The Conformist

Drama Rated: R 113 min
Saturday, January 12
Play The Conformist movie still

Bertolucci’s sixth feature, based on a novel by Alberto Moravia, The Conformist is a thriller set in pre-World War II Italy, firmly in the grip of Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship. It is a devastating portrait of an upper class intellectual who collaborates with the regime out of anomie, his own sense of alienation. He agrees to murder a leader of the resistance, who happens to be his old college professor. This political drama is paradoxically shot in a lush, romantic style, executed by the great cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Dominique Sanda, Stefania Sandrelli, and Pierre Clément. — Peter Biskind

The Conformist [is] a sumptuous, emotionally charged experience… If anyone can be called a born moviemaker, it’s Bertolucci. Thus far, he is the only young moviemaker who suggests that he may have the ability of a Griffith to transport us imaginatively into other pe­riods of history—and without this talent movies would be even more impoverished than they are.” — Pauline Kael, New Yorker
“There are excesses in the film, but they are balanced by scenes of such unusual beauty and vitality that I couldn’t care less.” — Vincent Canby, New York Times
“A great film, drunkenly beautiful and deeply disturbing.” — David Thomson, L.A. Weekly
directed by
Bernardo Bertolucci
written by
Alberto Moravia (novel), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay), Lee Kresel (written by: English version)
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio
Italian, French, Latin, Chinese
Italy, France, West Germany
production company
Paramount Pictures