Before the Revolution (1964)
"Prima della rivoluzione" (original title)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  12 May 1964 (Italy)
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The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Francesco Barilli ...
Allen Midgette ...
Morando Morandini ...
Cristina Pariset ...
Cecrope Barilli ...
Evelina Alpi ...
The little girl
Gianni Amico ...
A friend
Goliardo Padova ...
The painter
Guido Fanti ...
Enrico Salvatore ...
The priest
Amelia Bordi ...
The mother
Domenico Alpi ...
The father
Iole Lunardi ...
The grandmother
Antonio Maghenzani ...
The brother


The study of a youth on the edge of adulthood and his aunt, ten years older. Fabrizio is passionate, idealistic, influenced by Cesare, a teacher and Marxist, engaged to the lovely but bourgeois Clelia, and stung by the drowning of his mercurial friend Agostino, a possible suicide. Gina is herself a bundle of nervous energy, alternately sweet, seductive, poetic, distracted, and unhinged. They begin a love affair after Agostino's funeral, then Gina confuses Fabrizio by sleeping with a stranger. Their visits to Cesare and then to Puck, one of Gina's older friends, a landowner losing his land, dramatize contrasting images of Italy's future. Their own futures are bleak. Written by <>

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Taglines: the place where they've made an art of everything - especially love!


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

12 May 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Before the Revolution  »

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bernardo Bertolucci was only 22 when he made this film. See more »


A friend: Remember, Fabrizio: one can't live without Rossellini.
See more »


Referenced in Happy New Year (1973) See more »


Vivere ancora
Written and Performed by Gino Paoli,
e incise su dischi RCA.
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User Reviews

Not revolutionary, but very impressive
5 February 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Before the Revolution is a ravishingly cinematic piece of work, with Bertolucci showing a real confidence with both camera and location that both serves and enhances the script. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's an outstanding piece of cinema first and foremost – the politics is more a reflection of a universal weakness of character than a specific moment in time a la Godard (the film was adapted and updated from Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma). Even the movie references don't gall the way they almost always do in modern films because Bertolucci not only puts them into context with the other arts (literature, music, painting, photography) but makes them personal obsessions that are part of character – the movie buff isn't just there to talk about Bertolucci's favourite films, or even to point out that in cinema style is content: it's simply how that character communicates by equating life to art. A surprisingly exciting piece of cinema.

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