IMDb > Red Desert (1964)
Il deserto rosso
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Red Desert (1964) More at IMDbPro »Il deserto rosso (original title)

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Red Desert -- 3 Reasons Criterion Collection trailer


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Release Date:
8 February 1965 (USA) See more »
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.
Cold, rain, and fog surround a plant in Ravenna. Factory waste pollutes local lakes; hulking anonymous ships pass or dock and raise quarantine flags... See more » | Add synopsis »
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(90 articles)
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User Reviews:
Red Desert in gray See more (34 total) »


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Directed by
Michelangelo Antonioni 
Writing credits
Michelangelo Antonioni  &
Tonino Guerra 

Produced by
Tonino Cervi .... producer (as Antonio Cervi)
Angelo Rizzoli .... co-producer
Original Music by
Giovanni Fusco 
Vittorio Gelmetti (electronic music)
Cinematography by
Carlo Di Palma 
Film Editing by
Eraldo Da Roma 
Art Direction by
Piero Poletto 
Costume Design by
Gitt Magrini 
Makeup Department
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... hair stylist
Giancarlo De Leonardis .... key hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Ugo Tucci .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gianni Arduini .... first assistant director
Flavio Niccolini .... second assistant director
Art Department
Sergio Donà .... property master
Sound Department
Mario Bramonti .... boom operator
Renato Cadueri .... sound assistant
Claudio Maielli .... sound
Special Effects by
Franco Freda .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Gianni Antinori .... second assistant camera
Claudio Cortini .... still photographer
Dario Di Palma .... camera operator
Romolo Romagnoli .... key grip
Elmiro Rubeo .... gaffer
Alberto Spagnoli .... first assistant camera
Sergio Strizzi .... still photographer
Francesco Brescini .... electrician (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Paola Carloni .... wardrober
Editorial Department
Stephen Bearman .... colorist
Marisa Mengoli .... assistant editor
Music Department
Vittorio Gelmetti .... composer: electronic music
Carlo Savina .... musical director
Other crew
Serena Canevari .... script supervisor
Dino Di Salvo .... production auditor
Eros Lanfranconi .... production secretary
Rodolfo Martello .... production auditor
Giuseppe Rinaldi .... voice dubbing: Richard Harris (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il deserto rosso" - Italy (original title)
See more »
117 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:18 (1966) | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12A (theatrical re-release) (2012) | UK:15 (video rating) (1995) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

While making this film on location in Italy, Richard Harris experimented with LSD for the first time. He was caught climbing the Trevi fountain in Rome and then ended up locked in a hotel bathroom, smashing the mirrors to smithereens with his bare fists.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials (1966) (TV)See more »


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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Red Desert in gray, 26 April 2007
Author: andrabem from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"Il Deserto Rosso" should be more known among Antonioni's fans - it's a remarkable film - in the beginning we see a woman (Monica Vitti) with her little son wandering in an industrial landscape.............. She's married to the manager of the factory. She is losing her direction and sinking into panic and despair. Her husband, friends and even her little son are not enough for her to recover her sense of identity. She even tries an affair with a friend of her husband. Still....

Maybe the story in itself would not be sufficient to raise one's interest, but the way Antonioni tells it makes this film an interrogation mark concerning man and modern society. The bleak colors of the landscape mixing with the fog and the smog are a portrait of her (and ours, why not?) loss of points of reference. Reality becomes mixed with dreams but not all of this is shown in the film. Some of it is implied. Some of it is shown - like when Giuliana (Monica Vitti) is with husband and friends by the sea and the fog slowly makes the others' faces look strange and nightmarish.

Giuliana lives near the industrial concern (managed by her husband) - a small town in the vicinity, a solitary sea, a dock and some ships in it, big chimneys expelling smoke and foggy nights & days complete the picture. Memories come and unfold - good and bad - some of them described in her own words, others evoked by images and words that have the taste of a fairy tale. Insanity seems to be knocking at her door and life is so far away. Drifting with the wind and waves of life - if only someone could help her! "Il Deserto Rosso" flows in a natural way - we forget that we are seeing actors and become immersed in the film. Antonioni is a great actor's director and I think he knows how to extract the best from them.

The DVD had a bonus where I watched the interview of Antonioni made immediately after the film's release. For my surprise he showed himself a simple kind of man. He didn't employ big words to define his film and revealed a sense of humor. This was the time during which Antonioni had a relationship with Monica Vitti (a superb actress) and in the few words he used he gave me the keys to his direction technique, that is, to create an ambiance where the actors can feel at ease, let them feel their roles and make them give their best.

Antonioni had their followers in Brazil too. The more remarkable of them was Walter Hugo Khoury that with "Corpo Ardente" (1966) made a Brazilian "deserto rosso" - a good film but far less good than Antonioni's.

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Critics rate 100% fresh - Emperor's new clothes? bokibongbing
Is Richard Harris Dubbed? dijon1
The Spectacular Fog Scene thecuckooclock
Interesting article interpreting 'Red Desert' mackjay2
Probably Monica Vitti's best performance peterrichard30
Italians...sigh AlecEiffel
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