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Red Desert (1964)

Il deserto rosso (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 8 February 1965 (USA)
1:23 | Trailer

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In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.
7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlo Chionetti ...
Rita Renoir ...
Lili Rheims ...
Telescope operator's wife
Aldo Grotti ...
Valerio Bartoleschi ...
Emanuela Pala Carboni ...
Girl in fable
Bruno Borghi
Beppe Conti
Giulio Cotignoli
Giovanni Lolli
Hiram Mino Madonia
Giuliano Missirini ...
Radio telescope operator


In a bleak rundown industrial area a young woman, Giuliana, tries to cope with life. She's married to Ugo the manager of a local plant but is soon having an affair with one of his co-workers, Corrado Zeller, who is visiting. Giuliana is unstable, not quite knowing anymore just what her role is, whether that be a wife, a mother or just another person. Her escape from life is short-lived however as Zeller is simply using her to satisfy his own needs and desires. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Winner - Golden Lion Award Best Picture 1964 Venice Film Festival See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Desert  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sir Richard Harris found the making of the film difficult, as the director did not speak a word of English. See more »


Linda, Max's Wife: Where's Augusto?
Mili: I dumped him.
Linda, Max's Wife: Since when?
Mili: I can't go to bed with a man who earns less than me.
See more »


Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Even the birds won't come near the place...
28 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Red Desert" (Italian, 1964): Michelangelo Antonioni made this film prior to "Blow Up", but you can see where he was headed. "Red Desert" is about a deeply troubled, beautiful woman who seems to have it all – including a stable, handsome husband, a precocious son, and fun, sexy friends. Yes, she DOES live in an industrial wasteland managed by her spouse… True, even the birds know better than to fly anywhere near this area of floating and flowing poisons, but she has larger concerns. "Red Desert" is wonderfully symbolic (the title will make sense later in the film), and illustrates confused, tortured states of mind with landscapes & sets, not to mention the utterings & behavior of this woman. But, IS she insane, or, like the birds, simply failing to accept this environment? Watch the fog, architecture, room colors, lack of dialog, physical disconnects, out of focus camera, illogical gestures…listen to her stories, the sound track (which is electronic, and dated), and the random events heard that seem to have no resolution. "Red Desert" is TRULY a great film about alienation in the "modern" age.

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