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
According to Claudia Cardinale, the period corset she wore during filming was so narrow that Burt Lancaster could encircle her waist with his large hands, and that it was so constricting that it bruised her flesh so badly that she showed Luchino Visconti, presumably to gain his sympathy for the pain she endured to make herself credible in the role. 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 20th century when the story in the movie was supposed to take place in 1860-1862, more than 40 years before. See more »
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 »
Glamorous as well as spectacular historical drama about the uprising of 1860's Sicily during the unification of Italy
This known novel is magnificently brought to the screen with colorful images , impressive soundtrack , visually absorbing cinematography and sensitive as well as thoughtful events . An epic story dealing with Fabrizio Cordero , the Prince of Salina , the Leopard (Burt Lancaster , though 20th Century Fox asked Visconti to choose from among Anthony Quinn, Spencer Tracy and Lancaster ; Luchino wanted Laurence Olivier for the title role and he wanted to cast Nikolai Cherkasov , too). Salina is an upright aristocrat who attempts coming to terms with the new rulers of Sicily as well as overcome his family and class amid the troublesome social upheavals . Fabrizio observes the waning of his noble home and attempts to help build a new Sicily but his nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon , though Horst Buchholz turned down the role) , Prince of Falconeri (Alain Delon) assures his status by marrying Don Calogero Sedara's (Paolo Stoppa) gorgeous daughter Angelica (Claudia Cardinale) .
Luchino Visconti's enduring romantic adventure deals with the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily , and it is paced in slow and deliberate rhythm . The film traces the rising and falling of Fabrizio Corbero , Prince of Salina and the corresponding rise to eminence of the hugely wealthy ex-peasant Don Calogero . However , the film results to be overlong , it seems longer than its 187 minutes running time . Based on the classic novel written by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa , being scripted by Suso Cecchi D'Amico , Pasquale Festa Campanile and considered to be the best screen adaptation ever . Such was Luchino Visconti's attention to detail that it was shot in actual historical palaces , including authentic pictures , objects and tools . Concluding the climatic scene in the sumptuous forty-minute ball and long banquet where Tancredi introduces Angelica to society , it is deemed to be one of the greatest set pieces in film history . Originally released in USA in a badly dubbed 165 minutes version , picture was restored in 1983 to proper form .
Masterful interpretation by the great Burt Lancaster , The Prince of Salina , a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity who tries to preserve his family against their dark destination and nice acting by Alain Delon as his ambitious nephew who swims with the tide and assures his own position . Support cast is pretty well , they give top-notch performances such as Paolo Stoppa , Romolo Valli , Terence Hill , Pierre Clémenti , Giuliano Gemma and Ida Galli . Colorful and evocative cinematography in Technirama wide screen system, by Giuseppe Rotunno . Classical and emotive score by Nino Rota . The motion picture was masterfully directed by Luchino Visconti and was shot over 11 of the hottest weeks of the year , being Martin Scorsese's favorite movie .
This celebrated story was well based on historical deeds , these were the followings : Sicily was invaded by "A corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in Sicily in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, ruled by the Bourbons" . The Expedition of the Thousand was an event of the Italian Risorgimento that took place in 1860. A corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in Sicily in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, ruled by the Bourbons. The project was an ambitious and risky venture aiming to conquer, with a thousand men, a kingdom with a larger regular army and a more powerful navy. The expedition was a success and concluded with a plebiscite that brought Naples and Sicily into the Kingdom of Sardinia, the last territorial conquest before the creation of the Kingdom of Italy on 17 March 1861.The sea venture was the only desired action that was jointly decided by the "four fathers of the nation" Giuseppe Mazzini, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel II, and Camillo Cavour, pursuing divergent goals. It is difficult to determine the true instigator: Mazzini desired to release the Mezzogiorno and Rome, whereas Garibaldi wanted to conquer in the name of Victor Emmanuel II, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and continue to Rome to complete the unity of Italy, and Cavour wanted to avoid at all costs conflict with his French ally, Napoleon III, who protected Rome.The expedition also brings new large collective ambiguity and misunderstanding: for Garibaldi, it is to achieve a united Italy; to the Sicilian bourgeoisie, an independent Sicily as part of the kingdom of Italy, and for the mass farmers, the end of oppression and land distribution
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