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Red Desert (1964)
"Il deserto rosso" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  8 February 1965 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 6,801 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 62 critic

Cold, rain, and fog surround a plant in Ravenna. Factory waste pollutes local lakes; hulking anonymous ships pass or dock and raise quarantine flags. Guiliana, a housewife married to the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carlo Chionetti ...
Ugo
Xenia Valderi ...
Linda
Rita Renoir ...
Emilia
Lili Rheims ...
Telescope operator's wife
Aldo Grotti ...
Max
Valerio Bartoleschi ...
Giuliana's son
Emanuela Paola Carboni ...
Girl in fable
Bruno Borghi
Beppe Conti
Julio Cotignoli
Giovanni Lolli
Hiram Mino Madonia
Giuliano Missirini ...
Radio telescope operator
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Storyline

Cold, rain, and fog surround a plant in Ravenna. Factory waste pollutes local lakes; hulking anonymous ships pass or dock and raise quarantine flags. Guiliana, a housewife married to the plant manager, Ugo, is mentally ill, hiding it from her husband as best she can. She meets Zeller, an engineer en route to Patagonia to set up a factory. He pursues her, they join friends for a dinner party of sexual play, then, while Ugo is away on business, she fears that her son has polio. When she discovers the boy is faking, she goes to Zeller, panicked that no one needs her. He takes advantage of her distress, and she is again alone and ill. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of a woman...Her hidden thirsts and hungers...Told by the world-famous director Michelangelo Antonioni in his first color film.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Desert  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The audio commentary for the BFI DVD states that Richard Harris walked off the film after an argument with Michelangelo Antonioni who had told him to walk diagonally across a yard. Harris asked why, to which Antonioni answered, "You don't ask me why, you're an actor. You just do it." The film was behind schedule at this stage and Harris was due to start work soon on Major Dunee. This and his argument with Antonioni were probably what led him to walk off the film. See more »

Quotes

Giuliana: I feel my eyes tearing up. What should I do with my eyes? What should I watch?
Corrado Zeller: You ask what you should watch. I ask how I should live. It's the same thing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Even the birds won't come near the place...
28 June 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – 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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