The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) plus The Job

A great and flawed film, Visconti's adaptation of Lampedusa's famous novel was cut by 44 minutes for release in America and Britain. Furthermore, the film was shot in Eastman Color in Technirama, and processed in Italy and France by Technicolor, which did justice to Visconti's imagery; however, Fox processed The Leopard in England and America at De Luxe Laboratories in a cheaper process that gives some interior sequences a bluish haze and results in occasionally poor definition. The Leopard also suffers from not being filmed in Italian: as a co-production involving American money, the film was shot mainly in English, and though the English dubbing is more “authentic” than the Italian dubbing - both Burt Lancaster and Leslie French dubbed their own voices, whereas none of the major players dubbed their own voices for the Italian soundtrack - still the film sounds better in Italian. Burt Lancaster stars as Prince Salina, an ironic spectator of his class's decline during the risogimento. The final ball conveys in visual terms the long interior monologue in which the Prince, aware of his approaching death, watches the death of his world. According to the “Oxford Companion to Film”: “Visconti evokes a splendid, decaying society with rich detail and shows an intriguing ambivalence towards the political issues of his subject.”

Note: Despite the print problems mentioned above regarding the American version of The Leopard, we will be showing a far better print of the cut version than is publically available. Through the courtesy of the San Francisco branch of 20th Century Fox, we will be showing Fox's studio vault print of The Leopard.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.