A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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 <email@example.com>
Among the students at Professor Quadri's house, appear Bertolucci's best friend as well as Director, Gianni Amico, also one of the iconic actors of the Brazilian "Cinema Novo", Joel Barcellos. See more »
When Marcello leaves his hotel to rendezvous with Manganiello, a crew member is reflected in the glass door. See more »
[to Manganiello on the phone]
It's me, yes. Everything all right?
What do you mean, they're gone? You mean she's gone, too?
I'll be waiting in front of the hotel.
See more »
The "Dance of the Blind" sequence was restored for the 1994 re-issue of the film. This had been cut for the American release. Contrary to early reports, the DVD released by Paramount does include this scene. See more »
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 :(
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