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  »

Filming Locations:


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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 »


References Red River (1948) See more »


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

it's a grower
16 October 2011 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

It's strange to think that Bertolucci was only 23 when he did this film, but then it makes perfect sense cause the story loosely centers around a young man approaching adulthood. It's even stranger to realize that only 8 years later he directed 'The Last Tango in Paris' where his protagonist already experiences his midlife crises. Back in 1964 Bertolucci's main interest was not story telling but rather to find a new visual language to portray his generation. Heavily influenced by the Nouvelle Vague, Godard in particular, that he even mentions at some length here, Bertolucci is eager to break with as many (cinematographic) conventions as possible, but the imagery he develops in the process is so beautiful that this is a delight to watch from beginning to end. Also it serves as a reminder that there was actually a time when there seemed to be an alternative to capitalism, though the revolution is only talked about. The whole thing works like a kaleidoscope or mosaic of the time. At first I had trouble to follow the plot because scenes don't necessarily respond to each other in a cause and effect kinda way but once I realized that an ongoing story is not what this is about I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery even more. And though our heroes suffer from first signs of disillusion, back then everything seemed possible, whether it was changing our society or changing the aesthetics of cinema. What interesting times.

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