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>
Bernardo Bertolucci was introduced by his then-girlfriend Maria Paola Maino to Alberto Moravia's novel. He was impressed by her description of the story, but because he locked in production on The Spider's Stratagem (1970), he had not actually read the novel when he pitched a film adaptation to Luigi Luraschi of Paramount Pictures, who agreed to fund and distribute the film. A month later, Bertolucci was reading the book with one hand, and writing the script with his typewriter in the other. 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 »
Unique, visually stunning and surreal mix of history and suspense
Bertolucci's "Conformist" must not be missed if it shows up at your local art/independent movie theater.
Indispensable for its photography and visual style alone -- credit legendary DP Vittorio Storaro, best known for his work on The Godfather films and Apocalypse Now -- the film delivers with a ferocious punch on a remarkable number of levels.
Dense and often difficult, yet leavened with unexpectedly beautiful and humorous touches, "The Conformist" functions primarily as an indictment of Fascism and its adherents. But deeper threads run deeply through the picture; it is an examination of one man's attitudes towards the value of patriotism, love, family, marriage, sex and death, and, as has perhaps been overstated (by both the critics and perhaps the film-maker) it also explores the ramifications of homosexual repression.
Bertolucci expertly manages to weave these themes into a hypnotic, occasionally surreal experience that has served as an inspiration for countless directors.
Performances are brilliant throughout. Dominique Sanda is one of the most engaging and sensual women to ever grace the screen.
See this film, and you will simply wish to see it again.
71 of 87 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this