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Stalker (1979)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  17 April 1980 (Netherlands)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 60,683 users  
Reviews: 283 user | 105 critic

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.


(as Andrey Tarkovskiy)


(novel), (novel), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Alisa Freyndlikh ...
Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy ...
Anatoliy Solonitsyn ...
Nikolay Grinko ...
Natalya Abramova ...
Marta, doch Stalkera (as Natasha Abramova)
Faime Jurno ...
Sobesednitsa Pisatelya (as F. Yurna)
E. Kostin ...
Lyuger - khozyain kafe
Raymo Rendi ...
Patrulnyy politseyskiy (as R. Rendi)


Near a gray and unnamed city is the Zone, an alien place guarded by barbed wire and soldiers. Over his wife's objections, a man rises in the early morning and leaves her with their disabled daughter to meet two men. He's a Stalker, one of a handful who have the mental gifts (and who risk imprisonment) to lead people into the Zone to the Room, a place where one's secret hopes come true. His clients are a burned out popular writer, cynical, and questioning his talent; and a quiet scientist more concerned about his knapsack than the journey. In the deserted Zone, the approach to the Room must be indirect. As they draw near, the rules seem to change and the stalker faces a crisis. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 April 1980 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Stalker  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


RUR 6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2002 DVD)

Sound Mix:


(Sovcolor)| | (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Towards the end of the movie, the Stalker's wife smokes cigarettes from a carton that bears the same AT (Andrei Tarkovsky) insignia as the policeman's helmet. See more »


[first lines]
Stalker's Wife: [sub-titled from Russian] Why did you take my watch?
See more »


Referenced in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (2007) See more »


An die Freude
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most Humanist Film in Existence
16 October 2005 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Andrei Tarkovsky is a rarity among filmmakers in that he creates films that resemble elaborate (and always smartly written, beautifully shot and superbly acted) puzzles. The pieces are always scattered, and Tarkovsky relies on his viewer to bring the final element of the puzzle along with him. SOLARIS explores the boundaries of consciousness and the sense of grief (and it uses the titular planet as a metaphor for God). ANDREI ROUBLEV is a multi-layered voyage into religious belief. STALKER, however, is far more spiritual and existential than both of them.

A teacher and a scientist wish to go to a restricted patch of nature - the mythical conscious "Zone" - to make their wishes come true. To enter the area and survive its numerous danger, they hire a man sensible to the Zone's thoughts and actions, a Stalker. What they find there turns out to be very different from what they expected, as they come to discover who they truly are.

There's only so much you can say without getting drowned in details that would appear heavy-handed on paper but flow seamlessly on screen. Quite often, Tarkovsky reduces his characters to silence, letting their movements and eyes convey their thoughts and feelings and letting the viewer bring his own thoughts and beliefs to the film. One of STALKER's many treats is that it invites you to get carried away into your own thoughts, flowing with the images as it provides new questions to ponder... In that sense, the film is very much like a philosophical poem: a very simple surface covering innumerable layers of meaning. Yet the images Tarkovsky provides - whether filming landscapes or wide-shots or simply peering into his actors' extraordinary faces - make this almost hypnotic.

STALKER is a treasure: an invitation to go on a mental ride with a poet and philosopher. A film that makes you wonder more about yourself yet without making you anxious. The few existing films like STALKER are the reason why cinema is called "art"!

280 of 341 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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