The Leopard (1963)

Director: Luchino Visconti

Writers: Suso Cecchi D'Amico & Pasquale Festa Campanile and Enrico Mediolo & Massimo Franciosa and Luchino Visconti, based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Stars: Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Paolo Stoppa, Rina Morelli, Romolo Valli, Terence Hill, Pierre Clementi

During a time of social upheaval in 19th-century Sicily, aristocratic patriarch Don Fabrizio (Burt Lancaster) contemplates the impending changes in the social order.


A proud and honorable man, he is, as he says, "utterly without illusions"; he knows that men such as himself, who are accustomed to being the center of their universe, have no place in the world that is to come.


Director Luchino Visconti presents the Don's dilemma in a very subtle, intimate, closely observed film. 

Perhaps too subtle for me.


This is clearly a film of great mastery with a magnificent performance by Lancaster at its center. 

Although his voice is dubbed by an Italian-speaking actor, he uses his eyes, face, and posture to communicate tremendous dignity and melancholy. 

I simply found the film to be too slow and, early on, I was confused about the nature of the political crisis. 

I blame myself for being inattentive, perhaps not in the right frame of mind for this film.


I find myself still thinking about Don Fabrizio several days after viewing the film. I need to see it again someday.

Spoiler alert!!! Final scene!!


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