East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Leave a comment

Maureen O’Hara’s Birthday

Yeah, I know, I said I’d take the weekend off and not post, but then, stuff keeps happening.
And today it’s the birthday of beautiful, spirited and talented Maureen O’Hara, Miss Technicolor herself, and one of the part-time muses of Karavansara as she is the one that coined the term Tits & Sand.

So tonight I think I’ll watch Sinbad the Sailor one more time.

Leave a comment

Tits & Sand: Sinbad the Sailor (1947)

sinbad_the_sailor_1947_posterAfter I published the short piece about Tits & Sand yesterday, I realized I have two movies I absolutely need to talk about: one is Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Baghdad, from 1940, and the other is Sinbad the Sailor, directed by Richard Wallace in 1947. Certainly my two favorite “Arabian fantasies” at the movies.
And as I was nursing my usual insomnia, later in the night, I decided to re-watch the latter, and then … well, here I am writing about it.

“O Masters, O Noble Persons, O Brothers, know you that in the time of the Caliph Harun-Al-Rashid, there lived on the golden shore of Persia a man of adventure called Sinbad the Sailor. Strange and wondrous were the tales told of him and his voyages. But who, shall we surmise, gave him his immortality? Who, more than all other sons of Allah, spread glory to the name of Sinbad? Who else, O Brother, but – Sinbad the Sailor! Know me, O Brothers, for the truth of my words, and by the ears of the Prophet, every word I have spoken is truth!”

On with the show… Continue reading


Tits & Sand Movies: Bagdad (1949)

bagdadpstrAnd so I went and watched again Bagdad, the 1949 Maureen O’Hara movie that was at the origin of the Tits & Sand movie genre1, at least according to the fiery-headed star.

But despite the risque definition, this is a romantic adventure, featuring exotic locales, a meringue-light plot and the required amount of chases, swordplay and Arabian Nights clichés – despite pretending (without any conviction) to be a historical film.

Anyway – reader, I watched it.
Was it any good?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Bagdad (1949)

Today, in loving memory of Maureen O’Hara, the trailer of a movie of hers she was not particularly fond of – the highly pulpy 1949 adventure Bagdad: a Bedouin princess returns home after being schooled in Britain, and has to unravel the intrigues surrounding the death of her father.
Nice and smooth.


The movie features a wonderful bad guy played with gusto by Vincent Price, as a bonus.

Talking about this feature, O’Hara coined the category of Tits & Sand movies – and I find it just wonderful.
We’ll have to talk about them, and maybe do a series of posts reviewing a few of these… ehm, lost classics.

Leave a comment

Maureen O’Hara, R.I.P.

I just learned about the passing, at the age of 95, of legendary Hollywood star Maureen O’Hara.
Nicknamed “Miss Technicolor” for her fiery red hair, she was the heroine of many swashbuckler and adventure movies, and one of the icons of my misspent youth at the parish cinema, in such swashbuckler films as The Black Swan, The Spanish Main, Sinbad the Sailor and Against all Flags.