Marcello Clerici
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Quotes for
Marcello Clerici (Character)
from The Conformist (1970)

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The Conformist (1970)
[denies a rumor regarding his father]
Marcello: You see, the origin of my father's mental illness isn't venereal. That can be medically confirmed.
Giulia's Mother: By the way, my little girl has had the mumps, scarlet fever, and German measles.
Marcello: They're all very moral maladies.

Marcello: I'm going to build a life that's normal. I'm marrying a petty bourgeoise.
Confessor: Then she must be a fine girl.
Giulia: Speak out. Go ahead.
Marcello: Mediocre. A mound of petty ideas. Full of petty ambitions. She's all bed and kitchen.

Confessor: The one thing you have to do is repent and humbly ask His pardon today.
Marcello: I've already repented. I want to be excused by society. Yes. I want to confess today the sin I'll commit tomorrow. One sin atones for another. It is the price I must pay society. And I shall pay it.

Italo: A normal man? For me, a normal man is one who turns his head to see a beautiful woman's bottom. The point is not just to turn your head. There are five or six reasons. And he is glad to find people who are like him, his equals. That's why he likes crowded beaches, football, the bar downtown...
Marcello: At Piazza Venice.
Italo: He likes people similar to himself and does not trust those who are different. That's why a normal man is a true brother, a true citizen, a true patriot...
Marcello: A true fascist.

Professor Quadri: Clerici, you had me convinced you were the typical new Italian.
Marcello: No such type exists yet, but we're creating him.
Anna: Through repression?
Marcello: No, through example.
Anna: Giving him castor oil? Throwing him into prison? By torturing them? Blackmailing?
Professor Quadri: Anna, please, dear, calm down. Clerici is a fascist. I'm an anti-fascist. We both knew. And we decided to have supper together all the same.

[after overthrow of Mussolini]
Giulia: What are you going to do now?
Marcello: The same as everyone else who thought like me. When there are so many of us, there's no risk.

Giulia: Marcello, don't go out. They could hurt you.
Marcello: I won't be in danger. After all, what have I done? My duty.
Giulia: But why do you want to go?
Marcello: I want to see how a dictatorship falls.

Giulia: [sexually aroused while kissing Marcello on a couch] If you want... want to...
Marcello: If I want to...?
Giulia: Yes, right here... on the floor... on the carpet... Want to?
Marcello: Better think about the priest. He may not grant absolution.
Giulia: They grant everyone absolution.

Marcello: Ten years ago, my father was in Munich. Often, after the theater, he told me that he'd go with friends to a Bierstube. There was a nutty man they thought a fool. He spoke about politics. He was quite an attraction. They'd buy him beer and encourage him. He'd stand up on the table making furious speeches. It was Hitler.

[first lines]
Marcello: [to Manganiello on the phone] It's me, yes. Everything all right?
[pause]
Marcello: What do you mean, they're gone? You mean she's gone, too?
[pause]
Marcello: I'll be waiting in front of the hotel.
[hangs up]