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Gruppo di famiglia in un interno
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Conversation Piece (1974) More at IMDbPro »Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (original title)

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Conversation Piece -- Eleven years after The Leopard, the revered Italian maestro Luchino Visconti reteamed with the iconic Burt Lancaster on the lavish Conversation Piece [Gruppo di famiglia in un interno]. 

A retired American professor (Lancaster) lives a solitary and luxurious life in a house in Rome. His world takes an unexpected turn when he is forced to rent part of his house to a countess and her companions: a lover, a daughter and the daughter's boyfriend. Forced into interaction with the unruly younger group, the professor's growing fascination begins to stir the possibilities of a life he had previously kept at arm's length.

A sumptuous, grandly enjoyable chamber drama with a wry sense of humour, Conversation Piece features an international ensemble cast including Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano and Stefano Patrizi (with uncredited cameos by Claudia Cardinale and Dominique Sanda). The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Visconti's penultimate film in a new dual-format edition from a brand new 2K restoration


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Down 49% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Enrico Medioli (story)
Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Conversation Piece on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 June 1977 (USA) See more »
A reclusive, retired professor is faced with confronting modernity when a group of vulgar youths, led by an obnoxious marchesa, take up residence in his unused upper residence. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
12 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Attempt on conversation in contrary coexistence See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Il Professore

Helmut Berger ... Konrad Huebel

Silvana Mangano ... Marchesa Bianca Brumonti
Claudia Marsani ... Lietta Brumonti
Stefano Patrizi ... Stefano
Elvira Cortese ... Erminia
Philippe Hersent ... Portiere
Guy Tréjan ... Venditore di quadri

Jean-Pierre Zola ... Blanchard
Umberto Raho ... Commissario
Enzo Fiermonte ... Commissario
Romolo Valli ... Micheli
George Clatot
Valentino Macchi
Vittorio Fanfoni
Lorenzo Piani
Margherita Horowitz ... Domestica
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Claudia Cardinale ... Moglie del professore (uncredited)

Dominique Sanda ... Madre del professore (uncredited)

Directed by
Luchino Visconti 
Writing credits
Enrico Medioli (story)

Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay) and
Enrico Medioli (screenplay) and
Luchino Visconti (screenplay)

Produced by
Giovanni Bertolucci .... producer: Rusconi Film S.p.A.
Original Music by
Franco Mannino 
Cinematography by
Pasqualino De Santis 
Film Editing by
Ruggero Mastroianni 
Production Design by
Mario Garbuglia 
Set Decoration by
Carlo Gervasi 
Dario Simoni 
Makeup Department
Maria Teresa Corridoni .... hair stylist
Alberto De Rossi .... makeup artist
Aldo Signoretti .... hairdresser assistant
Eligio Trani .... makeup assistant
Production Management
Lucio Trentini .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Albino Cocco .... assistant director
Alessio Girotti .... second second assistant director
Giorgio Treves .... second second assistant director
Louise Vincent .... second assistant director
Art Department
Alvaro Belsole .... construction department chief
Alfredo D'Angelo .... upholstery
Ferdinando Giovannoni .... assistant art director
Nazzareno Piana .... second assistant art director
Italo Tomassi .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Claudio Maielli .... sound
Decio Trani .... sound assistant
Special Effects by
Eros Bacciucchi .... special effects (as E. Bacciucchi)
Giovanni Bacciucchi .... special effects (as G. Bacciucchi)
Camera and Electrical Department
Adolfo Bartoli .... assistant camera
Mario Cimini .... camera operator
Aldo Colanzi .... chief grip
Nino Cristiani .... camera operator
Luciano Leoni .... gaffer
Gianni Maddaleni .... assistant camera
Marcello Mastrogirolamo .... assistant camera
Mario Tursi .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Giuseppina Delli Carpini .... wardrobe mistress: assistant
Maria Fanetti .... wardrobe mistress
Piero Tosi .... costumes: Mrs. Mangano's clothes have been created by
Editorial Department
Lea Mazzocchi .... assistant editor
Alfredo Menchini .... second assistant editor
Music Department
Franco Mannino .... conductor
Other crew
Renata Franceschi .... script girl
Enzo Lucarini .... accountant
Remo Stampiggioni .... accountant
Federico Starace .... production secretary
Federico Tocci .... production assistant
Renato Cortesi .... voice dubbing: Stefano Patrizi (uncredited)
Massimo Foschi .... voice dubbing: Burt Lancaster (uncredited)
Adalberto Maria Merli .... voice dubbing: Helmut Berger (uncredited)
Renato Massimiani .... thanks: Expert
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gruppo di famiglia in un interno" - Italy (original title)
See more »
Italy:126 min | Spain:115 min (DVD edition) | Israel:117 min (Video Version)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:M (original rating) | Australia:MA15+ | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Italy:VM14 | Sweden:11 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:18 (video rating) (2003) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

The first film Luchino Visconti directed after suffering a stroke in 1972.See more »
Miscellaneous: When the professor finds the young people naked in his flat, Lietta quotes a poem at him, saying (according to the Australian DVD subtitles) that it was Ordon's last poem. This is a misspelling of Auden (W.H. Auden).See more »
Marchesa Bianca Brumonti:He was too young to have learned this final nasty fact: grief is as precarious as anything else.See more »
Movie Connections:
Testarda io (La mia solitudine)See more »


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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Attempt on conversation in contrary coexistence, 13 April 2008
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland

Beautiful interiors and the detail of a picture by Arthur Davies observed through magnifying glass by an elderly Professor. The picture occurs to show a family... Can anyone realize that this painting shall soon constitute a prelude to such unpredictable events and reflections?

Luchino Visconti did not make many movies in his career because he insisted on saying that his films related to the things that really captivated him. When he wanted to say something significant, he just made up his mind to commit himself to another production. And of course there are better and worse movies of his, naturally; however, I personally think that CONVERSATION PIECE (or rather the more accurate title GRUPPO DI FAMIGLIA IN UN INTERNO - group of the family within) is one of those movies that intensely reveals a desire to convey a message. Count Visconti is much different and older here than 30 years earlier in his OSSESSIONE but equally powerful.

It is truly a psychologically captivating image of a communication among people who are absolutely different in their coexistence. The Professor (Burt Lancaster) is a man of clearly defined ideas, an elderly intellectual who has already set down his life and seeks to be left alone among his "mute pictures." However, a group of people intervene and insist on him to rent the elegant upper flat. These are Marchesa Bianca Brumonti (Silvana Mangano) with her lover Konrad (Helmut Berger), and her daughter Lietta (Claudia Marsani) with her boyfriend Stefano (Stefano Patrizi). Although they seem to be nice people at first sight, they occur to be a true riddle for the Professor who is gradually losing contact with reality. Their vulgar talk harms him and their open bisexuality shocks him. Things turn worse and, consequently, the suspicious events make the Professor more and more annoyed till the climax of events: emotional conversation. Then, the atmosphere gets most exciting, Marchesa drinks rare evening coffee and people harm themselves: some physically, some emotionally and some in both ways. Yet, no one can predict what this horrific climax moment will cause...

Thanks to unpredictable content and good action, the film occurs to be the Visconti's production of particular impression and interest. But that is not the only aspect that talks for the movie. Art is expressed in beautiful images, excellent interiors comparable to IL GATTOPARDO and some brilliant performances. I say "some" because not everyone gives a top notch performance. Burt Lancaster does the continuation of the magnetic job he did as Prince Salina in IL GATTOPARDO: he is very convincing as the Professor portraying a man desirous of stability, a bit intolerant and maniacal as he described elderly people, but overall a warm hearted reliable character so anxious with all sorts of sudden changes (moral ones too). Silvana Mangano is appealing as Marchesa Bianca: eminent, partly decadent, very elegant and nervous. She represents the other side of the older generation escaping not to books or paintings like the Professor but rather to life of luxury and extraordinary journeys. Yet, consequently, she also loses link with reality. She is more acknowledged of the world and alleged information than real dangers within her family. Youngsters, however, do not appear that convincing. Helmut Berger, though a good actor especially after his role in LUDWIG, appears to be a bit pathetic in the role of Konrad, Claudia Marsani is rather sensual and beautiful than talented and Stefano Patrizi does not appeal to me at all. Some good job among the supporting cast is done by Elvira Cortese as Erminia, the housekeeper who has some wonderfully witty moments.

But finally, I should address the most important aspect of the movie that makes it so impressive and so unique. It is the psychology of what is going on in the entire film, it is the constant attempt at communicating rather simple ideas, yet failing to do that. Why? Because the contrast is too serious: intellect vs parroting, mutual goodness vs hedonism, good will vs good fun, idealism vs materialism, the old vs the young with all specific fears and desires. That is the gist of the movie, that is what made the Professor realize and makes us realize a significant fact: it's really possible to speak one language, use the same codes, yet absolutely fail to communicate and coexist. It makes people remark the division of society, which is not a very privileged fact, but true one, unfortunately.

CONVERSATION PIECE is a film I'd recommend you to see. But remember one thing: it really has to do with the theme you are not likely to find elsewhere: shallow understanding of nothing and profound understanding of everything. 8/10

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