East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Joan Crawford Blogathon: Strange Cargo (1940)

It’s the Joan Crawford blogathon – and we are terribly late!
But here we are.
Set up by the In the Good Old Days of Hollywood blog, this online marathon celebrates one of the most iconic actresses of Classic Hollywood.
Strikingly beautiful, extraordinarily talented and extremely versatile, Crawford later became the subject of interests unrelated to her acting career… but we are trying to stick to her performances. This is not a gossip column.
So, please check out the link above for a full list of the participating blogs and a lot of excellent posts on some great movies.


And once you’re done, follow us in the jungle as we set our sights on Strange Cargo. Continue reading

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Passion in Swahili

50pelisantesdemorirmogambogracekellyavagardnerThere is a very quick personality test that’s pretty popular and well-known1.
It basically goes like this – choose your favorite Beatle.
Everybody knows the Beatles, and choosing is not that difficult.
Based on their choices, you can profile pretty easily the people you meet.
It works.

Another test, that is somewhat more limited but equally good at discriminating between groups goes like this:

You are Clark Gable in Mogambo – do you choose Ava Gardner or Grace Kelly?

Get the answer to that, and you’ll know a lot of things about the person standing in front of you – a lot of them impossible to define in any other specific way2.

For the uninitiated, Mogambo is a 1953 movie by John Ford that has been aptly described as an adventure movie without adventure.
And it goes like this:

Now, as I mentioned somewhere else, I love Mogambo. Continue reading


The Man That Would Be King, John Houston – 1946


Click on Caine as Bond to get the full list of the blogathon participants

Something different for today’s post – Karavansara is participating in The Great Imaginary Film Blogathon promoted by the fine ladies managing the Silver Scenes Blog.
The idea is simple – post an article about a movie that might have been.
Being Karavansara a blog about adventure, pulp and the Orient – we have obviously picked a nice pulpy adventure movie set in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, and based on a famous novella by Rudyard Kipling.
Being somewhat perverse, we also dropped a few dollops of uchronia in the mix, and hid a few bonuses in the following post.
And so, here goes our entry.


Karavansara’s Imaginary Movie of the Week


Ava Gardner as Roxanne (photographer unknown)

. title: The Man That Would Be King
. year of production: 1946
. cast:

Clark Gable (Daniel Dravot)
Humphrey Bogart (Peachy Carnehan)
David Niven (Rudyard Kipling)
Ava Gardner (Roxanne)
Pedro Armendariz (Billy Fish)

. Directed by John Huston
. Screenplay John Huston, Leigh Brackett & Robert E. Howard, from the Rudyard Kipling  story of the same title
. Paramount
. Technicolor
. Plot in brief: former British Indian Army NCOs Dravot and Carnehan travel to a secluded Himalayan valley, planning to set themselves up as war lords. Through a series of weird coincidences, the two rogues rise to the status of gods, but in the end they lose everything. Only Peachy survives the ordeal, and comes back to relate the story of Dravot’s rise to power and fall from grace.

I will not bore you with how great this movie is.
I’ll leave it to others, better than me, to provide some further information. Continue reading