The Leopard

Luchino Visconti's enduring romantic adventure

186 min     7.721     1963     France


As Garibaldi's troops begin the unification of Italy in the 1860s, an aristocratic Sicilian family grudgingly adapts to the sweeping social changes undermining their way of life. Proud but pragmatic Prince Don Fabrizio Salina allows his war hero nephew, Tancredi, to marry Angelica, the beautiful daughter of gauche, bourgeois Don Calogero, in order to maintain the family's accustomed level of comfort and political clout.


CinemaSerf wrote:
I was given the blu-ray of this as a gift recently and what a lovely, thoughtful present that proved to be. The photography is glorious - the light is brilliant. Visconti delivers a truly captivating period piece but with none of the shallowness of many other costume/historical dramas. It features a magnificent performance from the gently aristocratic, classy Burt Lancaster as a Sicilian Prince coming to terms with the absorption of his kingdom into the newly unified Kingdom of Italy. The trials of love, war, the lavish and the poverty are all expertly and delicately portrayed and I really did get a sense of the fragility of the times. Alain Delon and Rina Morelli are superb, as is Claudia Cardinale and Nino Rota provides some sumptuous orchestrations to help all along. Knowing much about the history of the time isn't essential, it all unfolds wonderfully...