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Before the Revolution (DVD + Blu-ray) [1964]

Francesco Barilli , Adriana Asti , Bernardo Bertolucci    Suitable for 12 years and over   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Before the Revolution (DVD + Blu-ray) [1964] + The Conformist [Blu-ray] [1970]
Price For Both: £28.77

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Product details

  • Actors: Francesco Barilli, Adriana Asti
  • Directors: Bernardo Bertolucci
  • Format: Black & White, Colour, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0051FBKX0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,731 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A film by Bernardo Bertolucci

Young, middle-class and idealistic, Fabrizio struggles to break away from his bourgeois background. Bertolucci's beautifully operatic film, winner of the Cannes Critics' Week Prize in 1964, celebrates the passion and ideology of the 1960s, and is presented here newly restored with a selection of revealing extra features.

Special features

  • Presented in Standard Definition and High Definition (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • On-set footage (1963, 4 mins, DVD only): extract from Italian TV series Cinema d'oggi featuring an interview with the young Bertolucci
  • Interview with Bernardo Bertolucci (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 46 mins, DVD only): the director discusses Before the Revolution
  • Interviews with Roberto Perpignani, Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 26 mins, DVD only)
  • Working Copy (Giuseppe Bertolucci, 2003, 31 mins, DVD only): comparisons between the working and final versions of the film
  • Bernardo Bertolucci in conversation with David Thompson (2011, 12 mins, DVD only): Q&A recorded at BFI Southbank

Italy | 1964 | black & white, and colour | Italian language with optional English subtitles | 112 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.85:1

Disc 1: BD25 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital (320kbps)

Region 2 DVD
Region B Blu-ray

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Before the Revolution is a ravishingly cinematic piece of work, with Bertolucci showing a real confidence with both camera and location that both serves and enhances the script. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's an outstanding piece of cinema first and foremost - the politics is more a reflection of a universal weakness of character than a specific moment in time a la Godard (the film was adapted and updated from Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma). Even the movie references don't gall the way they almost always do in modern films because Bertolucci not only puts them into context with the other arts (literature, music, painting, photography) but makes them personal obsessions that are part of character - the movie buff isn't just there to talk about Bertolucci's favorite films, or even to point out that in cinema style is content: it's simply how that character communicates by equating life to art. A surprisingly exciting piece of cinema.

The very impressive Italian 2-disc set offers a superb widescreen transfer with English subtitles and a wide array of interviews, all with English subtitles, with cast, crew, academics and directors influenced by the film, including several not included on the BFI's forthcoming Blu-ray release. The full list, for those who are interested: Travelling Companions (Enzo Siciliano, Adriano Apra and Giovanni Bertolucci), Self-Portrait (Bernardo Bertolucci, 45 minutes), Gina and Fabrizio (Adriana Asti and Francesco Barilli), The Workshop of the Young Masters (Roberto Perpignani, Vittorio Storaro and Ennio Morricone), Re-Readings (Francesco Casetti, Giovanna Grignaffini and Lucilla Albano) and After the Revolution (Marco Tullio Giordana and Marco Bellocchio).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film, relevant to today's society. 21 April 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
There would not be many people who remember seeing this in a movie theatre, we're getting older. It is wonderful to see it today so well mastered and sub-titled. Bertolucci is politically well-aware and prepared to let his progressive views known. Nevertheless, as the title proclaims, he can see merit in chronicling the lives of the bourgeois protagonists whom he has studied so well. Their confusions and entanglements are familiar even today because our time is similar in so many respects.

I found the characters so convincing that I forgot I was looking at people paid to act in front of a camera.
We KNOW these people, although they are Italians, living 60 odd years ago. This is because the same
problems are affecting middle-class educated people in our society today.

The time when this film was made somehow feels familiar, despite certain technological changes. And Bertolucci accurately captures the atmosphere in which we and our friends live, with the confusions and uncertainties characteristic "before a revolution".
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOST MASTERPIECE 26 Mar 2013
Ravishingly beautiful acting, locations, editing and cinematography. Incredible expressionistic handheld camerawork.
50 years old and still bursting with ideas and energy that put modern Hollywood in the shadows of cliche.
Not only does it homage Godard, it actually betters much of his work by adding a truly sincere deep emotional core to the story.
The observant of you will see how a scene in this film was a direct influence on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Also the crisp black and white photography and music clearly inspired Martin Scorcese's Raging Bull.
Incredible to think this film was made by a 22 year old. He must have been a prodigy.
He clearly used a wheelchair to get many of the amazing tracking shots around the beautiful city of Parma and the Opera House.
This film contains what is still one of cinema's greatest achievements: A single handheld shot that is 5 minutes long that spins around a room, with multiple focus pulls. It's when the lover's kiss in a room and it absolutely allows you to enter their passion. This shot was shown on the Mark Cousins' History of Cinema documentary.
More than anything this film is a playful, passionate document of what can be achieved with a camera, an actor and a light.
A true masterpiece.
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