The Leopard (1963)
"Il gattopardo" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, History  |  15 July 1963 (USA)
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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.


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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:
Paolo Stoppa ...
Rina Morelli ...
Romolo Valli ...
Count Cavriaghi (as Mario Girotti)
Pierre Clémenti ...
Lucilla Morlacchi ...
Giuliano Gemma ...
Ida Galli ...
Ottavia Piccolo ...
Carlo Valenzano ...
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


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

15 July 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Leopard  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


ITL 2,900,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£39,102 (UK) (2 May 2003)


£112,329 (UK) (9 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?


The hundreds of candles in these scenes had to be replaced frequently. They are the ostensible light source but the Technicolor film speeds and movie camera lenses of the early 1960s were too slow for interiors like this to be properly lit without additional lights. So a lighting rig had to be put above the chandeliers. The breakthrough film for the use of natural lighting in interiors was Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon in 1975, which used a very fast Zeiss lens developed for space satellite photography. The heat of the lights rapidly melted the candles, so filming had to be interrupted while they were replaced. Also, the white gloves worn by all the guests became stained with sweat and Visconti insisted that they should also be replaced. A laundry room was set up nearby for this purpose. See more »


There is much kissing of hands during the movie. According to the book "Histoire de la politesse de 1789 à nos jours (History of good manners from 1789 till today)" by F. Rouvillois, the kissing of hands only appeared at the turn of the XXth century when the story in the movie was supposed to take place in 1860-1862, more than 40 years before. See more »


Count Cavriaghi: How big is this palace anyway? How many rooms are there?
Tancredi Falconeri: Nobody knows, not even Uncle. He says a palace in which you know every room isn't worth living in.
See more »


Referenced in Costumes from the Films of Visconti (1978) See more »


Themes from The Leopard
Music by Nino Rota
See more »

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User Reviews

A extraordinary masterpiece: see the UNCUT version.
1 February 2000 | by (warren michigan) – See all my reviews

If you ever have the chance to see this magnificent film in an uncut, fully restored version, with good subtitles...DO IT. This is a film of astonishing beauty, bristling with ideas and magnificent performances.Like all truly great films it is full of sublime SCENES: Prince Tancredi riding off to war in his carriage., the astonishing ball sequence, when Prince Salina gazes at the painting and comes to grips with his own mortality,and the unforgettable end, when Salina kneels on the ground and speaks to the stars.Coppola, Cimino, and Scorsese all saw this film and learned from it..the Godfather echoes it repeatedly( in fact all THREE Godfathers echo it repeatedly). Scorsese once ranked it with The Red Shoes, Citizen Kane, Otto e Mezzo and The Searchers as one of the films he "lives by." Seeing it, one understands.

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