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The Sheltering Sky (1990)

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An American couple travel abroad to revitalize their relationship. But as the trip drags on, their attempt at recovering what they once had seems futile.

Writers:

Paul Bowles (book), Mark Peploe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Debra Winger ... Kit Moresby
John Malkovich ... Port Moresby
Campbell Scott ... George Tunner
Jill Bennett ... Mrs. Lyle
Timothy Spall ... Eric Lyle
Eric Vu-An Eric Vu-An ... Belqassim
Amina Annabi ... Mahrnia
Philippe Morier-Genoud Philippe Morier-Genoud ... Captain Broussard
Sotigui Kouyaté ... Abdelkader (as Sotigui Kouyate)
Tom Novembre Tom Novembre ... French Immigration Officer
Ben Smaïl Ben Smaïl ... Smail (as Ben Smail)
Kamel Cherif Kamel Cherif ... Ticket Seller
Mohammed Afifi Mohammed Afifi ... Mohamed (as Afifi Mohamed)
Brahim Oubana Brahim Oubana ... Young Arab
Carolyn De Fonseca Carolyn De Fonseca ... Miss Ferry (as Carolyn de Fonseca)
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Storyline

The American artist couple Port and Kit Moresby travels aimless through Africa, searching for new experiences that could give new sense to their relationship. But the flight to distant regions leads both only deeper into despair. Written by Thomas Manhardt <Thomas.Manhardt@wu-wien.ac.at>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman's dangerous and erotic journey...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English | French | Arabic

Release Date:

12 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Refugio para el amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$82,753, 12 December 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,075,084
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

British actress Jill Bennett, former wife of British playwright and actor John Osborne, committed suicide shortly after filming ended on The Sheltering Sky. See more »

Goofs

The crew is reflected in the bus window before Port bites his tongue. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Port Moresby: Well, terra firma.
Tunner: We're probably the first tourists they've had since the war.
Kit Moresby: Tunner, we're not tourists. We're travelers.
Tunner: Oh. What's the difference?
Port Moresby: A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive, Tunner.
Kit Moresby: Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.
Tunner: You mean *I'm* a tourist.
Kit Moresby: Yes, Tunner. And I'm half and half.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Oi Treis Harites: Kai o Theos eplase... tin Bebeka (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Fever Ride
Composed by Richard Horowitz
Published by Halemount LTD / The Sahara Cie Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Star of the Film is The Sahara
22 May 2006 | by katiekeeneSee all my reviews

Bernardo Bertolucci co-wrote and directed the film of the classic post WW2 novel by author, Paul Bowles, who also narrates.

The opening shot (after the credits roll over 1947 New York City and a ship disembarks from its port) is of Port's (John Malkovich) face as he awakens in a North African hotel room, the same scene that opens in the novel. Debra Winger is her most attractive as his young wife,'Kit.' They are accompanied by a randy travel companion, 'Tunner.'

The "casbah" atmosphere of the Moslem city's narrow stone streets, flooded with Arab denizens, camels, livestock invites the viewer in.

As soon as the odious "Mrs. Lyle" and her sweaty, overweight son came into the fly-ridden hotel lobby in the hot sultry desert nowhere, I knew I'd love to hate them.

John Malkovich is seduced by a street-smart, young Arab who beckons him to follow through dark streets into a girl prostitute's desert tent. (live chickens inside are a wonderful touch.)

The Sheltering Sky is a good representation of the novel. The book's narrative of setting, characters, and plot is dramatically envisioned and colored by the reader's point of view and imagination. We literally make the story ours; so when we watch the film version, we tend to judge the director's interpretation seriously.

Bertolucci's vision was entertaining and realized well, especially the lead character: the vast Sahara Desert, and exotic ambiance; the cinematography was beautiful. i look forward to watching it on DVD.


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