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Gruppo di Famiglia in un Interno (Conversation Piece) (1974)

Burt Lancaster , Helmet Berger , Luchino Visconti  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Helmet Berger
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006MHZFGY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Lancaster is superb .Superb also goes for Raro Video's standard definition 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation, which masterfully brings out the richness of the film's optic beauty; a considerable feat! Bonus features are a treat CineGeek heaven! --DVD Verdict

Highly Recommended. Conversation Piece, Luchino Visconti's penultimate movie, is a quiet, yet surprisingly warm, portrait of an unforeseen meeting of the generations…A complicated drama,Conversation Piece has plenty to say about cultural change, age, and human connections. It's a grand work from a master cinematic storyteller, an old film that has received new life via a very modern technology. --DVD Talk

Product Description

This film is about a lonely art collector (Burt Lancaster) who lives in Rome and how his life is changed when the wife of a rightist industralist, Marchesa Bianca Brumonti (Silvana Mangano), her gigolo Konrad (Helmet Berger), her precocious daughter and her daughter's boyfriend Stefano end up renting the upper portion of his luxurious apartment. He gets involved in the affairs of complete strangers much against his will and ends up being even lonlier than before.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
In 1974 (two years before his death), legendary Italian director Luchino Visconti revisited a number of his most familiar narrative themes for the fascinating, if not wholly successful, "Conversation Piece." I'm almost ashamed to admit that as a long time admirer of Visconti (not to mention Burt Lancaster), I had never seen this movie until its current DVD incarnation. Reuniting Lancaster and Visconti certainly recalled their earlier pairing on the sublime "The Leopard," and I couldn't help comparing the films to some degree. Visconti, from his earliest neo-realist classics to his late period masterpieces, always had the power to provoke. A master of shot composition, as opposed to staging action, his filmmaking style always made me feel like somewhat of a voyeur intruding on his character's most intimate (or even mundane) moments. This fly-on-the-wall appeal is abundant in "Conversation Piece," a chilling and enigmatic chamber piece of a film that utilizes its claustrophobic environment to great affect. And while I didn't always believe the character interactions within this film, I was absolutely mesmerized by the undercurrent of emotions that lay just underneath the surface of all of the performances.

Lancaster plays an aging academic content to finish his days alone with his art, books, and music. One day a strange and intrusive woman (Silvana Mangano) insists on renting an upstairs apartment in his palazzo. Despite his insistence that it isn't for rent, he is soon meeting her grown children and an aloof family friend (Helmut Berger) and succumbing to their insistent charms. These early moments are played with such chaos and exaggeration, it's hard to identify with Lancaster's acquiescence as he is all but bulldozed in every scene.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Luchino Visconti is one of the best known Italian directors in the United States, together with Bernardo Bertolucci, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and few others. He is known for being one of the fathers of the so-called Italian neo-realism film movement from the 40s and 50s, and it is best remembered, for example, by such movies as "The Leopard" (1963) and "Death in Venice" (1971). The exquisite and penetrating "Conversation Piece" (aka "Gruppo Di Famiglia in un Interno") was Visconti's penultimate film before his death, and it is a treat to have it now available in DVD and Blu-ray. And what a delight it is!

"Conversation Piece" is the type of film that I most respect, as it was filmed inside limited interior sets, without any distraction, and with a smart story and dialogue. It stars frequent Visconti collaborator Burt Lancaster (loved by Italian directors) as Il Professore, an aging and retired American professor that lives by himself in a magnificent villa in Rome. His only company is Herminia (Elvira Cortese), his maid, and a few of Herminia's assistants. He truly values his solitude and enjoys collecting art and reading. However, all that changes when he is approached by Bianca Brumonti (the delightful Silvana Mangano), a rich aristocrat who wants to rent an apartment from Il Professore, in order that her younger lover, Konrad Huebel (Helmet Berger), could live in it. He informs her that he is not interested in renting that apartment, because he uses it to store his stuff. Mrs. Brumonti doesn't take no for an answer and basically forces herself into the property. We learn that Il Professore was right in not renting the apartment, as Mrs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By BMoore
Format:Blu-ray
I love this film because it is alternately in-your-face and delicately nuanced, sometimes in a single scene.

The other reviews here are very good, and I won't parrot those, but I do want to mention that Burt Lancaster is superb in his role as the retired, put-upon American professor. If you are familiar with Lancaster only through his big-budget Hollywood roles, see him in this, and you will will re-think your opinion of him as an actor. Then see him in "The Train" and "Atlantic City", "The Swimmer", and "1900", and you will have have a very healthy respect for his acting chops as he does a great job in these very different, but demanding roles.

This is a gorgeous movie to look at; it's emotional without being contrived, and it deserves to be more than a "cult film". I don't consider it to be inaccessible to the masses as many cult films are.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
Luchino Visconti: one of the most important Directors ever!And,not just European! One of the masters from all over the World,and from every time!
All of his movies are worth buying, watching, enjoying, studying.
I always loved his taste, his class, his insightful perfection! He was never too excessive, actually very moral, very intense without ever going over board!
His first movies were extremely condensed, introspective, stylish and unforgettable.
His later ones were more open to a mainstream vision,like this one, nonetheless priceless and never compromised.
In fact, "THE CONVERSATION PIECE" (US Ok title for the Italian way more Classic sounding:"GRUPPO DI FAMIGLIA IN UN INTERNO",which more or less, means 'Portrait of a Family in Interns') shot in 1974,is an everlasting classic film, that i keep recommend watching to those who can,always getting call back's or even thank you notes, for having them acquainted, to what has now became also one of their favorite films!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER BURT LANCASTER GEM~~~!!!
I love these old Burt Lancaster movies as he was really a great acting artist. Who would even dare to go overseas and make movies for a sophisticated European audience? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michael A~~~~
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Turn on Masterpiece
"Conversation Piece", Luchino Visconti's 1974 film, a film made due to the director's being ill, actually, I believe, he was recovering from a stroke, is more minor an end result... Read more
Published 9 months ago by V. Risoli
5.0 out of 5 stars Un MOLTO eccellente film in esso ha migliore Blu-Ray edizione (A VERY...
Conversation Piece (A.K.A Gruppo Di Famiglia In Un Interno, Family Group In An Internal) is a great movie! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars the Visconti 2nd movie
the movie i always wanted to own - i saw it 18 years ago for the first time - and wow
it's a very interesting theme - solitude, aging, death, family interaction - and there's... Read more
Published 17 months ago by P. M. lopes Cardoso
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Considered as Luchino Visconti's "last will & testament",...
For Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti, although his oeuvre may not be as lengthy compared to Roberto Rossellini or Federico Fellini, he is among the few that have crew created... Read more
Published on April 28, 2012 by Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
3.0 out of 5 stars Character Study of an Introspective Man
"Conversation Piece" is director Luchino Visconti's 1974 examination of the solitary life of a retired American professor (Burt Lancaster) who lives alone in a luxurious palazzo in... Read more
Published on April 1, 2012 by The Movie Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Destruction And Dysfunction: Visconti Returns To Form With This...
In 1974 (two years before his death), legendary Italian director Luchino Visconti revisited a number of his most familiar narrative themes for the fascinating, if not wholly... Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by K. Harris
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