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.
Finally, there is a "Promotional Materials" section with an extensive stills gallery, a vintage Italian newsreel of the film's premiere and its success at that year's Cannes Film Festival, and three trailers-one Italian and two American.
The third and final DVD features a remastered copy of the truncated U.S. version that was dubbed in English and included Lancaster's actual voice.
Criterion has pulled off quite a coup with this DVD set. This is the first time that The Leopard has ever appeared on DVD. Criterion has painstakingly restored the film to its original glory, with a flawless transfer and included both the Italian and U.S. versions. It is a fitting package for this cinematic masterpiece.