Monday, December 14, 2015

Movie review - "Caravan to Vaccares" (1974) *

One of a series of Alistair MacLean adaptations that served to cool Hollywood's excitement towards the novelist. This was produced and directed by Geoffrey Reeve, who also made Puppet on a Chain - a film best remembered for a sequence that Reeve did not direct (Don Sharp did) but apparently it made enough money for him to get finance for this.

There have been few more perfect MacLean adaptation heroines than Charlotte Rampling - who is beautiful, brave, feisty, exotic and mysterious. There have been few more inappropriately cast MacLean heroes than David Birney, who is meant to be a tough, sexy adventurer but looks like a TV cop... from a sitcom.

As this movie went on I got more and more annoyed - how it was needlessly confusing, how Birney was so laughably bad as a tough guy (I longed for someone who gravitas and toughness... even Barry Newman from Fear is the Key would have done), the lack of logic, the lack of excitement, the lack of decent action scenes.

The best things about it are Rampling and the location photography, which includes some bullfighting. Rampling goes nude in one scene when she's in bed with Birney - full frontal even; it was the one surprising thing about the movie. I guess the murder of a girl during a bullfight was okay.

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