The Leopard (1963)

PG   |    |  Drama, History


The Leopard (1963) Poster

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.


8/10
22,141

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2 September 2004 | kcvtb
heartbreaking, gorgeous
To summarize, this film was released, dubbed and butchered, in the US in 1963/64, never released on video but occasionally seen in bootleg version. The British Film Institute did a restored print of the original Italian version in 2003. I saw it in a theater in London last summer and found it fabulous, not least for seeing it in the wide screen setting. It's now out on DVD on three disks: the restored print with Italian dialogue (Burt Lancaster dubbed into Italian -- it sounds wacky, but it works big time); a disk with the butchered English release version of forty years ago (valuable to see what they did, and also to hear Lancaster's own English); and a disk with supplementary materials including very interesting interviews with a wide variety of participants in the movie. Of the multi-hour blockbusters of the period, I'd put it behind Lawrence of Arabia, but very close to Doctor Zhivago and well ahead of Ryan's Daughter.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster impressed the originally skeptical Luchino Visconti by letting it be known that he had read the book and was lobbying for the part. Fox asked Visconti to choose from among Anthony Quinn, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, and Lancaster. Visconti made up his mind after seeing Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Lancaster later appeared in Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974).


Quotes

Princess Maria Stella Salina: I never could endure that fop! You lost your head over him! And he has the impertinence to ask you, his uncle, father of the girl he has deceived, to carry his proposal to that rascal, the father of that slut! You mustn't do it!
Prince Don Fabrizio Salina: Enough! You don't ...


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.


Alternate Versions

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.


Soundtracks

Valzer Brillante
(or "Valzer Verdi")
Composed by
Giuseppe Verdi (previously unpublished)
Arranged by Nino Rota

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | History

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