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Lion of the Desert (1981)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 7,881 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 22 critic

In the Fascist Italy Pre-World War II of Benito Mussolini, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Il Duce 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 Duce 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

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

Some scenes feature up to 10,000 extras. See more »

Goofs

Mussolini is talking to Graziani in the opening when he looks the map of Libya, and says that all the green land is for Italy, but this is a topographical map that shows land greener as it becomes lower by sea level. 90% of the area of Libya is desert. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Rodolfo Graziani: These chains are uncomfortable ?
Omar Mukhtar: They are... uncomfortable facts.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Halloween': A Cut Above the Rest (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Giovinezza
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Blanc
Lyrics by Salvatore Gotta
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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