6.6/10
707
9 user 5 critic

Caravans (1978)

In 1948, at the U.S. embassy in Zadestan, a young diplomat is ordered to find the missing daughter of an influential U.S. Senator.

Director:

James Fargo

Writers:

James A. Michener (novel), Nancy Voyles Crawford (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Zulffiqar
Michael Sarrazin ... Mark Miller
Christopher Lee ... Sardar Khan
Jennifer O'Neill ... Ellen Jasper
Joseph Cotten ... Crandall
Behrouz Vossoughi ... Nazrullah
Barry Sullivan ... Richardson
Jeremy Kemp ... Dr. Smythe
Duncan Quinn Duncan Quinn ... Moheb
Behrouz Gramian Behrouz Gramian ... Peasant Boy (as Behrooz Gueramian)
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz ... Shakkur
Parviz Gharib-Afshar Parviz Gharib-Afshar ... Nur Mohammad
Fahimeh Amouzandeh Fahimeh Amouzandeh ... Mira
Mohammad Taghi Kahnemoui Mohammad Taghi Kahnemoui ... Maftoon (as Mohammad Taghi Kahnemout)
Khosrow Tabatabai Khosrow Tabatabai ... Dancing Boy
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Storyline

The story happens in 1948, in a fictional country, called Zakharstan (in the novel "Caravans" is probably Afghanistan). Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) is a young U.S. Embassy employee who is responsible to follow Ellen Jasper (Jennifer O'Neill), the daughter of Senator Jasper, who later has married Colonel Nazrullah (Behrouz Vossoughi) and disappeared. During the investigation, Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) realizes that Ellen Jasper (Jennifer O'Neill) has escaped from her husband, Colonel Nazrullah (Behrouz Vossoughi), living among a tribe whose leader is Zulffiqar (Anthony Quinn). He will fail to convince her to be reunited with his father. But, Mark Miller (Michael Sarazyn) has realized that the leader of tribe is an outlaw who resists against the government's proposals for a permanent settlement of his tribe and also with cooperation of another rebel man, Shakkur (Mohamad Ali Keshavarz), are engaged to Russian arms trafficking ... Written by Persian Star

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Power, the Sweep, the Spectacle of James Michener's Epic Desert Adventure!


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Iran | USA

Language:

English | Persian

Release Date:

2 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caravanas See more »

Filming Locations:

Isfahan, Iran See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was theatrically released in the same year as another James A. Michener adaptation. That was the television mini-series Centennial (1978). See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 27 minutes from this film for its 1982 network television premiere. See more »

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User Reviews

Rare film made before the Revolution of '79
3 December 2003 | by solinvictus93See all my reviews

This certainly isn't a great film, but it is entertaining, and even more so since it takes place in Iran. Most, if not all movies that take place in the Middle Eastern are set in Arabic countries. So much so that even in this day in age most people in the West associate the Mid-East solely with the Arabs.

But this movie is unique in that it not only takes place in Iran, a non-Arab country, but it was also filmed there as well, right before the Revolution, which technically began in '78 but was firmly established the year later.

The turmoil of the Revolution took place in the major urban centers, which this movie was filmed far away from, in the desert areas of the province of Baluchistan, which borders Pakistan. The Baluch are an Iranian people, related to the Persians, Kurds, Azari's, etc. with their own distinct culture and heritage.

What really makes this film interesting is that they portray the Baluch and their dress and customs fairly accurately. It's obvious the filmmakers did their homework and actually put some effort in learning about the various Iranian ethnic groups and the differences between them. For example, the Baluch have had plenty of conflicts with the central government for quite some time, and this fact is made good use of in the movie. Even today the Baluch create problems for the central government every now and then, what with all the smuggling going on, which is their primary trade.

All in all, if you're looking for something unique, give this movie a shot. Don't expect too much in the way of story or acting, but you're sure to find the scenery and the exposure to a different culture interesting.

As a sidenote, it's interesting (but not surprising given Western ignorance) the two other reviewers were under the vastly mistaken impression that the movie was concerned with an Arabic or "bedouin" tribe, since there are no such tribes in Iran and also despite the fact that the film quite emphatically makes it clear that the tribe is Baluchi. You'd think people would realize that Iran is not an Arab country by now.


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