Posts Tagged ‘The Sheltering Sky’

Films to Watch before Traveling to Morocco, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Casablanca With Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman

Two older well known films featuring Morocco are Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much which features James Stewart and Doris Day and was made in 1956. It has all the tense drama of a Hitchcock thriller and has a scene on the Jemma El Fna square where Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance looking at acrobats on the Place in a cafe as a man is stabbed nearby. The French built fortress like police station on the square features prominently in the film. It was made in the same year as Morocco gained independence and captures some of the excitement of the period.

The film Casablanca in 1942 starred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid and features Claude Rains as the French police officer, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. All the scenes were shot in a Hollywood studio but the Moroccan street scenes are not too bad and the romantic drama won 3 Academy awards. The hero Humphrey Bogart has to choose between the woman he loves played by Ingrid Bergman and helping her husband in the Czech resistance escape the pro Hitler Vichy forces in Morocco. The picture accurately portrays the war time drama and the plight of refugees in Morocco during the Second World War and was rushed out to coincide with the Allied landings during operation Torch in North Africa in 1942. It is one of the great romantic films with some of the greatest cinema actors of all time. Casablanca still basks in the glory and today’s Rick’s Bar is well worth a visit, you can watch the film as well.

Morocco, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich & Adolphe-Menjou

Josef Von Sternberg’s production of Morocco in 1930 with Marlene Dietrich and a very young Gary Cooper who is serving in the French Foreign Legion. The film opens with a legionnaire column marching into Mogador . The column stops in the souk and waits as the call to prayer rings out and the people pray, the scenes are very well observed. The shots of life as a legionnaire give an idea of what the period under the French Protectorate was like. This is the film where the young Marelene Dietrich caused a sensation by singing in the local nightclub in top hat and tails and kissing a woman who gave her a white rose after her performance. Both the heroine and hero have a troubled past and a are trying to found a new life in Morocco. It again explores the theme of Morocco as a land of eastern mystery where the characters can find themselves. In the end she follows the legionnaire column into the desert to be with her true love despite the wealth and security offered by another suitor.

The film Hideous Kinky came out in 1998 starring Kate Winslet and Said Taghamoui. In 1972 Jane’s two daughters Bea and Lucy move to Marrakech to escape the boring routines of London. The film captures the hippy period in Morocco. Both Kate Winslet ‘s character and her two daughter’s also go through a voyage of discovery aided by Said Taghamouti’s character who helps them to return to London.

Paul Bowles

The American novelist Paul Bowles narrates Bernado Bertolucci’s version of his great novel The Sheltering Sky starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich and Campbell Scott. As often happens the novelist did not like the film, the novel was perhaps too stark for a Hollywood extravaganza. There are great desert scenes and Paul Bowles appears in a cameo part as well as narrating the film. He spent 52 years living in Tangier writing and thinking about Morocco during his own personal journey of discovery. He was the best known American expatriate in Morocco of the period and introduced many writers of the period to the country.

If you search on Youtube you will find films of old Morocco in 1920,1930,and 1950’s and vivid street scenes and it is thrilling to see places as they were then and are now in modern Morocco. You can also find historic pictures of Mohammed V, Churchill and De Gaulle reviewing French troops in Marrakech during World War II as well as the historic Casablanca conference with President Roosevelt.

Morocco is a very photogenic country because of its string scenery and great films such as David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, Orson Welles’s Othello shot in Essaouira, Martin Scorsese’s, Kundun and also the Temptation of Christ. Many international films continue to be made in Morocco and Morocco has its own burgeoning film industry and film stars.

For More Information on Films to Read before visiting Morocco or a Morocco Tour 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco Recommended Reading Music & Films, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Moroccan Manuscript

Edith Wharton said,  “To visit Morocco is still like turning the pages of some illuminated Persian manuscript all embroidered with bright shapes and subtle lines.” A cold country with a hot sun, Morocco has witnessed a changing of the guards during the past thirteen years as King Mohammed VI has moved the country and its people forward. As a tourist destination Morocco once held its visitors captive with compelling stories which let them to travel North of Fes to Tangier and to Marrakesh. The Beatniks and hippies made their way to Morocco enchanted by what they read and heard about Paul Bowles, Mohammed Chokri, Allen Ginsberg and Yves Saint Laurent. The Morocco files began and this majestic and soulful country became the hidden jewel of North Africa.

The Sheltering Sky, By Paul Bowles

A trip to Morocco offers travelers everything from fine French – Moroccan cuisine to Sahara Desert camel treks, Atlas Mountain hikes, visits to Nomads that live in caves, Berber villages, magnificent gorges, the expansive Draa Valley  and hot air ballon rides over Marrakech. There’s nothing unattainable on a trip to Morocco. Every person visiting needs a Morocco recommended reading, music and film list before departing on a trip to the great Maghreb.

For those who are interested in exploring the real Morocco before they arrive Alecia Cohen, Morocco Travel Specialist, has hand picked a list of her favorites. Great reads range from Moroccan history to fiction and non-fiction along with Morocco’s best design and decor choices. A overview of Moroccan music and films shot in Morocco is also included for those who want to explore deeper.

The Caliphs House, By Tahir Shah

MOROCCO READING LIST (Available on & Barnes &

HISTORY  (Available on & Barnes &

  • Morocco That Was – By  Water Harris
  • Morocco Since 1830  –  By C.R. Pennell
  • Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua  –  By Gavin Maxwell
  • The Conquest of Morocco – By Douglass Porch


  • Culture & Customs in Morocco – By Raphael Njoku
  • In Morocco – By Edith Wharton
  • In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams – By Tahir Shah
  • The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca – By Tahir Shah
  • The Spiders House – By Paul Bowles
  • The Sheltering Sky – By Paul Bowles (Book & Film)
  • Let It Come Down – By Paul Bowles
  • The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco –  By Richard Hamilton
  • Their Heads are Green & Their Hands are Blue – By Paul Bowles
  • Dreams of Trespass: Tales of A Harem –  By Fatima Mernissi
  • Berber Odes: Poetry from the Mountains of Morocco – By Michael Peyron
  • The Hamadsha: A Studio of Moroccan Ethnopsychiatry
  • A House in Fes –  By Susannah Clarke
  • Marrakesh: Through Writers’ Eyes – Edited by Barnaby Rogers and Rose Baring

Living in Morocco, By Barbara Stoeltie


  • Living in Morocco: (German Edition) – By Barbara Stoeltie
  • Moroccan Interiors  – By Lisa Lovatt-Smith
  • Living in Morocco from Casablanca to Marrakesh – By Lisl Dennis and Landt Dennis
  • New Moroccan Style: The Art of Sensual Living – By Susan Sully
  • Moroccan Textile Embroidery – By Isabelle Denamur
  • Berber Carpets of Morocco. The Symbols. Origina and Meaning By Bruno Barbatti
  • Imazighen: The Vanishing Traditions of Berber Women – By Margaret Courtney-Clarke and Geraldine Brooks

MOROCCAN MUSIC  (Available on or I-Tunes Apple Store)

  • Andalusian Music from Fes By Abdelkrim Rais
  • Andalusian Music from Tangier By Cheik Ahmed Zaitouni
  • Jilala: Sufi Trance Music from Morocco By Jilala
  • Music of Islam 5: Aissaoua Sufi Ceremony By Music of Islam
  • Under the Moroccan Sky  – Various Artists
  • B’ismillah – Fes Festival of World Music
  • Berber Blues By Cherifa
  • The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar
  • The Master Musicians of Jajouka – Jajouka Between the Mountains
  • Baptism of Solitude – By Paul Bowles and Bill Laswell (Spoken Word)
  • Arabic Groove – Putumayo World Music
  • Rough Guide to North African Café
  • Rough Guide to Arabic Café
  • Gift of the Gnaoua – Hassan Hakmoun & Adam Rudolph
  • Berber Music from the High Atlas & Anti-Atlas


  • Othell0 (Orson Welles)
  •  Flight to Tangier (Charles Marquis Warren)
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring (James Stewart)
  • Lawrence of Arabia, starred Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif
  • The Jewel of the Nile directed by Lewis Teague, starred Michael Douglas
  • Kundun directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Hideous Kinky (Marrakech Express
  • Gladiator, directed by Ridley cott, starred Russell Crowe
  • Rules of Engagement, directed by William Friedkin, starred Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson and Guy Pearce
  • Black Hawk Down, directed by Ridley Scott
  • Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Ridley Scott
  • The Bourne Ultimatum directed by Paul Greengrass
  • Body of Lies directed by Ridley Scott, starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe
  • Of Gods and Men directed by Xavier Beavois
  • Sex and the City 2 directed by Michael Patrick King
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, directed by Mike Newell
  • Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan

For more information about Morocco Travel and Recommended Books, Music & Film

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best ofMarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel ExplorationTravel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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