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The Leopard Criterion Collection DVD

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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The Leopard Criterion Collection DVD

The Bottom Line

The Italian "Gone With the Wind."
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Pros

  • Visconti's grand Sicilian epic
  • Beautiful stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale

Cons

  • Like most epics, "The Leopard" takes its sweet time to tell its story

Description

  • Italy, 1963. 185 mins.
  • Special Edition Three-Disc Set
  • New digital transfer with restored image and sound plus new subtitle translation
  • New transfer of of the 161-minute American release, with English-language dialogue
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie
  • "A Dying Breed," a new hour-long documentary
  • Interview with producer Goffredo Lombardo
  • An exclusive video interview with professor Millicent Marcus on the history behind "The Leopard"
  • Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes production photos
  • Original trailers and newsreels

Guide Review - The Leopard Criterion Collection DVD

I must confess that I never gave much thought on Italian history of the 19th century, and even less on Sicilian history. As Luchino Visconti proves (with help from novelist Guiseppe di Lampedusa), it is a fascinating topic. Burt Lancester plays the aging Prince of Salina, the last of his kind, as Garibaldi's men ferment revolution and a new Italy is born. While the country is in upheaval, the aristocracy attempts to maintain the status quo--except for the Prince's nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon), who believes that "for things to stay the same, everything must change" and joins the revolution. Everything does change for Tancredi when he falls in love with gorgeous Angelica (Claudia Cardinale), the daughter of opportunistic upstart Don Calogero (Paolo Stoppa.)

Beautifully shot and subtly told, "The Leopard" tells its story with elegiac grace. After battles, countryside picnics, prayers, and drawing room encounters, the film ends with an extended ball room scene that is at once the culmination and the end of an era.

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