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The Living Desert (1953)

Documentary of the live of flora and fauna in a desert in the US.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Winston Hibler ...


A day in the life of creatures living in a desert in the southwestern US is shown. Toads, reptiles, wild pigs, insects, mice and birds are followed going about their daily routine and the struggle to find food and not become it themselves. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nature | true life adventure | See All (2) »


Passed | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

10 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A True-Life Adventure: The Living Desert  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1971, Buena Vista reissued this film theatrically on a double bill with The Vanishing Prairie (1954). See more »


Referenced in Mit Leib und Seele: Der lächelnde König (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

The BEST desert nature footage ever made!
22 June 2003 | by (Mesa,AZ USA) – See all my reviews

Everyone of all ages should have the opportunity to see this great film. Living desert took 3 years to make and was the spinoff of a doctoral thesis. It features real life desert adventure footage. Red tailed hawk vs. rattlesnake, ground squirrel vs. gila monster, kangaroo rat vs. sidewinder--- it's all here. The real highlight is a breathtaking 2'25" confrontation in which a large female wasp subdues and paralyzes a tarantula with her stinger. The film also features beautiful botanical time lapse photography in brilliant color. The "Best Documentary Oscar" was created specifically for this film and it was the first recipient of the award. I,ve seen a lot of desert nature footage over the years, but Living Desert is still the standard by which all of the others are measured.

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