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The Conformist

The Conformist (1970)



Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 0

A commentary on fascism and beauty alike, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist is acclaimed for its sumptuous visuals and extravagant, artful cinematography.


Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0

A commentary on fascism and beauty alike, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist is acclaimed for its sumptuous visuals and extravagant, artful cinematography.



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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 7,721

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Movie Info

The conformist is 1930s Italian Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a coward who has spent his life accommodating others so that he can "belong." Marcello agrees to kill a political refugee, on orders from the Fascist government, even though the victim-to-be is his college mentor. The film is a character study of the kind of person who willingly "conforms" to the ideological fashions of his day. In this case, director Bernardo Bertolucci suggests that Marcello's desire to conform is


Art House & International, Drama

Dec 5, 2006

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (0) | DVD (9)

The unsettling blend of images and ideas in this movie cannot satisfactorily be disentangled or decoded, and it's the very strangeness of Bertolucci's masterpiece that has made it so influential in cinema history.

August 29, 2014 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bertolucci's boldest and most expressive film ...

August 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Conformist is celebrated for cinematographer Vittorio Storaro's tumbling autumn leaves, but its emotional impact involves a tumbling soul.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ravishing to the eye but less than fully satisfying to the mind.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is pure magic as story, as drama, as photography, as conviction, as everything except its ideas.

September 7, 2006 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Juggling past and present with the same bravura flourish as Welles in Citizen Kane, Bertolucci conjures a dazzling historical and personal perspective.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Few films really deserve the term 'masterpiece,' but this one does.

January 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Photographed by Vittorio Storraro, it's a mélange of the sensual haziness of '70s European art-house fair and the high-contrast, anxious angles of film noir

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The art house meets Hollywood neo-noir in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, a film that isn't recognized enough as the masterpiece that it is.

June 7, 2010 Full Review Source:

"The Conformist" is Bernardo Bertolucci's immaculate work of cinematic art about the conflicted mindset of a man who carries out Mussolini's fascist ideology.

July 25, 2009 Full Review Source:

Talvez o melhor filme de Bertolucci, esta obra-prima magnificamente fotografada por Storaro é tão formidável em sua construção estética e narrativa que cada praticamente todo plano se presta a análises longas e profundas.

January 28, 2009
Cinema em Cena

One of the finest sex-and-politics thrillers ever made, blending sharp humour with riveting suspense.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

All hail the revival of one of Bernardo Bertolucci's best films.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A beautifully imagined portrait of moral and political cowardice.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent

Bertolucci's film has the compelling quality of a bad dream.

February 29, 2008

One of the most referenced and extraordinary films in cinema history.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

The Conformist isn't just a triumph, it's one of the greatest movies ever made.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Probing, unsettling and visually compelling, The Conformist treats its audience as adults, never opting for easy closure.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

A powerful story well acted by a fine cast, it doesn't have the moral outcome you might imagine. An absorbing drama with a different, albeit downbeat, twist to it.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

A visual masterpiece thanks to Storaro's keen eye and Bertolucci's assured direction.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Bertolucci never made another film that even came close to The Conformist

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Conformist

Appreciate it more than I enjoyed watching it. Beautifully shot, incredibly insightful, often boring.
September 22, 2011
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Visually, Il conformista has to be one of the most beautiful films ever made, each frame is like a renascence painting and it's easy to see its influence on modern cinema. Luckily the rest is as good. Stuffed to the rafters with symbolism, this film really does need repeat viewing but never becomes tiresome in doing so. Sex, sexuality, politics, violence, it's all here in raw glory, an attack on fascism as powerful as Salo, just a little more easy to watch. Highly recommended!
February 10, 2010

Super Reviewer

A visually stunning, subjective, psychological study of one man's pursuit of 'normalcy.' The plot is non-linear and revealed through a multilayered series of flashbacks. The portrait is rich with scenes of entrapment, Freudian undertones, and homosexuality. Dominique Sarda sizzles as the lesbian wife of the professor. The cinemetography is masterful. This is a film that withstands, and may require, repeated viewings to absorb its complexities.
January 24, 2010

Super Reviewer

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