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The Leopard (1963)

Il gattopardo (original title)
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.

Director:

Luchino Visconti

Writers:

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (novel), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay and adaptation) | 4 more credits »

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Prince Don Fabrizio Salina
Claudia Cardinale ... Angelica Sedara / Bertiana
Alain Delon ... Tancredi Falconeri
Paolo Stoppa Paolo Stoppa ... Don Calogero Sedara
Rina Morelli ... Princess Maria Stella Salina
Romolo Valli ... Father Pirrone
Terence Hill ... Count Cavriaghi (as Mario Girotti)
Pierre Clémenti ... Francesco Paolo
Lucilla Morlacchi Lucilla Morlacchi ... Concetta
Giuliano Gemma ... Garibaldi's General
Evelyn Stewart ... Carolina (as Ida Galli)
Ottavia Piccolo ... Caterina
Carlo Valenzano Carlo Valenzano ... Paolo
Brook Fuller Brook Fuller ... Little Prince
Anna Maria Bottini Anna Maria Bottini ... Mademoiselle Dombreuil, the Governess
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Luchino Visconti's Enduring Romantic Adventure

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | Latin | French

Release Date:

29 March 1963 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Leopard See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

ITL 2,900,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Luchino Visconti wanted to cast Nikolay Cherkasov as Prince Salina (apparently, he saw the Russian actor in Sergei M. Eisenstein's movies Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944) and Alexander Nevsky (1938)). However, Cherkassov refused for unknown reasons. Burt Lancaster later told film critic Roger Ebert, "They wanted a Russian, but he was too old. They wanted [Laurence Olivier], but he was too busy. When I was suggested, Visconti said, 'Oh, no! A cowboy!' But I had just finished Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), which he saw, and he needed $3 million, which 20th Century-Fox would give them if they used an American star, and so the inevitable occurred. And it turned out to be a wonderful marriage". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Prince Don Fabrizio Salina: I often think about death. The idea doesn't frighten me. You young people can't understand. To you, death doesn't exist. It's something that happens to others.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The longest cut of "The Leopard" runs 205 minutes. This version (which has achieved almost legendary status) is (reputedly) available on video in Italy, and was shown theatrically (at least in Toronto, Canada), in the 1970's. For many years, only the 165-minute, English-dubbed version was available in North America. The 187-minute Criterion DVD release is currently the longest available version, and is, in fact the same version as the Italian DVD release at 180 minutes (the 7-minute time difference is due only to the PAL transfer rate differential). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Luchino Visconti (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Themes from The Leopard
Music by Nino Rota
See more »

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User Reviews

The lost world
10 August 1999 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

Could it be that Visconti's 1963 epic--long lying in ruins until its 1983 partial restoration--is the greatest movie ever made? The real subject of this movie, surely the wisest and most beautiful of all "period pictures," is the twentieth century--what has been gained and above all what is lost. Only a Marxist duke like Visconti could have had the split sensibility, and the anecdotal knowhow, to render Sicily just before its entry to modernity with the splendor and the caginess that radiates through every frame of this masterpiece. As the prince making final compromises before leaving the faded world he has inherited, Burt Lancaster gives one of the greatest performances in movies. Possessed of both an elegiac melancholy and a shrewd, dry-eyed appraisal of the failures and the glorious extroversion of its aristocratic world, THE LEOPARD is like a dream you can't bear to let go of. Contemporary viewers will see echoes of THE DEER HUNTER, 1900 and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE--and will see those films shrivel to the size of cocktail franks.


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