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
The original Italian theatrical cut of "The Leopard" ("Il Gattopardo") reportedly ran 205 minutes. General consensus that the running time was excessive led Visconti to edit the film shortly after its premiere. The version that won the Palme d'Or at Cannes reportedly ran 195 minutes (based on an Italian newspaper account of the day). Visconti's preferred cut ran 187 minutes. It is this version that is now available on DVD from the Criterion Collection. An English-dubbed version, re-cut by 20th Century Fox for U.S. and U.K. release, runs approximately 161 minutes, and is also included in the Criterion set. See more »
A extraordinary masterpiece: see the UNCUT version.
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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