''White Sun of the Desert'' is a cult Soviet western-like action movie (since everything occured in the East, it is, in fact, the eastern), filmed in 1969. Director Vladimir Motyl had rewritten the screenplay of Rustam Ibragimbekov and made a lot of references to westerns (from both the United States and [[SpaghettiWestern Italy]]). The film was prohibited from Russian cinemas at first, but Leonid Brezhnev, having once seen the movie at his villa, decided to allow ''White Sun'' to be released. The movie had broken the box office: Over 50 million tickets were sold.

The setting is the east shore of the Caspian Sea (today's Turkmenistan) where the Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov has been fighting the [[UsefulNotes/RedOctober Civil War]] in Russian Asia for a number of years. After being hospitalized and then demobbed, he sets off home to join his wife, but is caught up in a desert fight between a Red Army cavalry unit and Basmachi guerrillas. The cavalry unit commander, Rahimov, "persuades" Sukhov to help, temporarily, with the protection of abandoned women of the Basmachi guerrilla leader Black Abdullah's [[RoyalHarem harem]]. Leaving a young Red Army soldier, Petrukha, to assist Sukhov with the task, Rahimov and his cavalry unit set out to pursue the fleeing Abdullah.

Sukhov and women from Abdullah's harem return to a nearby shore town. Soon, looking for a seaway across the border, Abdullah and his gang come to the same town...
!!This film provides examples of:
* BadassBeard: Sukhov. Abdullah has a BeardOfEvil.
* BerserkButton: [[spoiler: Vereshchagin, had been informed of Petrukha's murder by Abdullah, decided to take Sukhov's side and overtook Abdulla's launch barehanded]]
* ChewToy: Sub-lieutenant Semyon, Abdullah's [[TheDragon Dragon]]. Since he had begun from proposing to comrade Sukhov the SadisticChoice, no one has any pity for him.
* CigarFuseLighting: Comrade Sukhov does the inverted version: he lights his cigarette off a dynamite fuse.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Gyulchatai, the youngest of Abdullah's wives.
* CoolGuns: Abdullah's Mauser C96
* CouldntFindALighter: Sukhov lights his cigarette from a dynamite fuse.
* CultureClash: The clash of progressive Communist ideals and patriarchal Central Asian mores is one of the driving conflicts (as well as a source of more than one humorous moment) of the movie.
* DespairEventHorizon: Sukhov has a very memorable look of utter despair once he's shot and forced to helplessly watch Vereshchagin start the engine on the barge. It's brief enough that he's still able to use the ensuing explosion to his advantage.
* DestinationDefenestration: Semyon, at the hands of a completely sloshed Vereshchagin.
* DramaticIrony: Vereshchagin just cleared out all the bandits on the barge, and is heading to shore to [[TheCavalry deal with Abdullah and rescue Sukhov]]. His wife, previously terrified that he's about to get killed, [[HopeSpot is relieved to see him safe and sound]]. But the viewer and Sukhov both know that the barge is [[NiceJobBreakingItHero rigged to blow up shortly after the motor starts]].
* TheGunslinger: Comrade Sukhov.
* GoodGunsBadGuns: Inverted. In Soviet media the Mauser C96 is a classic Good Gun, strongly associated with the Bolsheviks and UsefulNotes/RedOctober. But in that movie it's used by BigBad.
* ImprobableUseOfAWeapon: Semyon, for some inexplicable reason, carries a katana.
** Quite probably he once served the Japanese-backed warlordship of General Semyonov, where ample opportunities to loot swords from dead Japanese officers existed.
* InTheBack: Djavded's OffStageVillainy includes killing Sayid's father that way. Sayid is dressed in an old robe with two bullet holes in the back for most of the movie.
* IOweYouMyLife: Sayid was saved by Sukhov and since that feels himself in debt to save Sukhov.
* KickTheDog: Black Abdullah. He [[spoiler:killed an innocent museum curator even without wasting time to interrogate him]]. And this was just the beginning.
* LeaveHimToMe: "If you'll meet Djavded, don't hurt him. He's mine."
* MoodWhiplash: The film's tone is best described as "optimistically downbeat with more than one moment of humour".
* NaiveNewcomer / NewMeat: Petrukha, young soldier commanded to assist Sukhov.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Rigging the ship Abdullah and his men want to use in their escape to blow up *seems* like a good idea.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Sayid, who is the Asian equivalent of Honest Indian.
* OffscreenTeleportation: The usual way of Sayid's relocations.
* OneManArmy: {{Lampshaded}}. The Red Army commander who entrusts Sukhov with the harem mission says that he "is worth an entire battalion by himself".
* RetiredBadass: Vereshchagin. Awesome way of retirement: endless supplies of vodka, black caviar and peacocks.
* SadisticChoice: Sub-lieutenant Semyon, having [[spoiler: captured Sukhov, asks him, whether he wants "to be killed at once or suffer for a while first". Sukhov says that "suffering is better, of course".]]
* SandNecktie: Sayid was buried alive in sizzling hot sand by Djavded (off screen) and dug out by Sukhov.
* SocialDarwinist: Black Abdullah
* StillWearingTheOldColors: Semyon is a former [[UsefulNotes/RussiansWithRifles White Guard]] sub-lieutenant and still looks the part.
** His sword lets us pinpoint his former allegiance more precisely. He only could acquire a katana in the Far Eastern White remnant, which was backed by Japanese troops for a short period of time. Yet his rank is army, not Cossack, so he could not be a Cossack of General Semyonov's troops originally. So, most likely, he was part of General Kappel's army that escaped to Transbaikal and joined Semyonov's forces after Admiral Kolchak's arrest and execution.
* TokenEnemyMinority: Inverted: one of Abdullah's henchmen is a White Russian officer.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: Villanous variation of the trope. Abdullah shows little care for his {{mooks}}. When he [[spoiler:captures Sayid, he shows no grudge for killing his men, but only astonishment why Sayid killed them - "I've sent them only to tell you not to seek for Djavded in a dry creek: he's not there!"]]
* UnwantedHarem: Literally.
* YouKilledMyFather: Sayid shall never know peace till he finds and kills Djavded.