all the petulance of a spoiled brat, "My parent used me for their respectability." Ah, well. There you are, then. That explains everything, doesn't it? But wait. There's more. In order to put a stop to her parent's disrespectful ill-usage of her, our heroine seeks solace among men who, according to one of the locals, Sardar Khan (Christopher Lee), "Give our women less rights than a camel." Naturally! Who else would a Western woman go to for respect? ... Oh, dear. Now I've upset solinvictus93, and his fellow students specializing in Middle-Eastern studies ...
Caravans is OK if you just want light escapism and you are a fan of the ever-versatile great actor, Anthony Quinn. The film is also in excellent condition for one of its age. I want to read the book now.
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