Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Tits & Sand: Maria Montez

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Maria-montezIf we talk about Technicolor epics in exotic, Arabian-Nights-style eastern locations – the stuff of Tits & Sand, if you will – we can’t ignore the beautiful Maria Montez.

Born María África Antonia García Vidal de Santo Silas in 19121 , daughter of the Spanish Consul in the Dominican Republic, Montez struck gold in Hollywood with a series of movies shot between 1942 and 1945, in which she was partnered with actor Jon Hall.


True, the definition of Tits & Sand had yet to be coined bu Maureen O’Hara, but the six Montez/Hall are certainly part of the genre2

To this list, we can also add The Siren of Atlantis (1949) – which despite its title is not an underwater adventure, but a story set in the Sahara Desert, and loosely based on Pierre Benoit’s L’Atlantide.

To promote Montez, the studio also divulged a fake biography, claiming Montez had lived in Tenerife and had been educated in Ireland3.
Blacklisted by her studio for refusing a lead role, Montez moved to France with her husband. Her career in French cinema and theater was cut short by a heart attack in 1951.

I’m slowly working my way through the six Monte/Hall Technicolor films.
In the meantime, here’s a small gallery of portraits of the gorgeous Maria Montez.


  1. but she gave her date of birth as 1918 
  2. should we call them Proto-Tits&Sand
  3. what’s this thing about Ireland and Arabian Adventures? Weird, what? 
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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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