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 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 »
Story of a weak-willed Italian man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is ordered, in 1938, to assassinate his one-time professor. He is ordered by a Fascist organization he joined to become normal, to conform (he's gay and ashamed of it). He takes his annoying wife (Stefania Sandrelli) with him...only to find his professor has married a former love of his (Dominique Sanda). Can he kill them both? This film is just riveting. The story is never boring and full of some very intriguing people. The acting is superb--especially by Trintignant who you see holding his fear and indecision inside and Sanda who is unbelievably sexy...and dangerous. I don't know much about politics so I'm not going to discuss that.
But this film is a must-see for the incredible cinematography by Vittorio Storano and masterful direction by Bernardo Bertolucci. The sets are exquisite--every single one looks incredible and is beautifully lit and shot for maximum impact. Sometimes I was just so caught up in the visuals I lost track of the story! Every shot is filled with rich symbolism. My favorite sequence was at a dance hall when Trintignant is "caught" in the dance. Also some prints are missing a 10 minute "Dance of the Blind" that was cut from original prints. It's no loss--it adds nothing to the story.
Quite simply one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen with a strong, intriguing plot. A powerful must-see film. A 10 all the way.
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