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>
When Clerici asks the operator to connect him with Professor Quadri, the telephone number he gives is the (one-time) telephone number of Bernardo Bertolucci's idol Jean-Luc Godard. When Quadri answers the phone, Clerici recalls one of his lectures in which Quadri said "The time for reflection is over. Now is the time for action." This is the opening line in Godard's film Le Petit Soldat (1963). See more »
When young Marcello shoots up Lino's room, the squibs are clearly visible in the walls before they explode. 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 »
What is most amazing about The Conformist is it's cinematography and angles.
Director Bertolucci and Cinematographer Storraro have created a masterpiece of form by using light, camera angles, and character positioning.
The architecture dwarfs the characters as they try to make sense of their existence during Italy's fascist period (1930's). They are placed theatrically at times creating a balance of space.
The Conformist is the most stunning film visually I have ever seen. Every scene is immaculate, kind of surreal, almost to rich for the senses to take in one viewing.
The story is somewhat difficult on the first viewing but one can figure the basic plot line. It is a story about repression and oppression, about nationality, political beliefs during a paradigm shift. It is about acceptance and avoidance. It is about playing it safe in a time of tension.
The final scene suggests what the main character might have become had he chose the truth. It is left up to us to judge him and realize that it is sort of a catch 22; either way, he would have ended up in that dark place where a fascist country would mentally place same sex love.
See this film to see the potential of the beauty of film.
Conform or not to Conform? That is the Question.
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