Omar Sharif goes through the motions as the Sultan (Ava was his mother in MAYERLING!), Julian Sands is the stuffy fiance and the young Art Malik is the rebel who initially kidnaps Jessica but then saves her .... the ending is sheer kitsch as he rides out of the desert to carry her off - I imagine its pure Vilma Banky or Agnes Ayres being taken off by Valentino in those 20's silents. It is supposed to be set in the Ottoman Empire, but the locations are all over the place from desert scenes to moorish and moroccan interiors. A feast of fun then as directed by William Hale. Its quite an expensive production with large cast of soldiers, revolutionaries, harem girls, whirling dervishes, the stuffy British expats etc.
This is another delicious treat now with Ann-Margret sensational as usual, and sterling support from Claudette Colbert as the family matriarch who despises Ann, but does what she has to, to maintain the family image. Ann suffers in diamonds and furs as she tries to clear her name and sinks into a sea of booze, losing her son on the way, But did she intend to kill her wealthy husband (Stephen Collins) when he intends to divorce her? The 1930s period detail is a lot of fun, as is the wonderful Sian Phillips doing a turn as the Duchess of Windsor! It is a very opulent series, directed by John Erman, and it certainly ramps up the melodrama, from a novel by Dominic Dunne. Anne-Margret of course is terrific as the chorus girl who marries above her station, while Claudette coming out of retirement, delivers one last great role.
LORD MOUNTBATTEN: THE LAST VICEROY is another one, from 1986, again opulently set in India during the last days of the British Raj, with intriguing casting of Ian Richardson as Nehru, Nicol Williamson as Mountbatten and Janet Suzman as his wife Edwina - great actors all and they certainly deliver. Of course there is a lot more to the Mountbatten story than his role in the partition of India, but this is intriguing enough for now and its interesting seeing quality actors dressing up pretending to be historical figures in this kind of tosh and presumably earning big pay-cheques.