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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7.7/10   7,540 votes »
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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)
User Reviews:
Red Sea Parts See more (38 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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?

The film's original title was "Pale Blue and Green". These are the colors of nature, and the most soothing hues on the rainbow, suggesting order, right and calm.See more »
Giuliana:Giuliana: There's something terrible about reality but i don't know what it is.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) (TV)See more »


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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Red Sea Parts, 31 May 2010
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

Usually, I see a film and comment on it. If it is one I have seen before, that comment has folds from my life and internal imagination. Every film I have seen builds that imagination in some way. A few are profound and some of those are knowingly so, either me or the film knowing.

I saw this a great many years ago, when visual wisdom was less familiar and it had a great impact on me. At that time, the intellectual economy was fueled by a sort of controlled French angst, formatted for digestibility by young college minds. It really was so. Malick was one in my vicinity who could master a meal made of this without excluding more nourishing things, but that is a different story than the one I want to tell.

I cannot recall the year, perhaps 1966, I saw this at the Orson Welles theater in Cambridge. Since then, I collect the sounds of waves on beaches. I've travelled widely and for some reason have a near perfect aural recall of each experience of the watered desert. It is my primary anchor to the forms of nature.

The shape of this film is an outer world, bleaker than anything Lynch has given us. It is a beast of form: factories that even today amaze me with their power. If this existed in Italy — which I have no doubt — then Soviet stuff is beyond my tolerance. Huge threatening forms seem created by gods to swallow color and thereby grow, engulfing everything. Within this we have a sole conscious mind succumbing. We drift, we succumb. The art here is homeopathic: we are given an experience in color that has power not in brilliance but in what is not there, what has already been swallowed. The cinematic vocabulary of form — three dimensional space — eating minds denoted by color... it is effective. This is Antonioni's greatest accomplishment, I believe.

Nested in this is an inner cinematic world, an island not yet visited by the diseased lumbering ships that spew clotted filth. It is just starting to be explored by a keen, clean sailing vessel. This is literally an island populated by a Miranda, the young, still vibrant inner self that remains of our on-screen body, the woman we have besieged in the outer film.

But this inner film is a contrast: color abounds. The forms do not contain, they rest. The colors have subdued and incorporated the forms that flow. In a subconscious way, these informed my life as an architect, first in form and later in more encompassing conceptual form. We have a newly adolescent girl on the beach, experiencing rather than observing. Her own inner form hinted at futures in the same way that the outer film's colors hinted at rich pasts.

And at about 1:22 in, we have those waves. The filmmaker has not only manipulated contrasts in color and form, but in the sound experience as well. At this inner beach, the sound is lush, hyper real. We have a few moments of the fullest life you can experience as we hear the smallish waves encounter the beach. May you enjoy and cherish these curated sounds.

In most beaches, each wave is shaped not by an encounter with the sand, land, but by an encounter with the preceding, receding wave, newly exhausted by its desires and reseeding a growing desire in the next. It is a water to water rhythm of desire that incidentally involves the form of the beach.

Not here. The waves are gentle enough to speak directly to the beach. We have not stirred the greater urges yet: the girl is young — as young as I was (being male). The caress of water on sand conveys the soft swallow of coarse sand, pillowing and sucking the water. A soft thump unlike anything else, that can only be evoked in memories as primal as taste: scotch, sex, sea air.

May you find something like this experience in your encounter with cinema, something to anchor the story you tell yourself about ideal order.

(That same beach is mapped onto a shack, outside to inside and painted red in the later images.)

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Critics rate 100% fresh - Emperor's new clothes? bokibongbing
WTF???? Camiyiya
Dissenting voices - deal with it svenrufus
Is Richard Harris Dubbed? dijon1
The Spectacular Fog Scene thecuckooclock
Interesting article interpreting 'Red Desert' mackjay2
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