The Conformist (1970)

BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Original title:  Il Conformista

Italy/France/West Germany, 1970.  Mars Film, Marianne Productions, Maran Film.  Screenplay by Bernardo Bertolucci, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1971.  Golden Globe Awards 1971

 is excellent as a follower of Mussolini’s fascist politics who lives the completely spotless life of his superiors: he is marrying the right woman, stands for the right conservative beliefs and disdains the right people. Trouble is, the whole thing is a charade and underneath it all (though he’s not always conscious of it), he is miserable. His sexual proclivities actually take him more towards men, and his latest assignment of rubbing out a former teacher of his gives him more conflict than he’s willing to admit. Bernardo Bertolucci’s most critically acclaimed film has all the right elements: a sterling cast ( is memorable as Trintignant’s flaky fiancée), Vittorio Storaro’s catchy cinematography and rich production design by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, plus an intelligent screenplay and strong direction. The result of it all when put together isn’t as passionate as it should be, but it is definitely admirable and one can easily see why it stirred up so much attention when it was originally released.

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