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

R  |   |  Drama  |  22 October 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 15,797 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 96 user | 108 critic | 11 from

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


(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Clerici (as Jean Louis Trintignant)
Gastone Moschin ...
Enzo Tarascio ...
Professor Quadri
Fosco Giachetti ...
Il colonnello
José Quaglio ...
Pierre Clémenti ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




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Release Date:

22 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Conformist  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (first release) (international)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bertolucci proposed the film adaptation of the novel to Paramount, without ever reading it himself. Within a month, he started the screenplay. See more »


When Manganiello is driving Marcello around, the windshield wipers are on in the close shots, but off on the long shots. See more »


Anna: [to Marcello] You're only a worm. You revolt me. You're disgusting!
See more »


Featured in All'ombra del conformista (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

The best cooperation of artists of cinema
17 June 2001 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is one of few films in which every artist's performance peaks and falls into place: Trintignant (Z (1969), le Secret (1974)) at his best, Bertolucci's best picture so far, and Vittorio Storaro's best cinematography (besides Apocalypse Now). Their cooperation seems to pay off very well (Novecento (1976), Last Emperor (1987)) as they apparently enhance each other's work. With their brilliance they almost turn Marcello into a hero, while he is actually an anti-hero in this non-linear story. It's not only an entertaining personal tragedy, it's also a political thriller with very distinctive music. I couldn't imagine life without Il Conformista anymore (like Amarcord and some other masterpieces).

Always beautiful, never sentimental: poetic from minute to minute. The compositions, lighting and camera-movements made me breathless: I've never seen so much poetic power in one film. Watch for instance the camera's movement to behind the tree when Manganiello searches for Marcello in the small park @ 68 min. And for instance the hand-held scene near the end. Or the camera placements when Marcello comes approaches his mother's house. Actually the entire film is a big poem. See for yourself :-)

I was lucky enough to see this one in a theater just two months after seeing it first (dec 2000). If you have the chance, go see it on a big screen. If you like the looks of this you will probably like 'Una giornata particolare' (1977) and 'Amarcord' (1974) too.

Why o why can't we vote 11 :(

38 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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In what language did Bertolucci intend this to screen? superpanda6
nudity/sex in this movie thesidewalkwarrior
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