The Leopard

Screening on Film
Directed by Luchino Visconti.
With Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon.
Italy, 1963, 35mm, color, 187 min.
Italian with English subtitles.
Print source: 20th Century Fox

Like the classic novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa on which it is based, Visconti's masterpiece is an opulent evocation of a society in flux during the fight for Italian unification. Burt Lancaster plays the Sicilian nobleman of the title who attempts to maintain his power amid the escalating rise of the bourgeoisie. Visconti weaves intimate details about a large cast of characters from a variety of positions in society into a novel-like density. The tragic and triumphant changing of the guard culminates in the long and famous ballroom sequence during which "The Leopard" reaches a summit of understanding and acceptance. – DP

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