7.7/10
12,244
51 user 84 critic

Red Desert (1964)

Il deserto rosso (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 8 February 1965 (USA)
Trailer
1:24 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

In an industrial area, Giuliana, an unstable woman, attempts to cope with life by starting an affair with a co-worker at the plant her husband manages.
Reviews
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

L'Eclisse (1962)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman meets a vital young man, but their love affair is doomed because of the man's materialistic nature.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Alain Delon, Francisco Rabal
La Notte (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti
L'Avventura (1960)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Paul Fix
The Passenger (1975)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he's been asked to cover, takes the risky path of coopting the identity of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre
Blow-Up (1966)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles
Il Grido (1957)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, emotionally and socially inactive.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Gabriella Pallotta, Steve Cochran, Alida Valli
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The consequences of a father and son's violent act reverberate through three generations of their family.

Director: Kianoush Ayari
Stars: Mehdi Hashemi, Shahab Hosseini, Mehran Rajabi
Inn of Evil (1971)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Komaki Kurihara, Wakako Sakai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two-hundred million yen is up for grabs in a dying businessman's will. The businessman intends to will it to his 3 illegitimate children, but his associates scheme to take advantage of the situation.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Sô Yamamura
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The orphaned Makioka sisters look for a husband for their third sister, Yukiko, as the rebellious youngest sister, Taeko, is kept waiting her turn.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Yûko Kotegawa
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hunted man breaks into the castle at Oberwald to kill the Queen, but faints before doing so. He is Sebastian, the splitting image of the King who was assassinated on his wedding day. The ... See full summary »

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stars: Monica Vitti, Paolo Bonacelli, Franco Branciaroli
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Monica Vitti ... Giuliana
Richard Harris ... Corrado Zeller
Carlo Chionetti Carlo Chionetti ... Ugo
Xenia Valderi ... Linda
Rita Renoir Rita Renoir ... Emilia
Lili Rheims Lili Rheims ... Telescope operator's wife
Aldo Grotti Aldo Grotti ... Max
Valerio Bartoleschi Valerio Bartoleschi ... Valerio - Giuliana's son
Emanuela Pala Carboni Emanuela Pala Carboni ... Girl in fable
Bruno Borghi Bruno Borghi
Beppe Conti Beppe Conti
Giulio Cotignoli Giulio Cotignoli
Giovanni Lolli Giovanni Lolli
Hiram Mino Madonia Hiram Mino Madonia
Giuliano Missirini Giuliano Missirini ... Radio telescope operator
Edit

Storyline

In a bleak rundown industrial area a young woman, Giuliana, tries to cope with life. She's married to Ugo the manager of a local plant but is soon having an affair with one of his co-workers, Corrado Zeller, who is visiting. Giuliana is unstable, not quite knowing anymore just what her role is, whether that be a wife, a mother or just another person. Her escape from life is short-lived however as Zeller is simply using her to satisfy his own needs and desires. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Winner - Golden Lion Award Best Picture 1964 Venice Film Festival See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | Turkish

Release Date:

8 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Desert See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,076
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Harris found the making of the film difficult, as the director did not speak a word of English. See more »

Quotes

Giuliana: I can't decide, because I'm not a single woman. Though sometimes I feel sort of... separated. No, not from my husband. No. Our bodies are all separate.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A restored version has been released in 1999, edited by Vincenzo Verzini. See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Sublime Monica Vitti shines in Antonioni's abstract masterpiece
11 January 2011 | by YaaatoobSee all my reviews

Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 piece 'Red Desert' is, on the surface, a film that deals with the changing face of the world under rampant industrialisation, but far more than that it's a comment on alienation and human adaptability in such a society. Guiliana (played by Monica Vitti) is the wife of petroleum plant manager Ugo. She lives in a spacious, modern apartment with Ugo and their small son, but there's an undercurrent of instability in Guiliana's persona, a feeling of unease and angst that Monica Vitti exhibits in Guiliana's every action. Vitti's portrayal of Guiliana is one of a woman on the point of a nervous breakdown, always fidgeting, wringing her hands, looking at unease and full of angst and continually walking away from conversations, forcing others to follow her. The way her character hugs close to walls at every opportunity is allegorical of her need to be surrounded by friends, family and loved ones, claiming that she "is only ill when I'm alone". We find out that Guiliana had recently been in a car accident and had spent a month in hospital being treating for shock, but unbeknownst to Ugo, Guiliana isn't adjusting well after her accident, while her husband remains entirely oblivious. Into the frame comes Corrado Zeller (Richard Harris), an engineer friend of Ugo on his way to set up a new petroleum plant in Patagonia. Zeller is a quiet, reserved man who, like Guiliana, is visibly at unease with his surroundings, however his life and work afford him the luxury of moving from place to place, while Guiliana feels increasingly trapped in her existence. Inexorably, Zeller and Guiliana are drawn to each other, Zeller recognising a kindred spirit of sorts and Guiliana casting out a cry for help that only Zeller is capable of recognising. The fact that Zeller picks up on this and is continually drawn to Guiliana, despite her unstable, demanding behaviour, immediately points to his attraction to her, but it's only after acting on his attraction that Guiliana comes to accept her station and encounters her defining realisation; people aren't cured, they adapt.

But it's not just Guiliana's life she has to adapt to, it's her surroundings, beautifully brought to screen in what was, quite surprisingly, Antonioni's first foray into colour. With a telephoto lens to flatten the perspective, framing scenes purposefully out of focus and the use of disarming long-cut shots, Antonioni paints a bleached and chemical picture of post-war Italy, an Italy that expanded into an industrial super-power at an alarming rate. Antonioni was so adamant about how this world should be presented that he insisted on painting trees, barrels, walls and even whole fields to ensure the results he envisioned. An extreme measure, certainly, but a welcome one as the stark, sterile greys of this industrial Italy, juxtaposed here and there with flourishes of artificial, man-made colour, are often brought to the forefront of the viewer's mind when at times the pacing and ambiguity of the narrative create a lull in interest. Those man-made colours provide another allegorical point, alluding to how the society of this industrial community has adapted to the bleak repetitiveness of the environment by injecting splashes of primary colour into their surroundings. One criticism that's easy to level at 'Red Desert' is that it's an entirely singular film - Guiliana is undoubtedly the protagonist of this piece, but everyone else, even the ambiguous love interest Zeller, appears on screen barely defined. This might be a problem for anyone expecting a traditional narrative, but that's not what 'Red Desert' is about. There's no real progression of story here, only the progression of Guiliana's mental state, everything else is quite incidental and as such, is not admitted entry into Antonioni's vision. It's this bold vision that provides the films defining hallmark; the wonderful cinematography that surrounds Monica Vitti's accomplished, if somewhat overwrought, performance.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 51 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed