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The Desert of the Tartars (1976)
"Il deserto dei tartari" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  29 October 1976 (Italy)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,199 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 14 critic

As his first assignment, lieutenant Drogo is sent to an isolated fortress on the borders of a desert and of a range of high mountains. The mission of the garrison is to prevent a possible ... See full summary »

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(novel), (story) (as Andre G. Brunelin) , 3 more credits »
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Title: The Desert of the Tartars (1976)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lieutenant Giovanni Drogo
...
Colonel Giovanbattista Filimore
Giuliano Gemma ...
Major Matis
Helmut Griem ...
Lieutenant Simeon
...
General
Francisco Rabal ...
Marshal Tronk
...
Colonel Nathanson
Laurent Terzieff ...
Lieutenent Pietro Von Hamerling
...
Major Dr. Rovine
...
Captain Ortiz
Shaban Golchin Honaz ...
Private Lazare
Giuseppe Pambieri ...
Lieutenant Rathenau
Bryan Rostron
Kamran Nozad ...
Captain Sern
Manfred Freyberger ...
Caporal Montagne
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Storyline

As his first assignment, lieutenant Drogo is sent to an isolated fortress on the borders of a desert and of a range of high mountains. The mission of the garrison is to prevent a possible incursion by the fearsome Tartars, coming from beyond the desert. Some fellow officers are eagerly awaiting an attack; some no longer want to believe in it; others take advantage of the vague threat to further their career. All of them are sacrificing everything -- health, youth, friends, family -- for a distant military ideal: leading the defence against the onslaught of the enemy. But in the vast emptiness surrounding the fortress, nobody has ever sighted the Tartars... Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Le desert des Tartars  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In West Germany and other countries the film was released under titles which mean translated back "The Desert of the Tatars". Obviously the editors in these countries missed that the original title does not refer to the actual Tatarian people but to the ancient Greek-Roman mythological "Tartars" (from the ancient Greek word "tartaros"). So "Tartars" in this context is not an outdated spelling of "Tatars", but an intended metaphor referring to the historical idea, that there are a people "coming from hell". See more »

Quotes

Drogo: I was sent here by mistake.
Le médecin-major Rovin: Here or elsewhere, we're all somewhere by mistake.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Based on known novel is shot in historical location , today sadly disappeared
17 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

This is the tale of a youth lieutenant named Drogo(Jacques Perrin)who is sent to a garrison located in a far post of the limits of an isolated desert and surrounding of mountains. The assignment is to prevent an allegedly invasion by the dreadful Tartars .It's the story of a cavalry officer and his relationship with the remaining officers, such as the lieutenant Simeon(Helmut Griem), Commandant Mattis(Giuliano Gemma), Colonel Ortiz(Max Von Sidow), Excellency Filmore(Vittorio Gassaman),officer superior,(Fernando Rey), count Amerling(Laurent Terzieff), officer(Jean Louis Trintignant), the General(Philippe Noiret) and a sergeant(Francisco Rabal). All of them are suffering pains and unsettling about the possible threat coming beyond the range of high mountains, though anybody has ever seen the enemy.

Slow-moving story based on Dino Buzzzati novel requires quite thought and patience but the officers battle against time more than Tartars. Exceptional plethora of actors formed by the greatest players of the European cinema. Spectacular production design filmed in Cinecitta, Arg-e Bam, Iran, location recently destroyed by an earthquake and Tentro, Trentino(Italy), place where director Zurlini died in 1982. Sensible musical score with piano touches by the great Ennio Morricone. Colorful, evocative cinematography by Luciano Tovoli. The motion picture is professionally directed by Valerio Zurlini(1926-1982) and assistant direction by Christian Challonge. Zurlini is a good director with hits,'The girl with a suitcase'( Jacques Perrin and Claudia Cardinale),'The professor'(Alain Delon) and flops,'Black Jesus'(Woody Strode) and 'Violent summer'(Jean Louis Trintignant). Rating : Acceptable and passable, however is a little boring.


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