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Conversation Piece / Gruppo Di Famiglia In Un Interno [Blu-ray]

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Apr 10, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

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 industrialist, Marchesa Bianca Brumonti (Silvana Magani), 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 lonelier than before.


What certainly is typical of Visconti here is the cinematography, as this is once again a visually stunning film. The Raro edition in 2012 marks the film's first widescreen availability on home video in America, with the original English track intact. (Lancaster, Mangano, and Berger all provide their own voices.) --Turner Classic Movies

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Helmet Berger, Silvana Mangano, Claudia Cardinale, Dominique Sanda
  • Directors: Luchino Visconti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0074JOD2G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,811 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 29, 2012
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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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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Conversation Piece (A.K.A Gruppo Di Famiglia In Un Interno, Family Group In An Internal) is a great movie!

The story: A retired Amercian Professor who lives alone in a luxurious palazzo in Rome, Italy. When he is confronted by a vulgar Italian marchesa and companions-her lover, her daughter and her daughter boyfriend-he is forced to rent them an apartment on the upper floor of his palazzo. Before long his quiet routine is turned upside down and the introverted professor becomes entangled in his tenants' machinations.

In the midst of this chaos each of the new neighbors' lives including that of the professor himself takes an unexpected but inevitable turn.

Bluray quality:
Picture quality: 3.5 out of 5
Audio quality: 3.5 out of 5

Languages: Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features:
Original Theatrical Trailer
Interview with film critic and screenwriter Alessandro Bencivenni
Original English language
Fully illustrated booklet by Mark Reyonds (15 pg.)

Awesome, awesome Blu-Ray RaroVideo release of Conversation Piece! This is my 6th RaroVideo release in my collection!
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"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 than even "L'Innocente" which would come later in 1976. He died of a heart attack before "L'Innocente" was released. I reviewed "L'Innocente" as well and had a high regard for it. I liked "Conversation Piece" as well, but it did not have much of an intensity. Perhaps this film is best looked upon as the opportunity for Visconti to address his own life as the professor, as played by Burt Lancaster, is drawn upon to be somewhat autobiographical and the story for "Conversation Piece" was based upon an original short story by Enrico Medioli, who was a frequent collaborator on other scripts for Visconti and co-wrote the screenplay with Suso Cecchi d'Amico and Visconti. It's a well thought out script but not entirely successful in that the professor is merely inconvenienced by his tenants and any real effect upon his life by them is never achieved. Yes, he has them to dinner, but the tragic consequences are sort of trivialized as at dinner they can discuss their real involvement as the same old bourgeois only more dangerous because it is in disguise, as the professor explains, but the fact that the proceedings are all rather stagebound taking place in several sets no matter how intentionally its supposed to be like one of the paintings the professors analyzes, it is rather lifeless ultimately. I realize the professor's approaching death is being prophecized. And there is a hollow ring to the whole proceedings. Helmut Berger, Visconti's partner at the time, had an incredible debut in Visconti's 1969 "The Damned" and is again cast here. There is a hint that Lancaster's professor has latent homosexual feelings.Read more ›
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