MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 29,760 this week

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

 -  Drama | History | War  -  29 October 1976 (Italy)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,150 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 13 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (story) (as Andre G. Brunelin) , 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 23 May 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 11 Mar 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 16 Jun 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 03 Sep 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Desert of the Tartars (1976)

The Desert of the Tartars (1976) on IMDb 7.6/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Desert of the Tartars.
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 7.4/10 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 7.3/10 X  
Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Jacques Perrin, Sylvie
Crime | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Risking being denounced as an 'enemy of the people,' Igor Savitsky rescues 40,000 forbidden fellow artists' works and creates in a far desert of Soviet Uzbekistan a museum now worth millions.

Directors: Tchavdar Georgiev, Amanda Pope
Stars: Edward Asner, Sally Field, Ben Kingsley
March or Die (1977)
Drama | War | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman), an American haunted by his memories of the recently-ended Great War, is assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at their dig. Foster's unit ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Gene Hackman, Terence Hill, Catherine Deneuve
L'udienza (1972)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Enzo Jannacci, Claudia Cardinale, Ugo Tognazzi
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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Valerio Zurlini
Stars: Antonio Cifariello, Rossana Podestà, Giovanna Ralli
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Police commissioner Santamaria is investigating the murdering of the ambiguous architect Mr. Garrone. The investigations soon drive him into the Torino's high society. Santamaria suspect ... See full summary »

Director: Luigi Comencini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A masked bandit steals valuables from Commendatore Anzaloni's apartment and flees, leaving Anzaloni unharmed. Inspector Ingravallo is called in. The robbery is suspicious; the thief found ... See full summary »

Director: Pietro Germi
Stars: Pietro Germi, Claudia Cardinale, Franco Fabrizi
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Filimore
Giuliano Gemma ...
Mattis
Helmut Griem ...
Lieutenant Simeon
...
General
...
Drogo
Francisco Rabal ...
Tronk
...
Nathanson
Laurent Terzieff ...
Amerling
...
Le médecin-major Rovin
...
Hortiz
Shaban Golchin Honaz ...
Soldat Lazare
Giuseppe Pambieri ...
Lieutenant Rathenau
Bryan Rostron
Kamran Nozad ...
Capitaine 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:

Le desert des Tartars  »

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

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Imaginary enemies
17 July 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Very little happens in Valerio Zurlini's The Desert of the Tartars two-and-a-half hours, which is exactly the point, as Jacques Perrin's initially ambitious young officer is posted to a magnificent desert fort overlooking the spectacular ruins of an ancient city on a non-existent border where soldiers wait endlessly for a possibly imagined enemy to give a sense of focus and purpose to their lives. Yet the Tartars remain the stuff of rumours and legends, the visually striking fort (Arge-E-Bam in Iran) a quietly malignant place, its very walls infested with an unidentifiable disease that slowly destroys its inhabitants. Yes, we're in allegory territory here, with the human condition distilled down to waiting and planning for a moment that may never happen, with all the malaise that entails, and it's a film you're either going to be drawn into or find two-and-a-half hours of pure tedium. One of the few films to show how cold and inhospitable the desert can be, there are vague similarities to the considerably less successful Fort Saganne in the way it undermines the expectations of a Beau Geste-like adventure in favour of the malaise and unrealised expectation that was really the stuff of a career-killing desert posting. With an impressively varied international cast – Max Von Sydow, Phillipe Noiret, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Helmut Griem and Fernando Rey among them – and boasting fine cinematography by Luciano Tovoli, it's not for all tastes but it certainly casts a spell on those it ensnares.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD? henrymale
The DVD (please help) den_dennis
Discuss The Desert of the Tartars (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?