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The Leopard (The Criterion Collection) (1963)

Luchino Visconti , Burt Lancaster  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)

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The Leopard (The Criterion Collection) + The Leopard: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Actors: Luchino Visconti, Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 187 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CWQL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,594 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Leopard (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Special Edition Three-Disc Set
  • New digital transfer of original 185-minute Italian release, supervised by director of photography Ciueppe Rotunno, with restored image and sound plus new subtitle translation
  • New transfer of of the 161-minute American release, with English-language dialogue (including Burt Lancaster's actual voice)
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Cowie
  • A Dying Breed, a new hour-long documentary featuring interviews with Claudia Cardinale, screenwriter Suso Ceccho D'Amico, cinematographer Guiseppe Rotunno, Sydney Pollack, and many others
  • Interview with producer Goffredo Lombardo
  • An exclusive video interview with professor Millicent Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania on the history behind The Leopard
  • Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes production photos
  • Original trailers and newsreels

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Making its long-awaited U.S. home video debut, Luchino Visconti's The Leopard is an epic on the grandest possible scale. The film recreates, with nostalgia, drama, and opulence, the tumultuous years when the aristocracy lost its grip and the middle classes rose and formed a unified, democratic Italy. Burt Lancaster stars as the aging prince watching his culture and fortune wane in the face of a new generation, represented by his upstart nephew (Alain Delon) and his beautiful fiancée (Claudia Cardinale). Awarded the Palme d'Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, The Leopard translates Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel, and the history it recounts, into a truly cinematic masterpiece. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the film in two distinct versions: Visconti's original 187-minute Italian version, and the alternate 161-minute English-language version released in America, in a newly restored, three-disc special edition that also features a new hour-long documentary on the making of the film, and more.

With this magnificent Criterion DVD release, Luchino Visconti's 1963 historical drama The Leopard will finally earn widespread recognition as one of the most beautiful epics ever produced. In adapting the popular novel by Giuseppe Tomassi di Lampedusa (an Italian equivalent to Gone with the Wind, set during the tumultuous Garibaldi revolution of 1860-62), Visconti was initially reluctant to cast Burt Lancaster as the melancholy Prince of Salina--the aging aristocrat "leopard" of the title--who accepts change as inevitable during the struggle for a unified Italy. But Lancaster (even with his voice dubbed in the fully restored Italian release) delivered one of his finest performances, modeled after Visconti himself, and reacting to political and familial upheavals with the wisdom and whimsy of a man who knows that his way of life--and all he holds dear--must change with the times. You won't find a more intimate epic, and Giusseppe Rotunno's masterful cinematography represents the pinnacle of painterly beauty, matched only by the authentic splendor of the film's impeccable production design. The climactic hourlong ballroom scene--which even the hard-to-please Pauline Kael called "one of the greatest of all passages in movies"--is utterly breathtaking. Anchored by Lancaster's performance and the romantic pairing of Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, The Leopard is sheer perfection, fully restored to its 185-minute glory. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
148 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS DVD IS NOT CUT!!! SOME OF THE REVIEWS ARE ALL WRON September 26, 2004
criterion gives a real royal treatment to this movie and it is higly earned by some reviews people say that the movie is cut and italian version is better blah blah...what they dont know is this 3 disc set has all two of them...check that out yourself:


*The Film - Visconti's original Italian version (185:52)

Audio commentary by Peter Cowie (film scholar)

English HoH subtitles (removable)

2.21:1 Anamorphic NTSC (Super Technirama OAR)

Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono


"A Dying Breed: The Making of The Leopard", a new documentary featuring interviews with Claudia Cardinale, screenwriter Suso Ceccho D'Amico, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, filmmaker Sydney Pollack, and many others (61:31)

Interview with producer Goffredo Lombardo (19:30)

Video interview with professor Millicent Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania on the history of the Risorgimento (13:36)

Promotional Materials:

- Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes production photos

- Italian newsreel footage (3:11)

- Italian theatrical trailer (3:40)

- American theatrical trailers (2) (3:46)


*The Film - alternate American release (161:23)Subtitles:NonePicture format:2.35:1 Anamorphic NTSC Soundtrack(s):English Dolby Digital 1.0 MonoCase type:Special CaseNotes:Black Triple Alpha case

Disc 1 is region-free (R0); discs 2 and 3 are encoded R1
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187 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Panoramic View of Sicily during Its Unification June 23, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is incomprehensible to me why this movie has not yet made it to DVD. I think it is easily Visconti's greatest work, and one of the masterpieces of Italian film from a great era in general; and it is also a flawless adaptation of one of the finest Italian novels of the twentieth century. The film is a close study of a noble Sicilian family, and especially of its Prince (played by Burt Lancaster in what I think is also his best role), as they interact with the new middle-class parvenus of revolutionary Italy. The cinematic values of the film itself are stunning, from the vast panoramas of the desolate Sicilian countryside, to the stifling intimacy of the final ball (which lasts nearly an hour on film without once being boring). What is most amazing is the depth of the film. Even small gestures are carefully observed and capture the nuances of an aristocracy in decline. I loved "Death in Venice" as well, but this film should justly be considered Visconti's most tightly controlled and haunting.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES EVER PRODUCED IN ITALY March 6, 2000
I waited for years to see the director's cut of this magnificent movie. In the early 80's, after Visconti's heirs regained possession of the rights to it, they ordered it to be edited according to the master's wishes. I had then the privilege of watching "Il Gattopardo" in a movie theater in all its splendor, exactly as Visconti wanted it to be. Forget the ugly and stupid English-dubbed version that was released before. The true meaning of this movie can only be completely grasped when you see the Italian-spoken version, in spite of a central character, the one played by Burt Lancaster, having to be dubbed in Italian. I hope that when this is released on DVD we get the real thing, with its full lenght and the delightful cinematography by the great Giuseppe Rotunno. Please don't be insensitive to those who love true cinema: give us the real "Il Gattopardo" in its original widescreen format, its entire lenght and the melodious sounds of the original Italian dialogue. And, last but not least, the stunning beauty of the young Claudia Cardinale...
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 185 minutes of grandeur may be all we'll ever have... August 19, 2004
The legendary 205 minute version of Luchino Visconti's "The Leopard", which won the Palme d'Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, probably doesn't exist any longer. Shortly after it premiered, this epic movie was (like other roadshows of the day) trimmed by about 20 minutes. This was due in large part to the strong opposition the film received from Italy's powerful Roman Catholic Church. (Among other things, the Church perceived "The Leopard" to be anti-clerical and objected to the way it had been portrayed in the film, as well as in the 1958 novel on which the film was based.)

Chief among the cuts made to the original version of "The Leopard" was a scene removed from the "Battle of Palermo" sequence. At the very end of this section, just after Alain Delon is wounded in battle, there had been a scene inside a Catholic convent. It depicted the convent's nuns willingly aiding Garibaldi's soldiers, and tending to the injured, including Delon. (In the recut version, soldiers are seen banging on the convent door, a nun opens the door, and the men rush inside, nothing more. Guess the church didn't mind the soldiers going into the convent, but they sure didn't like whatever may have gone on in there.)

Reportedly, the church was also displeased with the hypocritical nature of Burt Lancaster's character, especially his adulterous activities. At one point, there had been an encounter between Lancaster and a prostitute in the confines of the lady's bedroom. Eventually, that rather racy scene ended up on the cutting room floor. And it wouldn't be a surprise if that was due to the church's disapproval of the lady and what went on in that bedroom. (In the edited version, the Prince arrives at the prostitute's door and she lets him in, but that's it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars We enjoyed this. A piece of history worth noting
We enjoyed this. A piece of history worth noting.
Published 1 day ago by Don S
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dry! So slow starting and the plot is ...
Very dry! So slow starting and the plot is not there at all.
Published 1 month ago by Susan L. Eaton
4.0 out of 5 stars Burt Lancaster is excellent in this Italian extravaganza.
Sweeping saga of the formation of modern Italy from the point of view of the padrone in Sicily. Typical of Italian film of the era---the ending comes because the film stops... Read more
Published 1 month ago by DLAllen
5.0 out of 5 stars Sicily Struggle Between Agrarian and Modern Society.
What can you say more than a critical review of this classic? I have read it three times.
Published 2 months ago by Susan Mellups
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favorite movie.
One of my all time favorite movies - but I do recommend reading the book as well. Each enhances the other. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pilgrim
5.0 out of 5 stars the original italian version is a masterpiece
Without a question one of the best narrative films ever made by anyone. The American version is a waste of time and resource. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Neopi
1.0 out of 5 stars SKIP
Too much dancing, not enough action and too long.
Published 4 months ago by Diana
5.0 out of 5 stars adds a lot to the book
in preparation for a trip to sicily, i had read the book. this movie, true to the book, shows a lot of scenery and costumes that i did not appreciate from the book. get it!
Published 4 months ago by The Wizard
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done!
This is a fascinating movie and Burt Lancaster is excellent in this role. I was surprised he was even in this type of role, having only really seen him in movies we associate so... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lydia
5.0 out of 5 stars The Risorgimento
Was Garibaldi's efforts worth it?
The dialogue between Don Fabrizio and Chevally sums it up...
"We were the Leopards and Lions; those who take our place will be... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joe O.
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Topic From this Discussion
Blu Ray version vs. DVD--both by Criterion
both versions are on the blu ray.
Aug 26, 2011 by Michael Dobey |  See all 2 posts
Leopard Criterion Blu-Ray 2010 release question
all blu rays only play on blu ray players.
Jun 29, 2010 by Nanker Phelge |  See all 4 posts
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