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The Conformist (1970)
"Il conformista" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  22 October 1970 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 13,880 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 88 user | 99 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marcello Clerici (as Jean Louis Trintignant)
...
Gastone Moschin ...
Manganiello
Enzo Tarascio ...
Professor Quadri
Fosco Giachetti ...
Il colonnello
José Quaglio ...
Italo
...
Pierre Clémenti ...
Lino
Yvonne Sanson ...
Madre di Giulia
Milly ...
Madre di Marcello
Giuseppe Addobbati ...
Padre di Marcello
Christian Aligny ...
Raoul (as Christian Alegny)
Carlo Gaddi ...
Hired Killer
Umberto Silvestri ...
Hired Killer
Furio Pellerani ...
Hired Killer
Edit

Storyline

This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussollini and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there. Look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello's mind. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bertolucci's Masterpiece about Sex and Politics [re-release]

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

22 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Conformist  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (first release) (international)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernardo Bertolucci approached Brigitte Bardot for the role of Anna Quadri before casting Dominique Sanda. See more »

Goofs

When young Marcello shoots up Lino's room, the squibs are clearly visible in the walls before they explode. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visually stunning, otherwise clumsy with some nasty politics.
1 June 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I literally signed up because, on first watching this film, I was shocked by the apparent reverence in which it is held. Yes, it is certainly a visually stunning film -one of the most beautiful films I have seen in some time in fact. However there seems little else to recommend it. The main character is a "conformist". How do we know this? Well, because he literally TELLS US in the first couple of minutes. He certainly does not act like it ...and this is pretty much what you can expect for all of the themes explored in the film -every unconvincing and unsubtle point will be rammed home ham-handedly. Certainly there is no convincing portrayal of the anxiety which drives the desire to conform, and the relationship between this anxiety and fascism -something which would have been a very worthy subject matter. On the contrary the protagonists behavior is on the contrary quite odd rather than conformist. A real missed opportunity here. Characterization, in so far as it exists, is crude and didactic (this goes for all characters, not just the protagonist). There are a number of weird themes, visual sequences and actions by characters throughout, which I can only assume is a crude attempt to qualify the film as "arty", as well as some utterly comical pseudo-intellectualism (bringing to mind something like "first year philosophy students at lunch in the quad"). I could go on in some detail, but hey, in the present case what's the point???

The film concludes with a rather nasty apologist message, the apparent "moral" of the film, equating fascism and anti-fascism as two sides of the same coin. This message is hammered home repeatedly and crudely in the final minutes so as to make sure we don't miss the point. Firstly, I got it the first time -the final scene (where the protagonist denounces two guys as fascists) was both unnecessary and awkwardly unsubtle. Secondly, I just don't buy it -fascism and anti-fascism are just not the same thing. All in all "Il Conformista" left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I'm not a liberal-arts type guy, and I know very little about Italian history, so maybe it's me that's just to dumb to "get it"? I don't think so, but I figure even if this was the case that would clearly make the film unsuccessful as a piece of communication. I reckon turn the subtitles off (or mute it if you speak Italian) and you could maybe just enjoy the visual spectacle .

5/10 with the subtitles off.


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Best cinematography Alexandar
Was Marcello bisexual? pogglezig
How is this a version of La dolce vita? bad-intentions
In what language did Bertolucci intend this to screen? superpanda6
DVD release jonas_borgen
On TCM the weekend of 01.20.06 !!!! tyler_roughnecks
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