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The Sheltering Sky (1990) Poster

Trivia

John Malkovich's character, Port Moresby, has the same name as the capital city of Papua New Guinea.
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Paul Bowles, author - and thinly disguised subject - of the autobiographical novel on which the film is based, said, "It should never have been filmed. The ending is idiotic and the rest is pretty bad." This quote comes from a rare interview that was part of the film Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (1998).
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Natasha Richardson said she wrote Bernardo Bertolucci a long letter begging for the role of Kit which in the end was cast with Debra Winger.
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Judy Davis has said the role of Kit is the one role she regretted losing. The part in the end was cast with actress Debra Winger. The following year Davis played a character partly based on Jane Bowles in David Cronenberg's adaptation of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1991).
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Nicolas Roeg wanted desperately the chance to direct this film and reportedly very disappointed when he wasn't able to.
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Ellen Barkin was considered for the role of Kit Moresby which in the end was cast with Debra Winger.
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Annette Bening had been in negotiations for months with Bernardo Bertolucci for the role of Kit, a part that ultimately went to Debra Winger.
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Final theatrical feature film of English actress Jill Bennett.
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The middle second film in auteur director Bernardo Bertolucci's "Oriental Trilogy" situated between The Last Emperor (1987) and Little Buddha (1993).
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The movie features a pre-international fame movie acting supporting role of British thesp Timothy Spall.
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According to casting director Juliet Taylor, the original three leads in this movie would have been William Hurt, Melanie Griffith and Dennis Quaid, but for budgetary constraints were replaced with John Malkovich, Debra Winger and Campbell Scott respectively.
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The film was made and released about forty-one years after its source novel of the same name by Paul Bowles had been first published in 1949.
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This motion picture was made by "the creative team of [director Bernardo Bertolucci's earlier multi-Academy Award Winning Best Picture Oscar winner] The Last Emperor (1987)".
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Director Bernardo Bertolucci's first choice for the film's two lead roles were William Hurt and Melanie Griffith which in the end instead were cast with John Malkovich and Debra Winger respectively.
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The movie's source novel of the same name by Paul Bowles is ranked at the No. #97 spot at The Modern Library's Top "100 Best of the Century" list.
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Most of the settings named in the film are situated in present day Algeria in Africa though the picture was actually filmed in such places as Erfoud, Niger, Tangier, Morocco, Ouarzazate, and Tamnougalt.
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The picture's source novel of the same name by Paul Bowles was selected by 'Time' magazine for inclusion in its Top "100 Best English-Language Novels from 1923 to 2005" list.
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Writer Jane Bowles (nee Jane Sydney Auer), wife of source novelist Paul Bowles, inspired the character of Kit Moresby portrayed by Debra Winger.
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"The Sheltering Sky" (1949) fictional book was the first novel written by the film's source author Paul Bowles.
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Second of three film collaborations of composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and director Bernardo Bertolucci. All were part of the latter's "Oriental Trilogy", with this film being the second movie of the three, placed between The Last Emperor (1987) and Little Buddha (1993), the other two collaborations of the pair.
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According to the New York Times, "Miss Bennett [English actress Jill Bennett] . . . died not long after the film was completed".
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One of a number of films directed by Italian auteur director Bernardo Bertolucci that examined adult erotic themes. The pictures include Luna (1979), The Dreamers (2003), Stealing Beauty (1996), The Sheltering Sky (1990) and Last Tango in Paris (1972).
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According to his biography "Without Stopping: An Autobiography" (1972), source novelist Paul Bowles named his 1949 novel "The Sheltering Sky" after a phrase in a song, "Down Among the Sheltering Palms", which Bowles had heard regularly as a child each summer season.
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Reportedly, Doubleday publishers originally rejected the manuscript for source author Paul Bowles's novel "The Sheltering Sky" (1949), according to Bowles' biography "Without Stopping: An Autobiography" (1972). Bowles has said of this: "I sent it out to Doubleday and they refused it. They said "We asked for a novel." They didn't consider it a novel. I had to give back my advance. My agent told me later they called the editor on the carpet for having refused the book - only after they saw that it was selling fast. It only had to do with sales. They didn't bother to read it".
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First theatrical feature film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci after his multi-Oscar nominated film The Last Emperor (1987) which had been made and released about three years earlier, and had won 9 Academy Awards, including the top statuette gong for Best Picture, winning in each and every one of the nine categories that film had been nominated for.
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One of about nine theatrical feature film collaborations of auteur film director Bernardo Bertolucci and director of photography cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
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The picture is actually narrated by the film's own source novelist Paul Bowles.
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The movie features in a small role Italian actress Nicoletta Braschi as a French Woman. Her spouse, Italian comic actor and director Roberto Benigni, also has appeared in an earlier film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, that being in the previous picture Luna (1979), where Benigni also played a small role, as an upholsterer. The couple met on the set of the Italian film You Disturb Me (1983).
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Actor Eric Vu-An, portraying Belqassim, received an 'introducing' credit.
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Sidi Alkhadar portrayed a character, Little Sidi, who had the same name as her own.
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One of the four final cinema movies, all first released in 1990, of title designer Maurice Binder, who had become famous for his titles designs for the James Bond film franchise.
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Debut theatrical feature film of actors Eric Vu-An and Sidi Alkhadar.
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The picture was nominated for no Academy Awards but was nommed for two Golden Globe Awards including Best Director for Bernardo Bertolucci but won a Globe for Best Motion Picture Original Score each for its composers Richard Horowitz and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Horowitz was the composer of the film's North African music.
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British actress Jill Bennett, former wife of British playwright and actor John Osborne, committed suicide shortly after filming ended on The Sheltering Sky.
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According to website Wikipedia, source novelist Paul Bowles " . . . achieved critical and popular success with his first novel The Sheltering Sky (1949), set in what was known as French North Africa, which he had visited in 1931".
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Cameo 

Paul Bowles:  Uncredited, the film's source novelist as a man at a café. Show-business trade-paper 'Variety' said of this: "In a marvelous directorial conceit [by Bernardo Bertolucci], Bowles himself, 80 years old, watches his characters from a seat in a Tangiers café". According to Bowles official website, Bowles makes "appearances" in this movie. Bowles is also credited in the film's billing heard in the movie as the picture's narrator.
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