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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?


Burt Lancaster impressed the originally skeptical Luchino Visconti by letting it be known that he had read the book and was lobbying for the part. Fox asked Visconti to choose from among Anthony Quinn, Spencer Tracy and Lancaster. Visconti made up his mind after seeing Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Lancaster later appeared in Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974). See more »


In the first scenes of the movie, Burt Lancaster goes to his girlfriend's home, who is about 40 year's old in 1860, but she has a vaccine scar on her left arm. The first vaccine was found in 1885 by Louis Pasteur. See more »


Prince Don Fabrizio Salina: I belong to an unlucky generation, astride between two worlds and ill-at-ease in both. And what is more, I am completely without illusions. Now, what would the Senate do with me, an inexperienced legislator who lacks the faculty for self-deception, an essential requisite for wanting to guide others. No, I cannot lift a finger in politics. It would be bitten off.
See more »


Referenced in Gangs of New York (2002) See more »


Composed by Nino Rota
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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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