Sog.: by the homonym novel of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa; Scen.: Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, Enrico Medioli; F.: Giuseppe Rotunno; Mo.: Mario Serandrei; Scgf.: Mario Garbuglia; Co.: Piero Tosi; Mu.: Nino Rota e un valzer inedito di Giuseppe Verdi; Su: Mario Messina; Int.: Burt Lancaster (don Fabrizio, Principe di Salina), Alain Delon (Tancredi Falconeri, nipote del Principe), Claudia Cardinale (Angelica Sedara), Romolo Valli (padre Pirrone), Paolo Stoppa (don Calogero Sedara), Serge Reggiani (don Ciccio Tumeo), Rina Morelli (Maria Stella, moglie del Principe), Lucilla Morlacchi (Concetta), Leslie French (Chevalley), Pierre Clementi (Francesco Paolo), Ivo Garrani (colonnello Pallavicino), Giuliano Gemma (generale garibaldino), Mario Girotti (conte Cavriaghi), Anna Maria Bottini (la governante, M.lle Dombreuil), Lola Braccini (donna Margherita), Olimpia Cavalli (Marianina), Ottavia Piccolo (Caterina), Rina De Liguoro (Principessa di Presicce), Ida Galli (Carolina), Brock Fuller (piccolo principe), Marino Masè (il tutore), Giovanni Melisenda (don Onofrio Rotolo), Howard N. Rubien (Don Diego), Carlo Valenzano (Paolo), Carmelo Artale, Rosalino Bua, Lou Castel, Vittorio Duse, Franco Gulà, Tina Lattanzi, Giancarlo Lolli, Vanni Materassi, Maurizio Merli, Dante Posani, Winni Riva, Stelvio Rosi, Marcello Rovena, Valerio Ruggeri, Giuseppe Stagnitti, Anna Maria Surdo, Halina Zalewska; Prod.: Goffredo Lombardo per Titanus (Roma), S.N. Pathé Cinema, S.C.G. (Paris); Pri. pro.: 27 marzo 1963. 35mm. L.: 5482. D.: 201’. Col.
When the world around you is changing, when you have the sense that everything you know and love must give way to a new order, what do you do? Fight it? Accept it? And how do you accept it? Grudgingly? Gracefully? Maybe something in between. Because who can leave the world that formed them behind, and not mourn the passing of time? These questions, these sensations, are fundamental to the human condition, and they are behind every frame of The Leopard, Luchino Visconti’s magnificent adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel about a Sicilian prince at the time of the Risorgimento (the unification) who recognizes that his historical role, and that of his entire class, is to retreat into the shadows. Visconti, who was himself from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Europe, spent many years trying to adapt Proust to the screen. In a sense he succeeded with this stunning cinematic tapestry, in which every gesture, every word, and the arrangement of every object in every room summons a lost world back to life. The Leopard is an epic of time, and its slowness, which reaches a stately crescendo during the extended, climactic grand ball sequence, is set by the rhythm of life among the landed aristocrats of Sicily – their customs and habits, their observance of leisure and reflection, their seasonal journeys. It is also an epic of history, in which we actually see the machinations of change in progress, on the battlefield, in the streets, and in the drawing rooms where men of influence gathered to decide who will pull the levers of power. It is also a portrait of one man, the Prince of Salina, played by Burt Lancaster. At the time the picture was made, there were some people who questioned this particular casting choice, but once you’ve seen The Leopard it becomes impossible to imagine anyone else as the Prince. Lancaster brought his strength and authority to the role, but he also brought his intelligence and his grace, and his sense of aristocratic refinement is uncanny. A remarkable, deeply moving performance. Finally, The Leopard is a grand symphonic hymn to Sicily itself – the people, the perfumed air and the landscape, its beauty and its violence. Visconti’s film is one of the greatest visual experiences in cinema, and over the years restorations have proven to be extremely difficult. I’m very pleased that The Film Foundation, with financial support from Gucci, has helped to make this extraordinary restoration possible. One of our greatest treasures has returned to us, in its full glory.
Martin Scorsese, Founder and Chair, The Film Foundation
Restored in association with Cineteca di Bologna, L’Immagine Ritrovata, The Film Foundation, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Twentieth Century Fox and Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale. Restoration funding provided by GUCCI and The Film Foundation, Digital Picture Restoration, Colorworks. Special Thanks to Martin Scorsese, Titanus and Giuseppe Rotunno.