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

 -  Drama | Romance  -  12 May 1964 (Italy)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,256 users  
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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

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

Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Italy...is the place where they've made an art of everything - especially love!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

12 May 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Before the Revolution  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
the charterhouse of cinema
7 May 2008 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the typical ploys of modernist artists has been to take a known work, and to use that as a basis for experimentation. In this case, Bernardo Bertolucci (at the age of 22!) took Stendhal's novel THE CHARTERHOUSE OF PARMA and used the basic plot and characters, only Bertolucci abstracted these elements, taking them for granted and simply creating a wide-ranging collage of impressions and emotions. But the central love affair between Fabrizio and his aunt, Gina (the names of the characters in the Stendhal), is the motivating heart of the film; the suggestions of incest, the need for secrecy, the impacted emotion because of the covertness: these provide PRIMA DELLA RIVOLUZIONE with a core of great integrity, so that the more "random" elements (the scene with the lament on the lake, the scene at the opera, the scene where the friend rides the bicycle in circles, etc.) are able to reflect on Bertolucci's feelings regarding politics, class, revolution, art, the search for belief.

PRIMA DELLA RIVOLUZIONE is one of the most youthful films ever made, as well it should be, since it was made by someone who was impossibly young at the time. I hate to say this, but it's the work of a prodigy, a gifted post-adolescent who is trying to find a form to contain his sometimes overwrought feelings about life, love, and politics. There had been many works catering to the teen crowd, movies like WHERE THE BOYS ARE or BEACH PARTY, but, aside from some of the works of Nicholas Ray (THEY LIVE BY NIGHT and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE), no film artist had yet tried to use the medium as a vehicle for a vision of youthful passions from the inside: Godard would follow with MASCULINE FEMININE and LA CHINOISE, Bertolucci with FISTS IN THE POCKET, Skolimowski with LE DEPART and DEEP END, but Bertolucci was pioneering when he made this movie, and the fact that it's "flawed" should not be held against it, as it represents the expression of a very young artist, trying to express his emotions as directly as possible.


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