MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 7,521 this week

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

 -  Drama  -  8 February 1965 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,217 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 64 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 »

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 02 Jan 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 29 Nov 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 29 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Red Desert" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Red Desert (1964)

The Red Desert (1964) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Red Desert.

User Polls

7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

L'Eclisse (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
La Notte (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. But during the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Il Grido (1957)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, emotionally and socially inactive.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriella Pallotta, Steve Cochran, Alida Valli
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The movie director Niccolo has just been left by his wife. This gives him the idea of making a movie about women's relationships. He starts to search for a woman who can play the leading ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Tomas Milian, Daniela Silverio, Christine Boisson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix
The Passenger (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of co-opting the I.D. of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A hunted man breaks into the castle at Oberwald to kill the Queen, but faints before doing so. He is Sebastian, the splitting image of the King who was assassinated on his wedding day. The ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Paolo Bonacelli, Franco Branciaroli
Blow-Up (1966)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mod London photographer seems to find something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles
Le amiche (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young woman returns to her home town of Turin to set up a new fashion salon and gets involved with a troubled woman and her three wealthy friends.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Eleonora Rossi Drago, Gabriele Ferzetti, Franco Fabrizi
I vinti (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three stories of well-off youths who commit murders. In the French episode a group of high school students kill one of their colleagues for his money. In the Italian episode a university ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Franco Interlenghi, Anna Maria Ferrero, Eduardo Ciannelli
Red Desert (1949)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Government agent is sent to track an outlaw who has stolen gold boulion. The chase leads into a desolate desert region where the agent is forced to utilize his survival skills.

Director: Ford Beebe
Stars: Don 'Red' Barry, Tom Neal, Jack Holt
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Red Desert  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

[There's something terrible about reality but i don't know what it is]
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Fatale beauté (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sublime Monica Vitti shines in Antonioni's abstract masterpiece
11 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 piece 'Red Desert' is, on the surface, a film that deals with the changing face of the world under rampant industrialisation, but far more than that it's a comment on alienation and human adaptability in such a society. Guiliana (played by Monica Vitti) is the wife of petroleum plant manager Ugo. She lives in a spacious, modern apartment with Ugo and their small son, but there's an undercurrent of instability in Guiliana's persona, a feeling of unease and angst that Monica Vitti exhibits in Guiliana's every action. Vitti's portrayal of Guiliana is one of a woman on the point of a nervous breakdown, always fidgeting, wringing her hands, looking at unease and full of angst and continually walking away from conversations, forcing others to follow her. The way her character hugs close to walls at every opportunity is allegorical of her need to be surrounded by friends, family and loved ones, claiming that she "is only ill when I'm alone". We find out that Guiliana had recently been in a car accident and had spent a month in hospital being treating for shock, but unbeknownst to Ugo, Guiliana isn't adjusting well after her accident, while her husband remains entirely oblivious. Into the frame comes Corrado Zeller (Richard Harris), an engineer friend of Ugo on his way to set up a new petroleum plant in Patagonia. Zeller is a quiet, reserved man who, like Guiliana, is visibly at unease with his surroundings, however his life and work afford him the luxury of moving from place to place, while Guiliana feels increasingly trapped in her existence. Inexorably, Zeller and Guiliana are drawn to each other, Zeller recognising a kindred spirit of sorts and Guiliana casting out a cry for help that only Zeller is capable of recognising. The fact that Zeller picks up on this and is continually drawn to Guiliana, despite her unstable, demanding behaviour, immediately points to his attraction to her, but it's only after acting on his attraction that Guiliana comes to accept her station and encounters her defining realisation; people aren't cured, they adapt.

But it's not just Guiliana's life she has to adapt to, it's her surroundings, beautifully brought to screen in what was, quite surprisingly, Antonioni's first foray into colour. With a telephoto lens to flatten the perspective, framing scenes purposefully out of focus and the use of disarming long-cut shots, Antonioni paints a bleached and chemical picture of post-war Italy, an Italy that expanded into an industrial super-power at an alarming rate. Antonioni was so adamant about how this world should be presented that he insisted on painting trees, barrels, walls and even whole fields to ensure the results he envisioned. An extreme measure, certainly, but a welcome one as the stark, sterile greys of this industrial Italy, juxtaposed here and there with flourishes of artificial, man-made colour, are often brought to the forefront of the viewer's mind when at times the pacing and ambiguity of the narrative create a lull in interest. Those man-made colours provide another allegorical point, alluding to how the society of this industrial community has adapted to the bleak repetitiveness of the environment by injecting splashes of primary colour into their surroundings. One criticism that's easy to level at 'Red Desert' is that it's an entirely singular film - Guiliana is undoubtedly the protagonist of this piece, but everyone else, even the ambiguous love interest Zeller, appears on screen barely defined. This might be a problem for anyone expecting a traditional narrative, but that's not what 'Red Desert' is about. There's no real progression of story here, only the progression of Guiliana's mental state, everything else is quite incidental and as such, is not admitted entry into Antonioni's vision. It's this bold vision that provides the films defining hallmark; the wonderful cinematography that surrounds Monica Vitti's accomplished, if somewhat overwrought, performance.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Critics rate 100% fresh - Emperor's new clothes? bokibongbing
The Spectacular Fog Scene thecuckooclock
WTF???? Camiyiya
Is Richard Harris Dubbed? dijon1
Probably Monica Vitti's best performance peterrichard30
where to find? roy-gilham
Discuss The Red Desert (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?