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.

We let him come.

You let him come.

Don't misunderstand me.

He's tall, he's very rich,

he's handsome...

I like him very much.

What does it mean,

you don't trust him?

- That must mean something.

- Of course I mean something.

It's just not important.

I'm going for a walk. Want to come?

No, thanks.

I'm really enjoying this room

after all that sea.

- I'm going for a walk. Want to come?

- No, thanks.

I'm really enjoying this room

after all that sea.

- I'm going for a walk...

- No, thanks.

What do you want to do?

Isn't it time for you to rub my tummy?

I know what you're thinking.

That's a nice scent. What do you mean

about not trusting Tunner?

Let's just not talk about it.

Okay, baby.

Anyway, Tunner is much more

your business than he is mine.


My name is Smail.

I was in the 5th Battalion

of sharpshooters.


I fought the war. Much people died.

Nothing to eat, that's all.

- You are sad.

- No, I'm tired.

You live a short time.

Have fun.

Yes, I know.

I will take you to a friend of mine.

A girl.


More than the moon.

- You mean a whore.

- A whore?

Come, monsieur, come.

See for yourself.

Monsieur, listen.


It is very late. Where are we going?

Down here. That's her tent.

Come, monsieur, come.

- Why don't you take off your shoes?

- No, thank you.

You pay her because you take up

her time. That's all.

Why are you whispering?

Because of the men in the other tents.

Her name is Mahrnia.

Stop it! Stop it!


- Who is it?

- Me.

Are you awake?

Not very.

It's the best time of the day.

You shouldn't miss it.

I'll be there in a minute, Tunner.

You all right?



- Hi.

- Hello, Tunner.

Are you holding a seance in here?

You're in a disgustingly good mood.

I'm looking at you.

Where was Port?

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Mark Peploe

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

All Mark Peploe scripts | Mark Peploe Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Sheltering Sky" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Sheltering Sky


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.