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THE LEOPARD

Director: LUCHINO VISCONTI

ITALY • 1963 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • 187 MIN


WITH ITS SENSITIVITY TO BOTH HISTORICAL NECESSITY AND THE SADNESS OF CHANGE, GIUSEPPE DI LAMPEDUSA’S GREAT NOVEL ABOUT AN ARISTOCRATIC LIFE ABOUT TO BE SWEPT ASIDE BY THE SOCIAL FORCES OF THE RISORGIMENTO (THE MOVEMENT FOR THE POLITICAL UNIFICATION OF ITALY DURING THE 19TH CENTURY) MIGHT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN FOR DIRECTOR LUCHINO VISCONTI, HIMSELF AN ARISTOCRAT WHO BECAME A MARXIST.
Prince Salina (a towering performance by Burt Lancaster) is coming to recognise that his society must adapt in order to survive. Thus he collaborates in an arranged marriage between his opportunistic nephew (Alain Delon) and the low-born daughter (Claudia Cardinale) of a wealthy trader who is a symbol of the new social order.
Everything comes together in one of the most remarkable set-pieces in all cinema: an extended ball sequence during which the Prince’s acknowledgement of the new order is confirmed by the waltz he shares with his nephew’s fiancee, and the themes of adaptation and adjustment come together in a swirl of changing partners.

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