Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Humphrey and Lauren’s First Time: To Have and Have Not (1944)

I spent about two hours in the company of Bogart and Bacall.
To have and Have Not in Italian was called Acque del Sud (Southern Waters), and it was one of those movies that once were a staple of afternoon programming, before TV stations discovered the joys of reality and talent shows.

Of course, To have and Have Not is Faulkner adapting Hemingway (that’s TWO Nobel-prize winners for the price of one), and Howard Hawks directing.
You can’t get any better than that.The plot is thin – and there’s not much of the original stories by Hemingway in it – but there are a number of elements that make this one of my favorite movies. Continue reading

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On the border with Bogart & Bacall

1And talking about Old Time Radio.

There’s a series about a guy with a boat.
He’s an adventurer, and in the early ’50s he gets involved in a series of intrigues, mysteries and thrilling adventures. He moves on the border between the civilized world and the changing water margin of islands and ports and strange places.
The series takes its name from the name of his boat.

Only it’s not The Corsair – much as the basic premise appears to be the same.
It’s called Bold Venture, and the hero of the piece is Humphrey Bogart.
And there’s Lauren Bacall in it, too!
I can only hang my head and accept the fact that I’ve been trumped.
And I can enjoy the show, of course. Continue reading


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Other People’s Pulp: The Hawksian woman

62c6a44de21381ca7e7aedd4f06a0a6fIt was all because of Carole Lombard.
So beautiful it hurt, and very talented, actress Carole Lombard1 was the queen of the screwball comedy movies, and back in the days she was the highest paid star in Hollywood.

I think I first got struck by Lombard when I first saw Ernst Lubitsch‘s To Be or Not to Be, and afterwards I tried to track as many of her movies as possible.
I like her very much2.
It was by reading up on Lombard that I got deeper into screwball comedies, the so called sex comedies without sex that Hollywood developed to counter the Hays Code.

What fascinates me to this day is the fact that screwball comedy is sort of the mirror opposite of the noir genre.
Sexual tension, gender politics and the roles of man and woman in society, class struggle and social critique are all there, as is the idea of the male lead being somewhat dazed and confused, and a victim of his own role – it was all there in both genres, played for thrills in noir, and for laughs in screwball comedy. Continue reading


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The Lauren Bacall Blogathon: Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs

Today is Lauren Bacall‘s birthday, and to celebrate this beautiful, talented and iconic star of thesilver screen, a blogathon has been set up by the blog In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood – follow the link, and you’ll find the full list of all the blogs taking part in the blogathon.

lauren-bacall-blogathon1

Karavansara is proud to be part of this event.
And being fans of old classic pulp entertainment, we have decided to go for an oddity in the Lauren Bacall catalog – her participation in a double episode of the classic TV series, The Rockford Files.
Enjoy…

The_Rockford_Files_(title_screen)

This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I’ll get back to you.
[Beeep]
This is Betty Farnell. I don’t know who to call, but I can’t reach my foodaholics partner! I’m at Vito’s on my second pizza with sausages and mushrooms; Jim come and get me!

Continue reading