The Leopard - Criterion Collection
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The Leopard - Criterion Collection
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One of the main characters is Prince Don Fabrizio of Salina (Burt Lancaster), who realizes that he must do something, if he wants the House of Salina to remain powerful in a new world that is going to be dominated by the middle class, not the aristocracy. The answer comes to him in the form of his nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon), an ally of the new forces that says that "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change".
Prince Salina is bitter regarding the need for compromise ("We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals and sheep, and the whole lot of us - leopards, lions, jackals and sheep - will continue to think ourselves the salt of the earth"), but he recognizes the wisdom of the path Tancredi suggests, and supports him. What is more, Prince Salina also gives his blessing to Tancredi's decision to marry Angelica (Claudia Cardinali), an extremely beautiful and well-connected woman from the middle class. Of course, that doesn't sit well with Concetta (Lucilla Morlacchi), Tancredi's counsin, who has fallen thoroughly in love with him.
I would like to point out that there is a lot more to "The Leopard" than the plot I just outlined, for example the beautiful Sicilian scenery, the wonderful music, and the political connotations of several scenes. From my point of view, this is the kind of film you can enjoy, but also learn from. On the whole, highly recommended!
The first DVD features an audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie. He provides the backstory to Visconti's career leading up to The Leopard. Cowie talks at length about the film in relation to its source material. This is a strong, informative track that is an excellent introduction to the cinema of Visconti.
The second DVD starts off with a fantastic, hour-long documentary, entitled "A Dying Breed: The Making of the Leopard," that was created especially for the DVD. There are interviews with most of the surviving cast and crew, including Claudia Cardinale and the film's screenwriters.
This is an excellent look at The Leopard from the origins of the novel to the film's botched U.S. version that truncated Visconti's vision and was re-dubbed with English-speaking actors.
There is also a "Goffredo Lombardo Interview" with the producer of The Leopard.
"The History of Risorgimento" examines the real historical figures and the times they lived in with the professor of Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Millicent Marcus. This is a really good primer for anyone who is unfamiliar with this particular period of Italian history.Read more ›
I speak of the original.
Under Count Lucchino Visconti di Modrone's direction and with the aid of 263 technicians, 4300 candles, 500 pairs of white gloves, 5113 costumes, real food, wine, 6 tailors with 56 seamsters, a laundry service, 4 bootmakers and 644 meters of track on which three cameras rolled, Burt Lancaster, Rina Morelli, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale and other magnificent actors transport us to a time of revolutonary change, destruction and renewal in Sicily, 1860.
Neither opulence nor poverty become so obtrusive that we forget what is going on with the Prince of Salina. The sets are magnificent: the villa at San Lorenzo is in real life Villa Boscogrande and the palazzo of the Princes Ponteleone where the great 44 1/2 minute ballroom scene takes place is none other than Palazzo Gangi in Palermo.
Amid all this splendor Prince Salina, the Leopard, senses the end of his world, of his own class. Actually he contributes to it by encouraging his penniless but charming nephew Tancredi (Delon) to marry the vulgar but extremely rich and beautiful Angelica, daughter of Calogero Sedara, one of the "up and coming" men of the post revolutionary world, a resident of the Prince's fief of Donnafugatta.
The Prince tries to make sense of this new world but the events leave a bitter taste in his mouth.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The Leopard is an Italian period film directed by Luchino Visconti, and released in 1963.
It centers around the Salinas, a family of aristocrats in southern Italy, during the... Read more
Perhaps easy to see why the original version's running time was clipped by 25 minutes, but stick with the original Italian version to see the full development of this study of... Read morePublished on Aug. 27 2010 by Wolverine
This is a film about the end of an age -- the age of the aristocrat. It also happens to be a film made by a member of the aristocracy. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Doug Anderson
Leopard is a grandiose epic film based on the Sicilian aristocrat Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa's novel that he wrote in respect to his grandfather. Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by Swederunner
I've seen this movie in the sixties, the one of most beautiful movies I've ever seen, and I never forgot it since. I consider The Leopard the best role of Burt Lancaster's. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004
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