Time Out says
A film with an even greater thrust of excitement than the Tavianis' subsequent Padre Padrone. Mastroianni, at his most convincingly dissolute, plays a spineless aristocrat who wanders through Italy in 1816 trying to rub out his past association with a radical group, without daring to tell them he's lost their faith in Napoleonic revolution. The tangled and sumptuously melodramatic plot allows the Tavianis to lay into left-wing idealism and gullibility without departing from their own commitment for a second. Ennio Morricone's score tops a rousing and passionate entertainment.