Salon Italia - In Italian with English subtitles
Introduction and post screening discussion with Nick Walker
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Writers: Alberto Moravia (novel), Bernardo Bertolucci (screenplay)
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin
113 mins, color, 1971
Winner of David di Donatello Awards 1972
The film is a political drama, a case study in the psychology of conformism and fascism. The screenplay was written by Bertolucci based on the 1951 novel The Conformist by Alberto Moravia.
This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussolini’s secret police and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there: look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello's mind.