The Conformist

  • 1970
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama, Political

One of Bertolucci's best films, THE CONFORMIST makes a provocative connection between repressed sexual desires and fascist politics. It's an intriguing, elegantly photographed study of the twisted Italian character of the 1930s. Plagued by the memory of a traumatic sexual experience during childhood and desperate to demonstrate his "normalcy," Marcello...read more

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One of Bertolucci's best films, THE CONFORMIST makes a provocative connection between repressed sexual desires and fascist politics. It's an intriguing, elegantly photographed study of the twisted Italian character of the 1930s.

Plagued by the memory of a traumatic sexual experience during childhood and desperate to demonstrate his "normalcy," Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) marries the dull, petit-bourgeois Giulia (Stefania Sandrelli). He later joins the Italian Fascist movement, accepting an assignment to

travel to Paris and help assassinate Prof. Quadri (Enzo Tarascio), his former mentor. Before the assassination, Marcello becomes attracted to Anna (Dominique Sanda), the professor's seductive, bisexual wife, though she herself is actually more interested in Giulia. Marcello's affiliation with the

Fascists eventually self-destructs, as does his own personality.

Here, as in all his best work, Bertolucci addresses the issue of duality--of both sexual and political conflict. Marcello's personal contradictions parallel those of the Italian government, with his own decline taking place at the same time as Mussolini's, in 1943. Visually, THE CONFORMIST is

stunning; its gliding camerawork, unusual camera angles and rich color perfectly evoke the baroque decadence of Marcello's world. Bertolucci received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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  • Rating: R
  • Review: One of Bertolucci's best films, THE CONFORMIST makes a provocative connection between repressed sexual desires and fascist politics. It's an intriguing, elegantly photographed study of the twisted Italian character of the 1930s. Plagued by the memory of a… (more)

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