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The Leopard (1963)

Il gattopardo (original title)
Approved | | Drama, History | 15 July 1963 (USA)
The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.



(novel), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rina Morelli ...
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Count Cavriaghi (as Mario Girotti)
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Brook Fuller ...
Anna Maria Bottini ...


In the 1860s, a dying aristocracy struggles to maintain itself against a harsh Sicilian landscape. The film traces with a slow and deliberate rhythm the waning of the noble home of Fabrizio Corbero, Prince of Salina (the Leopard) and the corresponding rise to eminence of the enormously wealthy ex-peasant Don Calogero Sedara. The prince himself refuses to take active steps to halt the decline of his personal fortunes or to help build a new Sicily but his nephew Tancredi, Prince of Falconeri swims with the tide and assures his own position by marrying Don Calogero's beautiful daughter Angelica. The climatic scene is the sumptuous forty-minute ball, where Tancredi introduces Angelica to society. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | noble | 1860s | sicily | nephew | See All (100) »


Luchino Visconti's Enduring Romantic Adventure


Drama | History


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

15 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Leopard  »

Box Office


ITL 2,900,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£39,102 (UK) (2 May 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (cut) | (cut) | | (premiere) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Fulco della Verdura, director Luchino Visconti's close friend, Visconti's affection for Alain Delon initially caused some favoritism. "He was the only actor to have a dressing room; poor Burt Lancaster stood around for hours waiting." See more »


During one of the long shots of the journey to Donnafugata, a blur crosses the screen near the center, apparently caused by a fly crawling over the lens. See more »


Prince Don Fabrizio Salina: You know what is happening in our country? Nothing... simply an imperceptible replacement of one class for another. The middle class doesn't want to destroy us. It simply wants to take our place... and very gently.
See more »


Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Composed by Nino Rota
See more »

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User Reviews

a film that just gets better with age, yours and its own!
18 July 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

I was rounding off a two year study in France in 1963 and I remember gazing at the marquee of a cinema in Paris shortly after the Cannes Festival, seeing "Le Guepard" advertised, beautiful Claudia Cardinale waltzing with handsome, courtly, Burt Lancaster. At the time, I made a mental note to see the movie but in fact, saw it for the first time many years later, on a black and white TV no less! Chopped up and edited as it was, in black and white, the film moved me immensely. I was absolutely thunderstruck by the dialogue which, when I read the Prince of Lampedusa's novel shortly after, I realized had been "lifted" verbatim from the novel in large chunks. What a novel and what a worthy and noble tribute to it Visconti has paid. I now own the Criterion three disk set of Il Gattopardo and never tire of watching what is for me, one of the great films of the twentieth century. Burt Lancaster, as the Prince of Salina, was an inspired choice for the cinematic role, though apparently he was not Luchino Visconti's choice. I think the Prince of Salina is Lancaster's finest performance.

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