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

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Movie Info

Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a member of the secret police in Mussolini's Fascist Italy. He and his new bride, Giulia (Stefania Sandrelli), travel to Paris for their honeymoon, where Marcello also plans to assassinate his former college professor Luca Quadri (Enzo Tarascio), an outspoken anti-Fascist living in exile. But when Marcello meets the professor's young wife, Anna (Dominique Sanda), both his romantic and his political loyalties are tested.

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Critic Reviews for The Conformist

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (1)

  • It's easy to overlook how stark The Conformist's political and allegorical message is because it's just so damn beautiful.

    December 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's yesteryear remembered with a combination of nostalgia and repulsion, a queasy combination that defines the film and gives it a kind of hideous allure.

    November 24, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • Bertolucci's boldest and most expressive film ...

    August 26, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Photographed by Vittorio Storraro, it's a mlange of the sensual haziness of '70s European art-house fair and the high-contrast, anxious angles of film noir

    December 15, 2010 | Full Review…
  • The Conformist is celebrated for cinematographer Vittorio Storaro's tumbling autumn leaves, but its emotional impact involves a tumbling soul.

    December 15, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Conformist

  • Feb 02, 2021
    Shot and edited brilliantly, Bertolucci crafted the perfect narrative about how Fascist regimes are powered both by committed ideologues and by those performing as committed ideologues to just conform.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 01, 2014
    The Conformist is a film that has stuck with me since my initial viewing a few days ago, perhaps it deserves half a star higher. The slow style draws similarity to Melville's assassin film Le Samourai. Trintignant puts up a solid performance as the assassin (Marcello), but my issue with the character was he felt to smooth to be a universal conformist. Marcello feels like a charming individual, just not another man in the crowd. The film does reveal what it means with labeling Marcello as a conformist with the climax, which follows his fascist conformity. The second theme, sex, is also addressed in the end which I feel is the most important scene in the whole film. The last scene is chilling and revealing, crucial to the film.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 30, 2012
    Visually great, but really tough to sit through.
    Jared H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2012
    Started off very well, very stylized and compelling. The complex narrative is quite pleasurable to watch, however, by the end there is something lacking. I think the film gets weighed down by the character of Giula because she isn't as interesting as Marcello himself. The camera work and mis en scene are breathtaking. The relationship between him and Italo is very interesting as well till the very end. The ending though when Lino is discovered alive and we see Marcello turn on Italo and proclaim them both as fascists is troubling because we don't see the change that brings Marcello to that point. I felt in those kinds of instances that the film sacrificed psychology for style.
    G S Super Reviewer

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