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>
Anouk Aimée turned down a role in the film, but said in a 2007 interview that in retrospect she wished she had accepted it instead. See more »
When Lino first sees young Marcello walking and gets into his car to follow him, he knocks his hat off ducking into the vehicle. 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.
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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 »
To be everything is nothing. To go against what you cherish the most is the symbolic gesture of weakness. The brilliant story telling of the young and passionate Bernardo Bertolucci remains as vivid and powerful as the first time I saw it - 15 years ago, when I was 21 - The film is 41 years old now and I can only imagine the effect it had in its day. For me, it became a point of reference and to see it again is a shattering scramble of emotions. Jean Louis Trintignat is extraordinary and Stefania Sandrelli is superb as the mediocre, petite bourgeois wife. The art direction by Ferdinando Scarfiotti and the photography by Vittorio Storaro are, quite simply, without equal. I was very moved by the appearance of Pierre Clemeti as the ambiguous Lino. A film to visit and re-visit.
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