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
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Did You Know?


The title "Il Gattopardo" literally translates from Italian as "The Serval". In France, the film was released as "Le Guépard" ("The Cheetah"), and in UK and USA as "The Leopard". The serval, the cheetah and the leopard are in fact three different species of felines. 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 »


Don Francisco Ciccio Tumeo: It seems Donna Bastiana is a kind of animal. She can't read, write, or tell time. She can barely talk. She's even incapable of loving her own daughter. Good for bed, and that's all. But what can you expect? You know whose daughter she is? She's the daughter of one of your peasants from Runci. His name was Peppe Giunta. He was so filthy and savage that everyone called him Peppe Cowshit.
See more »


Referenced in Splendor (1989) See more »


Titoli di Testa / Viaggio A Donnafugata
Composed by Nino Rota
See more »

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User Reviews

Touches on the true meaning of aristocracy
3 June 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Burt Lancaster plays a true aristocrat in an aristocracy that is not an aristocracy. The degeneracy as well as the sophistication of the rival political factions in warring Sicily is shown, and the human insight of the central character that embodies true nobility, even though he is largely powerless to make his ideals reality. Garibaldi is invading Sicily with an army of a thousand, landing in Marsala and advancing through Palermo. Prince Salina (Lancaster) is a noble of a disappearing age. He refuses a place in the new senate and is unable to convince the new wave that the unification will not be good for Sicily. He is caught between different loyalties. A love story between his nephew (played by Alain Delon) and a rich merchant's daughter (played by Claudia Cardinale) interweaves the action and heightens the moral dilemmas that Prince Salina has to face. A brave film, opposing, exposing and opposed by government and church. The full length restored edition is a cinematic gem and the opulent costumes and scenery are a treasure to behold.

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