The Sheltering Sky

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Director(s): Bernardo Bertolucci
Production: Warner Home Video
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
138 min


terra ferma.

We must be the first tourists

since the war.

- We're not tourists. We're travelers.

- What's the difference?

A tourist thinks about going home

the moment they arrive, Tunner.

Whereas a traveler might not

come back at all.

You mean, I'm a tourist?

Yes, Tunner.

And I'm half and half.

No profession?

Not that I'm aware of.

Madame is a writer.

Monsieur Tunner is a businessman.

My wife wrote one play, monsieur,

five years ago.

I thought it was wonderful,

but the reviews were guarded.

Mr. Tunner's only business

is giving dinner parties.

One at a time.

Monsieur, my husband's a composer.

He chooses to be modest today.

An artist.

How long will you be staying?

Mr. Tunner will stay

three to four weeks...

but my wife and I will stay on

for a year or two.

A year or two?

In this place?

That's it!

The Italians have agreed

to give women the vote.

We can take the train to Boussif.

From there we have to take buses.

You've been to North Africa.

Kit and I will just follow.

- My only plan is, I have no plan.

- Right.

Whatever you say.

Because neither Kit nor Port...

had ever lived a life of any kind

of regularity...

they had made the fatal error of

coming to regard time as nonexistent.

One year was like another.

Eventually, everything would happen.

I had a strange dream last night.

Port, please. Other people's dreams

are so dull.

I know it's boring, but I'll forget it

if I don't tell it. I was...

traveling on a train

which I realized was going to crash...

into a mountain made of sheets.

Consult Madame La Hueff's

Dream Dictionary.

Shut up.

I knew it was going to crash, but...


Why do you go on

when you know it's boring?

Maybe Tunner would like to hear it.

Would you?

Dreams are my cup of tea.

At some point...

I felt I could stop the crash if

I could only open my mouth and scream.

And then I realized it was too late

because I had reached up...

and broken off my teeth

with my hand...

as if they were made of plaster.

I started to sob.

Those kind of terrible dream sobs...

that shake you like an earthquake.

It's all right. Leave her.

Is she crying?

Kit has days when everything in the

world is a sign for something else.

A white Mercedes can't just

simply be a white Mercedes.

It must have a secret meaning

about the whole of life.

Everything is an omen.

Nothing can just be what it is.

I got them from the bellboy. He said

they belonged to General Montgomery.

I thought they might be Monty's.

Excuse me.

Are you staying at the Grand Hotel

by any chance?


Oh, good. I'm Eric Lyle. Hello.

I don't suppose you could lend me

I haven't enough change for a sherry.

- Thanks awfully.

- Eric!

You filthy toad!

What are you concocting?

Hello. I was

just going to buy cigarettes.

You wretched little liar!

You are imbibing!

You know what the doctor said.

- What, sweetie?

- Nothing.

Why did you tell your dream

in front of Tunner?

I was telling it to him.

As much as I told it to you.

I realize you think dreams are boring,

but good God!

Why do you have to take everything

so seriously?

- What is a dream?

- It's just that I don't trust Tunner.

- He's such a gossip.

- Tunner?

Who might he be gossiping to here?

Port, you seem to forget

we'll be back in New York someday.

We may, someday.

I don't care if he tells it

to the whole Eastern seaboard.

Who gives a damn?

And what do you mean,

you don't trust Tunner?

I never felt at ease with him.

You might have said that

before we crossed the Atlantic.

- You invited him.

- He invited himself.

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Mark Peploe

Mark Peploe (born 1943 in Kenya) is a screenwriter and film director. He is the brother of Clare Peploe. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Sheltering Sky" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 May 2021. <>.

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