The Leopard

( 6 )

Overview

Arguably Luchino Visconti's best film and certainly the most personal of his historical epics, The Leopard chronicles the fortunes of Prince Fabrizio Salina and his family during the unification of Italy in the 1860s. Based on the acclaimed novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, published posthumously in 1958 and subsequently translated into all European languages, the picture opens as Salina Burt Lancaster learns that Garibaldi's troops have embarked in Sicily. While the Prince sees the event as an obvious ...
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Overview

Arguably Luchino Visconti's best film and certainly the most personal of his historical epics, The Leopard chronicles the fortunes of Prince Fabrizio Salina and his family during the unification of Italy in the 1860s. Based on the acclaimed novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, published posthumously in 1958 and subsequently translated into all European languages, the picture opens as Salina Burt Lancaster learns that Garibaldi's troops have embarked in Sicily. While the Prince sees the event as an obvious threat to his current social status, his opportunistic nephew Tancredi Alain Delon becomes an officer in Garibaldi's army and returns home a war hero. Tancredi starts courting the beautiful Angelica Claudia Cardinale, a daughter of the town's newly appointed Mayor, Don Calogero Sedara Paolo Stoppa. Though the Prince despises Don Calogero as an upstart who made a fortune on land speculation during the recent social upheaval, he reluctantly agrees to his nephew's marriage, understanding how much this alliance would mean for the impecunious Tancredi. Painfully realizing the aristocracy's obsolescence in the wake of the new class of bourgeoisie, the Prince later declines an offer from a governmental emissary to become a senator in the new Parliament in Turin. The closing section, an almost hour-long ball, is often cited as one of the most spectacular sequences in film history. Burt Lancaster is magnificent in the first of his patriarchal roles, and the rest of the cast, especially Delon and Cardinale, become almost perfect incarnations of the novel's characters. Filmed in glorious Techniscope and rich in period detail, the film is a remarkable cinematic achievement in all departments. The version that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival ran 205 minutes. Inexplicably, the picture was subsequently distributed by 20th Century Fox in a poorly dubbed, 165-min. English-language version, using inferior color process. The restored Italian-language version, supervised by cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, appeared in 1990, though the longest print still ran only 187 minutes.
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Special Features

Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie; The 161-minute american release, with english-language dialogue, including Burt Lancaster's own voice; A dying breed: the making of "the legend," an hour-long documentary featuring interviews with actress Claudia Cardinale, screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico, rotunno, filmmaker Sydbey Pollack, and many others; Video interview with producer Goffredo Lombardo; Video interview with scholar Millicent Marcus on the history behind The Leopard; Original theatrical trailers and newsreels; Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes production photos
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Il Gattopardo is perhaps much too cinematically opulent to fit comfortably into director Luchino Visconti's body of neo-realist work, but it is likely his most personal film, with a powerful central protagonist (Burt Lancaster) who resembles aspects of Visconti's own life. Visconti was among those wealthy Italians who became attracted to Marxist ideals, but who was not willing to relinquish his own personal wealth or status. There is at least some parallel to the central character in Il Gattopardo, an aristocrat who aware of his own impending obsolescence. The film is meticulously produced, with great attention to period detail. Giuseppe Rotunno's cinematography is a substantial asset, as is Nino Rota's orchestral score and Mario Garbuglia's production design. Several versions of the film exist, most of them considerably shortened from the original theatrically released version.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/2010
  • UPC: 715515060219
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Language: Italiano
  • Time: 3:05:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 98

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burt Lancaster Prince Fabrizio Salina
Alain Delon Tancredi
Claudia Cardinale Angelica Sedara, Bertiana
Paolo Stoppa Don Calogero Sedara
Rina Morelli Maria Stella
Serge Reggiani Don Ciccio Tumeo
Romolo Valli Father Pirrone
Ottavia Piccolo Caterina
Ivo Garrani Col. Pallavicino
Lucilla Morlacchi Concetta
Leslie French Cavalier Chevalley
Pierre Clémenti Francesco Paolo
Carlo Valenzano Paolo
Ida Galli Carolina
Mario Girotti Count Cavriaghi
Olimpia Cavalli Mariannina
Marino Masé Tutor
Brook Fuller Little Prince
Giuliano Gemma Garibaldino General
Marie Bell
Vittorio Duse
Tina Lattanzi
Alberto Carlo Lolli
Giovanni Materassi
Carlo Palmucci
Dante Posani
Stelvio Rosi
Marcella Rovena
Amalia Troiani
Alina Zalewska
Technical Credits
Luchino Visconti Director, Screenwriter
Pasquale Festa Campanile Screenwriter
Suso Cecchi D'Amico Screenwriter
Alberto de Rossi Makeup
Franco Ferrara Musical Direction/Supervision
Massimo Franciosa Screenwriter
Mario Garbuglia Production Designer
Goffredo Lombardo Producer
Enrico Medioli Screenwriter
Nino Rota Score Composer
Giuseppe Rotunno Cinematographer
Mario Serandrei Editor
Piero Tosi Costumes/Costume Designer
Giuseppe Verdi Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Highly recommended...a feast for the eyes.

    The book and the film are both excellent. It's worth it just to see Burt Lancaster dubbed in Italian and for the lavish ball at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

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    Posted July 28, 2010

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    Posted October 31, 2012

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    Posted March 20, 2011

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    Posted November 20, 2010

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    Posted November 15, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews