- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The punch line
- John D. McClary
Towards the end of the movie the main character The Leopard is approached to join the new government. He declines and the dialog get really interesting. The suitor says surely you see how your people can use some help from the new government. The Leopard ( Burt) answers something to the effect "yes my people surely could use the help but they are too proud to take the help. Their vanity is greater than their need. They are so messed up that they are delusional ." I see this everyday in politics John D. McClary
The Leopard Revisited
- David H.
My first viewing of the Italian version of "The Leopard" this past week on TCM can best be described as underwhelming. Certain aspects of this version do compare favorably to the American version released in 1963 by 20th Century Fox, but there are two major unfavorable comparisons as well. Mainly, we have Burt Lancaster being dubbed into Italian by another actor and then subtitled into English. While some of Lancaster's performance does come though with his facial expressions, much of an Oscar-caliber performance is lost in this dubbing. Also, I usually don't have a problem with subtitled movies, but at times the subtitles were very difficult to read, especially when set against light-colored backgrounds. The 1963 American version is maligned and rightfully so for its cuts, inferior color and "lousy" dubbing, but for me it is the version which made "The Leopard" my all-time favorite movie. I cannot say the same thing had I seen this Italian version first. In the future when TCM recognizes and honors Burt Lancaster for his work (and the centennial of his birth is coming up in 2013), I would strongly recommend that TCM present the American version of this movie.
- Dashiell Barnes
The greatest cult epic from Italy. Director Visconti manages to make Lancaster look like a distinguished aristocrat while also making him human, truly tour-de-force acting, splendid work from Cardinale & Delon is worth mentioning. The photography, production design, score & Oscar-nominated costumes would have been wasted had it not been used to adapt an excellent story about changing times. Overlong, but definitely a unique cinematic experience. I give it a 4.5/5.
Epic Italian Influence on Cinema
There's several lists of (100) Essentials and there's 1000 Films You Must See Before You Die. On these lists is Il gattopardo (the original title of the movie The Leopard), a beautiful historical drama based on a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, an Italian nobleman who writes about his family's past during Il risorgimento ca 1860. So fittingly it was directed by Luchino Visconti, himself a Italian count who created the Italian epic with this film and Rocco and His Brothers. The film won the Golden Palm at Cannes and was considered a masterpiece in Europe but got trashed in the USA when it was cut down by the distributors. It was re-released and restored twice, most recently in 2011.This film along with Rocco and His Brothers greatly influence later American director including Francis Ford Coppola who literally copied some of the same scenes for the Godfather, Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Martin Scorsese who used Nino Rota's score in My Voyage to Italy to showcase the epic Italian family (crime) drama. But more than just the storyline, the cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno, screenplay by Suso Cecchi d'Amico and costumes by Piero Tosi represented the best ever in Italian cinema. They come together in the ballroom scene, considered one of the greatest sets in cinema history. Claudia Cardinale's gown is considered one of most stunning dresses ever worn in cinema. The movie stars Burt Lancaster in his favorite role and perhaps best role and Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale as one of moviedom's most beautiful couples. It's Italy at a pivotal time in history when the death of aristocracy in the form of the count played by Lancaster is overtaken by marriage to the passionate revolution represented by Cardinale (to Alain Delon) to produce the birth of a modern country. Death comes slow and social change becomes a necessity to survive. Hence, watch it as you would a masterpiece painting in a museum, something you cannot fully comprehend but still admire.
- Chris B.
I wondered why I had never heard of or seen this movie before and now I know why. The only saving grace of this film is the cinematography and the only thing that suits Burt Lancaster are the strong sense of Italian dramatics. I have always adored Burt Lancaster and I know that he always over-acts in his films. In this one his facial expressions and hand motions of his acting are seen under a very bright light...this is over-acting at it's best. I turned it off after watching for over an hour. It put me to sleep.
I missed the first couple of minutes of this movie so I thought I would give it a try and see if I could catch up, so to speak.This movie was without a doubt the most disappointing movie I have ever seen. Since TCM devoted the day on Burt Lancaster I thought I would give it a try since I had not seen this particular movie before. Disaster!!! Had he not been cast but someone else I could have managed it. You do not dub Lancaster's voice. To watch this movie being spoken in a foreign language and having to read the captions was difficult because of the color background with white lettering. Also you expect to hear Lancaster speak in English, his powerful voice and great acting but this movie was in Italian and I felt very disappointing to watch him and to listen to him speaking Italian. I am truly sorry it was not in English because the story would have been so easy to follow and to have him speak in English would have been fantastic. TCM, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF SHOWING THIS MOVIE????
Italy's Gone With the Winf !
- Jake Spivins
Set in mid-1860's Siciliy, Visconti's masterpiece details the unification of Italy through the eyes of a Bourbon Aristocrat (Lancaster at his very best) Director Visconti came from a noble Milanese family, and perfectly transfers Lampedusa's family saga to the screen. Alain Delon as Lancaster's nephew-on-the-rise, and a Claudia Cardinale as Delon's nouveau riche enamorata, are at the height of their Glamour and Beauty. Beautifully shot, scored, costumed, and edited, The Leopard won the Cannes Film Fest Award, but was badly mangled by Fox, it's American distributor. But the Italian Govt, realizing that the Leopard was truly an exceptional film, financed the restoration of Visconti's vision to its original Magnificence. It has a more complex political social commentary then Gone With the Wind, so you should check wikipedia to better understand this chapter of Italian history. The Leopard stands with Lawrence of Arabia, Children of Paradise, Seven Samurai, and Colonel Blimp as one of the greatest films ever made.
In the opening with the curtains gently blowing in the breeze I knew I would be going on a wonderful journey. The atmosphere was total. It was just like being there. A wonderful movie. Burt Lancaster at his absolute best.
My all-time favorite movie.
- David H.
The Leopard is a great historical epic. Burt Lancaster gives one of his best performances as a 19th CenturyItalian aristocrat adapting to a world that is changing around him. Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale and the supporting cast are all superb. Luchino Viscounti weaves an elegant tapestry enhanced by one of the best musical scores ever composed for a film. This is not a film for everybody, but for those with a sense of history and an appreciation of the subtleties of quality moviemaking, it is a masterpiece.
ITALY'S GREAT ROMANTIC SAGA
- JAKE SPIVINS
LUCHINO VISCONTI'S ENTHRALLING EVOCATION OF 1860'S SICILIY, INSPIRED BY LAMPEDUSA'S BRILLIANT HISTORICAL NOVEL. BURT LANCASTER EMBODIES THE MERCURIAL PRINCE OF SALINA AS IF HE'D BEEN BORN INTO THAT ROYAL HOUSEHOLD. ALAIN DELON AND CLAUDIA CARDINALE ARE SUPERB AS THE LOVERS FROM OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE SOCIAL ORDER. AND VISCONTI SUPPORTS HIS LEAD PLAYERS WITH UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER ACTORS, REAL ROYALTY, AND SPLENDID TECHNICIANS (GIUSEPPE ROTUNNO AND NINO ROTA TO NAME BUT TWO) A PERFECT BLENDING OF TALENTS TO RETELL THE STORY OF A PEOPLE CAUGHT UP IN A TURBULENT POLITICAL AND SOCIAL MAELSTROM.