The Leopard

20th Century Fox Released 1963


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Movie Summary

Luchino Visconti
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The Leopard is an Italian epic depicting the change in the power structure of Italy in the mid-1800s'. Prince Don Fabrizio Salina (Burt Lancaster) represents the age old Italian aristocracy, with his land and vast wealth both symbolic and representative of his cherished way of life. As the film opens, Giuseppe Garibaldi's forces have embarked in Italy, a revolutionary act met with great favor around the country, but a stark contrast to Salina's refined ways. Just as Don Fabrizio opposes the upheaval, his nephew Tancredi Falconeri (Alain Delon) rather, seizes the opportunity to become a part, joins Garibaldi's ranks and returns home a war hero. He begins to court the striking Angelica Sedara, (Claudia Cardinale) much to the dismay of Don Fabrizio, who strongly dislikes Angelica's father Don Calogero Sedara (Paolo Stoppa) due to the fact that he made a vast fortune speculating land during the recent social uprising. However, seeing the eventual obsolescence of the aristocracy the way it is, he reluctantly agrees to both their courtship and eventual marriage, seeing how the alliance could benefit the impoverished nephew. In a final act of refinement, Salina quietly and regally secedes the reins of power to Tancredi, and in the film's final scene, an elegant and extended length ball, the lovely yet common Angelica is introduced to the masses, signifying the change in the Italian social landscape. Directed by the legendary Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti, The Leopard is known for its striking, gritty cinematography and remarkable performances, a classic in the eyes of many.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    The film is a glittering triumph of personal expression at its most elegant and opulent.

  • 100


    Italy's top bestseller of recent literary history, Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa's The Leopard comes to the screen in a magnificent film, munificently outfitted and splendidly acted...

  • 90

    The New York Times

    For the most part, Nino Rota's music provides a rich melodic surrounding for the pictorial magnificence, and a heretofore unknown Verdi waltz that is played at the ball at the fini...

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Love & Romance, Foreign Language, Historical