For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
4,237 Ratings

The Conformist

Il conformista

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
Italy, France, 1970
Crime, Thriller, History
  • Italian
  • English


An Italian man is drawn into the fascist party when he’s instructed to assassinate his former college professor, a vocal anti-fascist living in exile in France during the 1930s. Based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia.

Our take

Regularly hailed as one of the greatest films ever made (and rightly so), Bernardo Bertolucci’s supreme masterpiece is both a 70s political thriller and a surreal, highly sensual journey to Europe’s troubled past. It was a huge influence on Coppola for The Godfather, and is essential to this day.

The Conformist Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1970 | 2 wins including: Interfilm Award - Recommendation


Academy Awards

1972 | Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

One of the greatest-looking movies ever made, it’s easily the most important revival screening in town this week. It remains a career best for cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who also shot Apocalypse Now and Warren Beatty’s Reds. The Conformist features rich, deep colors and lots of gorgeous and precise camera movement; you could watch it with the sound off and it would be no less impressive.
October 13, 2017
Read full article
Bertolucci presents Alberto Moravia’s tale in a complex flashback structure full of Ophulsian lighting and some borrowed camera movements from Welles… Marcello’s repressed and displaced homosexual energy is the highlight of the spontaneous ideas appearing as oneiric, intercut flashbacks.
June 08, 2016
Read full article
If Trintignant portrays Marcello with purposeful banality, Bertolucci uses elaborately stylized composition and cutting to tell the protagonist’s story. Compositions regularly marginalize characters against vast backdrops, shoving heads down to the bottom of the frame to lend greater importance to cavernous, fascist architecture and classical Italian décor. This produces innumerable great shots, most strikingly in the depictions of the rotting wealth of Marcello’s family.
November 24, 2014
Read full article

Related films