Moments of Italian Cinema
Moments of Italian Cinema
The conformist (Il conformista)
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Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Subject: Alberto Moravia
Screenplay: Bernardo Bertolucci from the novel of the same name by Alberto Moravia
Photography: Vittorio Storaro
Scenography: Ferdinando Scarfiotti 
Costumes: Gitt Magrini
Music: George Delerue
Editing: Franco Arcalli
(Italy, 1970)
Duration: 117'
Production: Mars (Roma) Marianne (Parigi)

Marcello Clerici: Jean-Louis  Trintignant
Giulia: Stefania Sandrelli
Anna Quadri: Dominique Sanda
Lino Seminara: Pierre Clémenti
Prof.Quadri: Lino Seminara
Manganiello: Gastone Moschin
Italo: Josè Quaglio

Paris 1938, and Marcello Clerici is absorbed in thought, dwelling on the past. He is a young philosophy teacher whose life has been marked by a dramatic event: he believes that as a young boy he killed Lino Seminara, a driver who attempted to have homosexual relations with him. From that moment on, he is constantly in search of something that might relieve the feelings of remorse that burden him. When fascism rises to power, Clerici, pursuing his own desire for normality, welcomes the regime with open arms and becomes an active part of it: this enables him to become part of a society which considers order and discipline its emblems, a society in which evil and violence have become widespread models of behaviour. His private life too reveals his clear conformist tendency: plagued by a morphinist mother and a violent father, Clerici is engaged to Giulia, a flirtatious and ambitious lower-middle class girl, yet he is convinced that she too, with marriage, will become a ?normal? married woman. The chance to defeat his sense of guilt presents itself in the shape of a proposal from Ovra, the secret fascist police: he must lead their hit-men to a certain professor Quadri, his former university teacher and now a political exile in France. By helping in this crime, Marcello believes he can make amends for the murder he committed as a young boy: this time, indeed, the death is justified by the principles in which he believes. Using the classic honeymoon in Paris as a cover story, Marcello meets Quadri and his wife Anna, an open-minded and very beautiful French woman who becomes inseparable from Giulia, his wife. Marcello, who has fallen for Anna, tries to avoid becoming entangled in the impending murder, but by now there is no turning back: during a car ride he witnesses the murder of Quadri and Anna in silence. The years pass by and on 25th July 1943, as Rome is rejoicing over the fall of fascism, quite by chance Marcello bumps into the man he thought he had killed as a young boy. If he is even aware of the dreadful acts false remorse led him to commit, once again he adapts his behaviour to the new situation: he accuses Seminara of the crime he himself committed, betrays a fascist friend to the authorities and joins those who are celebrating the fall of the regime.