7.7/10
1,427
22 user 15 critic

Il deserto dei tartari (1976)

Lieutenant Giovanni Drogo is assigned to the old Bastiani border fortress where he expects an imminent attack by nomadic fearsome Tartars.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (story) (as Andre G. Brunelin) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Indian Summer (1972)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Italy, the gambler and professor of poetry Daniele Dominici arrives in the seaside town of Rimini and is hired to teach for four months in the Liceu replacing another teacher. His ... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Alain Delon, Giancarlo Giannini, Sonia Petrovna
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In WWII, Lieut. Martino and his men are assigned to lead a group of prostitutes through the mountainous ways to serve in brothels for Italian soldiers in Albania.

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Anna Karina, Lea Massari, Marie Laforêt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

1945. Enrico Corsi, in Rome, reflects on his relationship with his eight year younger brother, Lorenzo Corsi, following Lorenzo's recent passing from a long and debilitating illness at age ... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Jacques Perrin, Sylvie
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Summer, 1943: wealthy youth in the Riccione district of Rimini play while the war gets closer. Carlo Caremoli, a young man who follows the crowd, has found ways to avoid military service. ... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Eleonora Rossi Drago, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Lilla Brignone
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Lorenzo, who's 16 and born to a wealthy family in Parma, tries to make things right toward a showgirl, Aida, whom his older brother has mistreated. In extending kindness and standing up for... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Claudia Cardinale, Jacques Perrin, Luciana Angiolillo
Crime | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A detective (inspector Rogas) is assigned to investigate the mysterious murders of some Supreme Court judges. During the investigation he discovers a complot that involves the Italian ... See full summary »

Director: Francesco Rosi
Stars: Lino Ventura, Tino Carraro, Marcel Bozzuffi
The Organizer (1963)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A former high school teacher turned unionist tries to organize workers laboring with inhuman conditions at a late 19th Century textile factory.

Director: Mario Monicelli
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Gabriella Giorgelli
Kapò (1960)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young Jewish girl leads an escape attempt from a concentration camp.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Susan Strasberg, Laurent Terzieff, Emmanuelle Riva
The Assassin (1961)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Alfredo Martelli is picked up by the police in his apartment without justification. In the precinct, he slowly discovers what is the investigation about as we find out details about his life.

Director: Elio Petri
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Micheline Presle, Cristina Gaioni
I Fidanzati (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the industrial North, Giovanni is a skilled factory worker offered a promotion if he'll go to Sicily for 18 months to assist in a new department. His impending absence strains his ... See full summary »

Director: Ermanno Olmi
Stars: Carlo Cabrini, Anna Canzi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the fascist Italy of 1935, a painter trained as a doctor is exiled to a remote region near Eboli. Over time, he learns to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of the peasants, and to ... See full summary »

Director: Francesco Rosi
Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Paolo Bonacelli, Alain Cuny
Black Jesus (1968)
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Congo rebel leader is captured and imprisoned with two white felons in this 81-minute feature containing religious symbolism and condemnation of colonial exploitation. Maurice Lalubi is ... See full summary »

Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Woody Strode, Franco Citti, Jean Servais
Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1976 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El desierto de los tártaros  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film directed by Valerio Zurlini. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a metaphor for the fear of the unknown
26 March 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film features one of the most extraordinary locations I've ever seen on film,apparently shot in Southeast Iran, these giant, snow-capped mountains loom in the distance while closer, a desert fortress rises above what appears to be the remains of abandoned, ancient ruins. In this setting, an outpost on the edge of the desert of the Tartars, overseeing rock, sand, and a perpetual mist, the extraordinary external visual world stands for the internalized world that evolves over time, soldiers at the outpost suffer from mysterious ailments that scientists can not name or cure, a metaphor for fear of the unknown, which eats at the inner core of these soldiers who live in a world abandoned by time. The men train for the inevitable attack that lurks just beyond their eyesight or understanding, there is a sort of desert fever that kicks in, so it is not really known if there is an army out there or if it's all in their mind. The stunning,visual world has been created, once again, from the brilliant mind of Valerio Zurlini.

The film reminded me of two others, Tarkovsky's `Solaris,' where men are sent to outer space only to discover that the planet surface mysteriously interacts with each man's internal memories, also a recent Hungarian film by Peter Gothar called `The Outpost,' an absurdist, Kafkaesque journey that as one engineer gets promoted and travels farther and farther away into the outer reaches of the country, bribing nearly everyone she meets just to get there, leaving the comforts of anything remotely resembling normal, and instead discovers a peculiar outpost at the end of the world where the mind plays terrible tricks.


11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?