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2,593 Ratings

The Leopard

Il gattopardo

Directed by Luchino Visconti
Italy, France, 1963


In the 1860s, a dying aristocracy struggles to maintain itself against a harsh Sicilian landscape. The film traces with a slow and deliberate rhythm the waning of the noble home of Fabrizio Corbero, Prince of Salina and the corresponding rise to eminence of the wealthy ex-peasant Don Calogero.

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The Leopard Directed by Luchino Visconti

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1963 | Winner: Palme d'Or

Academy Awards

1964 | Nominee: Best Costume Design, Color

Many critics at the time were perplexed by the sight of the macho Lancaster playing an aging Sicilian nobleman, but this remains his greatest performance (despite the fact that he’s dubbed into Italian). The actor’s athletic grace somehow translates into the ideal embodiment of a reserved, conflicted patriarch at odds with his times.
June 09, 2018
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…This sensitivity sees its apotheosis in the ball sequence. Whereas the book is comprised of even episodes, Visconti presents a lopsided work: minor moments are compressed and elided while the closing ball is extended and stretched out into its own universe. Time becomes palpable. The ritual of a dance, costuming and movement, when contrasted with a netherworld downtime, sharpen prescribed behaviour into stylised performance and spectacle.
February 10, 2016
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[Visconti’s] exquisite mise-en-scene (aided here by voluptuous Technirama, Technicolor’s in-house version of CinemaScope) never fails to suggest living, breathing worlds; and his fluid camerawork, a major influence on both Michael Cimino and Olivier Assayas, creates the unique, sweet-and-sour flavor of nostalgia seen at an impossible distance.
February 04, 2011
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