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Lion of the Desert (1981)

8.3
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In the Fascist Italy Pre-World War II of Benito Mussolini, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Il Dulce to fight in the colonial war in Libya to vanquish the Arab ... See full summary »

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Title: Lion of the Desert (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mabrouka
...
Colonel Diodiece
...
...
Sharif El Gariani
Andrew Keir ...
Salem
Gastone Moschin ...
Major Tomelli
Stefano Patrizi ...
Lt. Sandrini
Adolfo Lastretti ...
Colonel Sarsani
...
Prince Amadeo (as Sky Dumont)
Takis Emmanuel ...
Bu-Matari
Rodolfo Bigotti ...
Ismail
...
Al Fadeel
Eleonora Stathopoulou ...
Ali's Mother
Edit

Storyline

In the Fascist Italy Pre-World War II of Benito Mussolini, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Il Dulce to fight in the colonial war in Libya to vanquish the Arab nation. However, his troops are frequently defeated by the national leader Omar Mukhtar and his army of Bedouins. But the Butcher of Ethiopia and Libya uses a dirty war against the natives, slaughtering children, women and aged people, to subdue Mukhtar. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

libya | mussolini | general | muslim | bedouin | See more »

Taglines:

A giant of a man against a general seeking glory...a spectacular adventure of arch enemies in battle.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 May 1981 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Omar Mukhtar: Lion of the Desert  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (archive footage)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Research for the project, which took a year and a half, was made a little easier by the fact that Benito Mussolini, who was obsessed with propaganda, had had virtually every aspect of his Libyan campaign captured on film. See more »

Goofs

During the narrated introduction immediately following the opening credits, the Earth is depicted revolving backwards - west-to-east instead of east-to-west. See more »

Quotes

[Omar Mukhtar protects two surviving Italian soldiers]
Omar Mukhtar: We do not kill *prisoners*!
Arab Warrior: *They* do it to *us*!
Omar Mukhtar: "They" are not our *teachers!*
See more »

Connections

Referenced in El crack (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

'O sole mio
(uncredited)
Music by Eduardo Di Capua
Lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exciting tapestry of history coming alive under the great direction of Mustapha Al-Akkad...

"Lion of the Desert" stars Anthony Quinn as the real-life Beduin Leader Omar Mukhtar who fights with pride and courage, rage and anger Mussolini's invading troops in the Libyan Desert...

Quinn (strong, confident, never broken) plays the charismatic Islamic Libyan fighter who commits himself to a lifetime war against Italian Colonialism: "We have stood against you for 20 years and with the help of God we will stay with you till your end!"

Enraged by the 20-year war carried on by Beduin patriots opposed to the Italian occupation, the arrogant Mussolini (Rod Steiger) - the first of Europe's fascist dictators - orders his new military governor the ruthless Rodolfo Graziani (Oliver Reed) to crush and silence the Beduin rebellion by "whatever means" and capture their great leader Omar Mukhtar...

Mukhtar is forced to face his conviction and the power of Italy at its glorious height...

The film is based on the life of a brave resistance leader, a teacher of the Quran by profession... Mukhtar is a cunning warrior who masterminded the Libyan resistance... He stood against tyranny and oppression, and with the fire of his wisdom, he rallied his countrymen to liberation...

The film depicts the cruelty of Graziani's coward acts: the massive killing rampage in Kufra... We watch the invaders attacking with war-planes, tanks, cannons and machine-guns the poor village, but we also see a fascinating portrayal of the heroic Libyan forces fighting the mighty Italian artillery with old rusted rifles, giving their life for their land and their convictions...

Syrian director Mustapha Al-Akkad captures the horrific methods of the Italian army holding the helpless population in concentration camps; isolating the warriors from their families; setting fire to their fields; closing their wells; raping their women; destroying their homes; controlling the country by hanging old men and women; shooting innocent civilians, and specially the capture of the 'Old Lion', a natural fighter against 'educated' officers...

With great special effects, excellent action sequences and with the splendor of the Sahara Desert, Akkad's motion picture combines history with spectacle to create a moving drama of heroism and commitment...


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