The Sheltering Sky


Adventure / Drama

IMDb Rating 6.8 10 10,605


Downloaded times
February 19, 2020


Campbell Scott as Scott Corrigan
Debra Winger as Ellen
John Malkovich as Professor Sandiford
Timothy Spall as Gourville
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.24 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
138 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.45 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
138 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 6 / 10 / 10

Grand meandering story about aimless people

American couple Port (John Malkovich) and Kit Moresby (Debra Winger) see themselves as travelers looking for new experiences. They go to Tangier after the war with their friend George Tunner (Campbell Scott) who they see more as a tourist. Port is introduced to a prostitute and is robbed. Kit and George take a train trip. Port is jealous and follows them catching a ride with the Lyles (Jill Bennett, Timothy Spall). It's a grand meandering story about being aimless. It's not just about being aimless but there is also a pointlessness about the movie. The location shoots are wonderfully exotic. Malkovich is chewing up the scenes and Spall is being weird. However the movie struggles to find a meaning.

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 9 / 10 / 10

one of the most beautifully photographed films of the 90s, though if amazing imagery isn't lacking, plot is

I always wonder what it might be like to have a film set in a location that is explicitly specific, with this film, as example, the Sahara desert and outlining areas of North Africa, and to not have some kind of Lawrence of Arabia kind of epic story attached to it. It's a challenge for a filmmaker to attempt, and Bernardo Bertolucci did attempt it in 1990 with the Sheltering Sky, based on the book that seems to be massively popular (though un-read by me). Whether he succeeded completely or not will depend on how much the viewer can take seeing characters sort of engulfed by the director and cinematographer's own adoration of the strange and bizarrely exotic locales. The story is boiled down, probably more-so than was in the Bowles novel, about a husband and wife (Malkovich and Winger), and their friend (Scott), who go to "travel" in North Africa. For what precisely is uncertain, but it is clear that the focal point is that of their marriage failing after years together (both sides sleeping with others, distanced, not altogether honest in conversation). But this changes, of course, once Paul gets typhoid and has a fever for the middle chunk of the film. After this, when a change of events occur, The Sheltering Sky gets even more surreal and sensual then before, if still slightly obtuse in how to really relay a good story. And it's not that Bertolucci is whacked out, like with La Luna, as a storyteller per-say. He actually progresses what there is involving the characters pretty well, and Malkovich and Winger are up to the task of playing people who are sort of bourgeois malcontents who get their respective states of mind altered through their travels of the fly-ridden villages and poor towns in the Sahara region. But it seems like material, even for someone who hasn't read the book, to be more evocative as prose then as filmed, and the many customs and many little details of the villagers are left as more-so poetic aspirations than things relevant to the narrative. This all being said, The Sheltering Sky may possibly be Bertolucci's most astoundingly shot feature, with it coming right behind Goodfellas as the best cinematography of 1990 (via the great Vittorio Storaro). Shot after shot looks like it could come out of a truly exquisite book, and the dedication to compositions and long shots and how a close-up can be just as meaningful cinematically as a view of the desert, is the best that Bertolucci has to offer. But then again, like with Antonioni when he's at his most scatter-shot, without characters who even subtly convey a lot, or with strong enough themes aside from the despair amid an alien environment (to the characters), it becomes the textbook case of style over substance. I'd recommend it, especially to fans of the director and DP, but I can understand the dismay that fans of the book had at the adaptation, despite the convincing performances and (as a given) the wonder of seeing places not seen before, like the not-filmed-before-this-film location of Niger.

Reviewed by richy29 9 / 10 / 10

Read the book

This is one of my all time favorite movies. But... and this is a major but... at least part of my appreciation stems from the fact that I watched it several times and that I've also read the book (by Paul Bowles) two or three times. So both works of art (since the book is most definitely a work of great art) tend to blend together in my mind. I started by watching the movie though, without any previous knowledge on the novel, nor on Paul Bowles. I was impressed by the powerful imagery (theater! not dvd) and chilled by psychological the harshness of the plot. I was charmed the first time I saw the film but I fell in love when I saw it a second time, which was after I'd read the novel. Maybe this means that the film doesn't 'make it on its own', but to me that's not a problem. And if you are, like me, gripped by the movie I can really recommend the novel for more 'in depth' . Some people here seem to think that there's no plot or just a very thin one. I disagree. It's not directly on the surface though. You'll have to concentrate and pay attention to dig it up. If you don't like that or feel that a movie should just willingly present itself to you, than this is not your movie.

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