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The Conformist (1970) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • 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.

  • In Mussolini's 1930s Fascist Italy, Marcello Clerici, an eager would-be member of the Party and, above all, a sexually-disordered man, is desperate to fit in. However, soon after marrying his well-off beautiful fiancée, Giulia, the covert assassin is dispatched to Paris to liquidate his former college professor and now a subversive anti-Fascist, Luca Quadri. There, amidst uncomfortable flashbacks from early childhood during his honeymoon, the hesitant Clerici will fall hard for his professor's alluring wife, Anna, threatening the outcome of his mission. Is there a connection between Marcello's childhood and his inner torment?

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


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