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The Leopard (1963)
Il gattopardo (original title)

Director: Luchino Visconti
Writers: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (novel), Suso Cecchi D'Amico (screenplay adaptation)
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale
Genre: Historical Drama
Language: Italian

"The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily."

The Leopard is a film all dressed up with no where to go...A grand epic without life. Sure it's filmed prettily but without an engaging story line. It was like somebody filmed a book page by page, without including the spirit of the book. The scenes drag on forever, many of them could have been cut for better clarity. The film did not engage me, it did not evoke any emotions in me.

The film's main draw is the time we spend in the stunning palace & the sweeping Sicilian countryside and of course the beautiful costumes. But take away the grand theme of Italy's unification, take away the grand sets and costumes and you get a film that's emotionally distant, with long stilted monologues where nothing much really ever happens. It's a soap opera, but not nearly soapy enough to add any zest.

I might have liked this better had Burt Lancaster (a favorite of mine) not been dubbed in Italian. The dubbing erased part of his performance, and so the main character never seemed quite real. With him being dubbed, it made it hard to feel much from his performance. Add to that the fact that most of the acting is in monologue form and done rather mater of factually, and there's a number of characters it was a hard film to stay focused on. It's beautiful to look at but I didn't get much out of it.