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The Sheltering Sky

HD   R Closed Captioning

Bernardo Bertolucci

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About the Movie

From director Bernardo Bertolucci, The Sheltering Sky is a filmed adaptation of the novel of the same name by Paul Bowles. Debra Winger and John Malkovich star as Kit and Port Moresby, a married American couple who globetrot to North Africa in the late '40s with the hopes of re-sparking their love and adding some zest to their lackluster lives. Along for the ride is the pair's friend George Tunner (Campbell Scott), who soon begins having an affair with Kit. As they struggle through the numbing heat of Africa amidst the sudden love triangle, each of the trio sees his and her beliefs and lives challenged. The Sheltering Sky earned a Best Director nomination for Bertolucci at the 1991 Golden Globe Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 12
  • Rotten: 12
  • Average Rating: 5.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A long, beautifully modulated cry of despair. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Rotten: Those who haven't read the book will be left bewildered. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Bowles's gentle, avian features, the obvious wisdom of his years and his distinctive presence are practically worth the price of admission. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Jul 23, 2006

Rotten: [A] frustrating, monotonously obscure movie. – Hal Hinson, Washington Post, Jul 23, 2006

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Awesome, haunting

Yes, the memory lingers: I watched this movie in 2002 and I've wanted to see it again ever since. I'm glad I rediscovered it again on iTunes and was able to enjoy it again. Debra Winger is amazing; the scenery and culture is thought-provoking, especially now that we are compelled to understand more about the Middle Eastern mind. Highly recommend.

Beautiful and unsettling...

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Paul Bowles and set in post WWII Northern Africa, this movie is about the journey, both physical and intimate, of couple of American travelers. Unimaginable beauty of scenery serves as the backdrop for their adventures and misadventures as they make their way through the country. Perfect portrait of complex human emotions. Perfect portrait of solitude, wonderment and fascination... This movie will linger in your memory for a long time.

Read the book instead

Although the visual imagery is stunning for the last half hour, it's difficult to get through the film because Winger and Malkovich's acting is flat, and the screenplay glosses over the psychological drama that made Paul Bowles' 1949 novel so engrossing.