The Leopard Reviews

  • Nov 05, 2020

    While Les Enfants du Paradis may have been championed as the French response to Gone With the Wind, Il Gattopardo is far more of a direct parallel among European films, with its literary inspiration, themes of changing social structures, romantic elements, and top-notch visuals, including incredible color photography, sets, and costumes. While the comparison is apt, The Leopard is far more narratively subtle but no less willing to commit to great action setpieces; the protagonist is necessarily insulated from the immediate effects of the revolution so he can reflect on them in isolation (initially finding a wise historical relevance, but gradually recognizing an inevitable distress for the practical consequences). The film instead composes a substantial revoltuionary battle sequence whose only immediate relevance to the main cast is a small injury to Delon's Tancredi, the remainder only providing context. The ballroom scene, so often referred to as justification for the single term most often ascribed to the film - "sumptuous" - is teeming with vibrancy and exudes allure. The lack of sync between Lancaster's lips and the dialogue provided by his voice actor for the original Italian version is certainly noticeable, but can be overlooked after some time spent adjusting to the format; it's just unusual to see that sort of disconnect in a high-budget period drama, when it would seem more fitting for a Bruce Lee kung fu flick. Even with this shortcoming, it's clear that Lancaster delivers a powerful performance as the aristocratic and learned Prince, gradually sliding from contentment in his knowledge of the fixed nature of his world and his place in it, to a less certain morose individual recognizing his mortality as well as the uncertain nature of his lifestyle. Not necessarily a socially revolutionary film, but magnificently composed and entirely worthy of its critical estimation. (4.5/5)

    While Les Enfants du Paradis may have been championed as the French response to Gone With the Wind, Il Gattopardo is far more of a direct parallel among European films, with its literary inspiration, themes of changing social structures, romantic elements, and top-notch visuals, including incredible color photography, sets, and costumes. While the comparison is apt, The Leopard is far more narratively subtle but no less willing to commit to great action setpieces; the protagonist is necessarily insulated from the immediate effects of the revolution so he can reflect on them in isolation (initially finding a wise historical relevance, but gradually recognizing an inevitable distress for the practical consequences). The film instead composes a substantial revoltuionary battle sequence whose only immediate relevance to the main cast is a small injury to Delon's Tancredi, the remainder only providing context. The ballroom scene, so often referred to as justification for the single term most often ascribed to the film - "sumptuous" - is teeming with vibrancy and exudes allure. The lack of sync between Lancaster's lips and the dialogue provided by his voice actor for the original Italian version is certainly noticeable, but can be overlooked after some time spent adjusting to the format; it's just unusual to see that sort of disconnect in a high-budget period drama, when it would seem more fitting for a Bruce Lee kung fu flick. Even with this shortcoming, it's clear that Lancaster delivers a powerful performance as the aristocratic and learned Prince, gradually sliding from contentment in his knowledge of the fixed nature of his world and his place in it, to a less certain morose individual recognizing his mortality as well as the uncertain nature of his lifestyle. Not necessarily a socially revolutionary film, but magnificently composed and entirely worthy of its critical estimation. (4.5/5)

  • Jun 14, 2020

    phenomenal. Everything about this movie was fascinating.

    phenomenal. Everything about this movie was fascinating.

  • Avatar
    Christian C Super Reviewer
    Jan 09, 2020

    The costumes and locations are beyond exceptional. Add a fantastic cast headed by the ever-restrained Burt Lancaster and you've got a spectacular film.

    The costumes and locations are beyond exceptional. Add a fantastic cast headed by the ever-restrained Burt Lancaster and you've got a spectacular film.

  • Nov 26, 2019

    This is a timeless tale about the pitfalls and complacencies of modernity and benign versions of conservatism, one of the best books ever written and one of the best movies ever made. Full stop.

    This is a timeless tale about the pitfalls and complacencies of modernity and benign versions of conservatism, one of the best books ever written and one of the best movies ever made. Full stop.

  • Sep 23, 2019

    I knew a philosophy professor who said, "Everybody agrees that change is inevitable." Boy, did that guy get things wrong. Go see "The Leopard." Maybe the leopard can change his spots and maybe he can't. Maybe it doesn't matter. Lancaster is wonderful as "the prince."

    I knew a philosophy professor who said, "Everybody agrees that change is inevitable." Boy, did that guy get things wrong. Go see "The Leopard." Maybe the leopard can change his spots and maybe he can't. Maybe it doesn't matter. Lancaster is wonderful as "the prince."

  • Apr 16, 2019

    The Leopard is epic in scope and beautifully crafted. Much like Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, Luchino Visconti casts people with the perfect looks for the part, focuses on faces, and communicates non-verbally through eye movements. Without being able to really relate to the prince, we come to sympathize with him as he comes to terms with aging and seeing his way of life come to an end. My only criticism is the film is difficult to follow at times and all the secondary characters are hard to keep track of. They often appear and disappear without explanation. This probably has to do with 20 minutes of the original being lost thanks to the American butchering of the original, rather than negligence on Visconti's part.

    The Leopard is epic in scope and beautifully crafted. Much like Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, Luchino Visconti casts people with the perfect looks for the part, focuses on faces, and communicates non-verbally through eye movements. Without being able to really relate to the prince, we come to sympathize with him as he comes to terms with aging and seeing his way of life come to an end. My only criticism is the film is difficult to follow at times and all the secondary characters are hard to keep track of. They often appear and disappear without explanation. This probably has to do with 20 minutes of the original being lost thanks to the American butchering of the original, rather than negligence on Visconti's part.

  • Feb 12, 2019

    Italy's own 'Gone With The Wind'. A flawless diamond.

    Italy's own 'Gone With The Wind'. A flawless diamond.

  • Jan 16, 2019

    El gatopardo [1963]

    El gatopardo [1963]

  • Jan 10, 2019

    Boring, boring, boring. Moves as slow as the stereotypical English novel, but without the suspense. Might have been interesting in 1963, but is NOT now, regardless of the visual appeal of the period costumes

    Boring, boring, boring. Moves as slow as the stereotypical English novel, but without the suspense. Might have been interesting in 1963, but is NOT now, regardless of the visual appeal of the period costumes

  • Jun 06, 2018

    Masterpiece. Maybe the best movie ever made.

    Masterpiece. Maybe the best movie ever made.