Archive of films The Leopard / Il gattopardo

1963, 185 min

Section: Treasures from the Film Archives
Year: 2010

What are we to do if the world to which we have grown accustomed starts to collapse, and people of a new order jostle for position in the void it has left behind? This is the major issue underlining Luchino Visconti’s wonderful film The Leopard. Thanks to sensitive digital restoration work, the tale of the Sicilian Prince Salina, portrayed by the superlative Burt Lancaster, his enterprising nephew Tancredi, and the beautiful plebeian Angelica, played by Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, will be treasured by all who see it, even those who are familiar with the film.


1860. Garibaldi has disembarked at Sicily, the Risorgimento is in full swing. Prince Fabrizio Salina well knows that the historic role played by the class to which his family has belonged for hundreds of years is ending, squeezed out by those who are often uneducated and uncultured. He accepts the demise of the world he loves with sadness but with full awareness of its inevitability. Above all, however, he determines to help his beloved nephew find the right place in this new world. He watches with indulgent irony as instinct leads the enterprising Tancredi from the ranks of the revolutionaries to the army of the new king of Italy, and from his tepid interest in his uncle’s daughter Concetta into the arms of the beautiful Angelica. The basis for Visconti’s masterpiece, gorgeously shot by Giuseppe Rotunno, was the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, a writer born of the old aristocracy, like the director. Thanks to careful digital restoration, the story of Prince Salina, superbly played by Burt Lancaster, with Tancredi and Angelica taken well in hand by Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, has become an experience nonpareil even for those who know the film well.

About the director

Luchino Visconti di Modrone (1906, Milan – 1976, Rome), theater and film writer and director, worked as assistant to Jean Renoir. His first film, Obsession (1943), a loose adaptation of James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, jump-started the neorealist movement. Other films: Days of Glory (1945, doc.), The Earth Trembles (1948), Beautiful (1951), Senso (1954), White Nights (1957, based on the Dostoyevsky story), Rocco and His Brothers (1960), The Leopard (1963, based on the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa novel), Boccaccio ’70 (segment "Il lavoro,” 1963), Sandra (1965), The Stranger (1967, based on the Camus novel), The Witches (segment "La rega bruciata viva,” 1967), The Damned (1969), Death in Venice (1971, based on the Mann novel), Ludwig (1972), Conversation Piece (1974), The Innocent (1976, based on the Gabriele D’Annunzio novel).


Hollywood Classics
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Tel: +44 207 517 7525

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Treasures from the Film Archives
Director: Luchino Visconti
Screenplay: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Enrico Medioli, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, Luchino Visconti
Dir. of Photography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Music: Nino Rota
Editor: Mario Serandrei
Producer: Goffredo Lombardo
Production: Titanus, S. N. Pathé Cinéma, S. G. C.
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Rina Morelli, Paolo Stoppa, Romolo Valli
Contact: Hollywood Classics


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