The Conformist, an adaptation of the novel by Alberto Moravia, is a superior chronicle film that equates the rise and fall of Italian Fascism, from the early 1920s until 1943, with the short, dreadful, very romantic life of Marcello, a young man for whom conformity becomes a kind of obsession after a traumatic homosexual encounter in his youth.
Vincent Canby, The New York Times, 19 September 1970
A beautifully imagined portrait of moral and political cowardice, it stars Jean-Louis Trintignant as Clerici, a Mussolini-era aristocrat who is so bent on appearing “normal” that he volunteers to spy on his old university tutor for the secret police.
Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 29 February 2008
Bernardo Bertolucci’s expressionist masterpiece of 1970, The Conformist, is the movie that plugs postwar Italian cinema firmly and directly into the emerging 1970s renaissance in Hollywood film-making.
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 20 October 2010