page contents

Select Page

Caravan to Vaccares

Caravan to Vaccares

Underwhelmed is the word that most comes to mind when I think of “Alistair MacLean’s Caravan to Vaccares” and it’s hard to put a finger on which element is most to blame. There is certainly plenty of action with the hero (known only as Bowman) racing around battling all manner of baddies and a very beautiful Charlotte Rampling as the leading lady. But other than these elements it is ultimately forgettable.

The movie does start off rather slow, we are introduced to one of the chief villains who, forces a gypsy caravan off the road in an attempt to abduct the gypsies passenger (a defecting scientist). Before he can execute the kidnapping our hero happens along with Rampling (playing a photographer with an interest in gypsy culture) in tow. Of course our hero prevents the villain from executing his plan.

It seems that Bowman has been hired by the Duc de Croyter (played by the normally excellent Michael Lonsdale) to spirit the aforementioned defector to the United States. Croyter has used the gypsies for the purposes of his strategy since they are allowed to travel across national borders with little hindrance.

I’m not sure particularly why they chose to, but for some unknown reason they felt the need to dub Lonsdale. The movie was released in 1974, the year after Lonsdale had appeared in Frederick Forsyth’s “Day of the Jackal”, so it’s clear that  Lonsdale had no issue with English, but here we are presented with a voice that is clearly not his own and a pretty languid voice at that.

The music doesn’t do the movie any favors either. I cannot remember a single note of the tunes, only thinking that it seemed totally inappropriate and horribly limp. It’s such a shame and is, without a doubt, my least favorite MacLean adaptation (even worse than the likes of “Bear Island” and “Fear is the Key”). A great deal of blame must fall with director Geoffrey Reeve who fails on almost all levels.

As I mentioned there is no shortage of action, Bowman engages in fisticuffs with several villainous types, is chased by goons on horseback, chases around a French city trying to catch up with a fleeing collaborator, hangs from a helicopter and ultimately faces off with a bull, but it’s all pretty limp in its execution.


American Neil Bowman is traveling through France when he meets British photographer Lila. They are hired by French land owner Duc de Croyter to escort a Hungarian scientist to New York. But they soon realize that the job is not a cushy number, and have to deal with a gang of kidnappers who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the scientist.


David Birneyas Bowman
Charlotte Ramplingas Lila
Michael Lonsdaleas Duc de Croyter
Marcel Bozzuffias Czerda
Michael Bryantas Zuger
Serge Marquandas Ferenc
Marianne Eggerickxas Cecile
Françoise Brionas Stella
Vania Vilersas Vania
Manitas De PlataasRicardo
Jean-Pierre Cargolas Jules

Image result for Variety logo


Competent Cast deliver A good action adventure

Underwhelming Alistair MacLean actioner


Underwhelming Alistair MacLean actioner Underwhelmed is the word that most comes to mind when I think of “Alistair MacLean’s Caravan to Vaccares”

Girl Appeal

About The Author


Born on the English-Scottish border I emigrated to the US after graduating college in 1995 and became a U.S. citizen in 2007. I have served in the U.S. military and my past positions include as an Assistant Managing Editor of The Washington Post Company, a technical writer working on technical documentation for both a construction company and a large government contractor, a graphic designer creating graphics in support of government contract proposals, and as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy. which included being assigned as the official writer for the Navy and DoD on the assumption ceremony of a new Secretary of the Navy. I am currently a Web Services Writer for a large government contractor in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Recent Reviews




Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!