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 (the Leopard) and the corresponding rise to eminence of the enormously wealthy ex-peasant Don Calogero Sedara. The prince himself refuses to take active steps to halt the decline of his personal fortunes or to help build a new Sicily but his nephew Tancredi, Prince of Falconeri swims with the tide and assures his own position by marrying Don Calogero's beautiful daughter Angelica. The climatic scene is the sumptuous forty-minute ball, where Tancredi introduces Angelica to society.Written by
At the begging of the film, Prince of Salina uses de word "mafiosi" to describe Garibaldi's supporters. This word settled few years later, as a result of the popularity of the play "I mafiusi di la Vicaria" from 1863. The mafia organization as we know it, was just starting its activities as such during the post unification period. See more »
The longest cut of "The Leopard" runs 205 minutes. This version (which has achieved almost legendary status) is (reputedly) available on video in Italy, and was shown theatrically (at least in Toronto, Canada), in the 1970's. For many years, only the 165-minute, English-dubbed version was available in North America. The 187-minute Criterion DVD release is currently the longest available version, and is, in fact the same version as the Italian DVD release at 180 minutes (the 7-minute time difference is due only to the PAL transfer rate differential). See more »
A extraordinary masterpiece: see the UNCUT version.
If you ever have the chance to see this magnificent film in an uncut, fully restored version, with good subtitles...DO IT. This is a film of astonishing beauty, bristling with ideas and magnificent performances.Like all truly great films it is full of sublime SCENES: Prince Tancredi riding off to war in his carriage., the astonishing ball sequence, when Prince Salina gazes at the painting and comes to grips with his own mortality,and the unforgettable end, when Salina kneels on the ground and speaks to the stars.Coppola, Cimino, and Scorsese all saw this film and learned from it..the Godfather echoes it repeatedly( in fact all THREE Godfathers echo it repeatedly). Scorsese once ranked it with The Red Shoes, Citizen Kane, Otto e Mezzo and The Searchers as one of the films he "lives by." Seeing it, one understands.
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