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Lion of the Desert (1980)

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

Director:

Moustapha Akkad

Writers:

David Butler (additional material), H.A.L. Craig | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Omar Mukhtar
Oliver Reed ... Gen. Rodolfo Graziani
Irene Papas ... Mabrouka
Raf Vallone ... Colonel Diodiece
Rod Steiger ... Benito Mussolini
John Gielgud ... Sharif El Gariani
Andrew Keir ... Salem
Gastone Moschin ... Major Tomelli
Stefano Patrizi ... Lt. Sandrini
Adolfo Lastretti ... Colonel Sarsani
Sky du Mont ... Prince Amadeo (as Sky Dumont)
Takis Emmanuel ... Bu-Matari
Rodolfo Bigotti Rodolfo Bigotti ... Ismail
Robert Brown ... Al Fadeel
Eleonora Stathopoulou Eleonora Stathopoulou ... Ali's Mother
Edit

Storyline

In Fascist Italy pre-World War II, the cruel General Rodolfo Graziani is directly assigned by Benito Mussolini 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 women, children, and aged people, to subdue Mukhtar. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

arab | muslim | bedouin | rebel | desert | See All (48) »

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Libya | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1981 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Omar Mukhtar: Lion of the Desert See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Black and White | Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Diodiece meets with Graziani and Prince Amadeo about starting peace talks, a map behind him, depicting the Horn of Africa, is inaccurate. The map clearly shows no borders between Ethiopia and the adjoining Italian colonies of Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, a situation that existed only after Ethiopia had been conquered by Italy and was united with the other two territories as the colony of Italian East Africa. However, this did not occur until 1936, and since the film takes place from 1929-1931, such a map could not possibly have existed at the time of the three men's meeting. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Rodolfo Graziani: I want to ask you one question. Why did you keep going for so long? I mean, surely you didn't hope to drive us out of Libya with so little, did you?
Omar Mukhtar: We fought you. That was enough.
Gen. Rodolfo Graziani: And you cared nothing for the ruination of your country?
Omar Mukhtar: You are the ruination of my country. What would you do if someone occupied your land?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The U.S.A. Home Video VHS release in the '80s runs 160 minutes. Footage has been added in the Director's Cut released on Anchor Bay Video. This version, released in 1998, runs 206 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of Lion of the Desert (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Marcia Reale
(uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Gabetti
See more »

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User Reviews

I worked on this film
25 March 2003 | by Lionel StruttSee all my reviews

In 1979 I was the Sound Recordist on 'Lion of The Desert' film of the film so had first hand experience of this terrific Production.

Moustapha Akkad is a first class Producer and the facilities he provided for the unit in the middle of the Libyan Desert were fantastic. I mention this because it had a strong influence on the subsequent quality of the film. I was recordist on the interviews and PR documentary material for this great film and I am proud to have been involved with it.

I had first hand experience with Anthony Quinn during the shoot. He was totally dedicated to his role. Olly Reed was able to put up a good performance but did give us a few problems with his usual antics! The rest of the cast were brilliant and the result impressive.

The scale of this Production was incredible and the thought that went into the organisation of it was amazing.

If you would like me to answer any further questions about this, please leave messages on my notice board. Look me up under Lionel Strutt. I did not receive a direct named credit on this production because I was working, as I said, on the film of the film or TV documentary. However I did spend months in the desert with the production and crew. So can relate a few interesting stories!


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