Posted by: philosopherouge | September 18, 2007

The Leopard (Visconti, 1963)



The Leopard

I don’t even know where to begin on this one, an incredibly layered and complex film that demands a lot from the viewer. It’s detached but incredibly involving. I am currently aiming to finish a list of my favourite films of the 1960s for the end of Octobre/beginning of November, so until then I may be a little stingy on some of my reviews, including this one. At the very least, it’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Probably my favourite Visconti to date.



  1. Killer blog, Philosopher Rouge.

    I feel like the last member of the online community who hasn’t seen The Leopard yet. But it’s on my queue and I’m glad you seemed to enjoy it.

    I’m curious where do you would rank it compared to La dolce vita or Barry Lyndon in terms of Most Beautiful Film of all time?

  2. I can’t do Visconti. I tried to watch Senso the other day — I figured, if there was one Visconti I could struggle through, it was going to be that one — and I couldn’t finish. His work is sooooo booooring.

  3. I have to say, I’ve never understood the love for this one, or Senso for that matter–despite the pristine Criterion DVD of the former, and seeing the latter on the big screen at the Cinematheque Ontario in 2004, neither film has ever engaged me. The Damned, on the other hand, is a flat-out masterpiece (it’s not hard to see why it was Fassbinder’s favorite film). I guess I just prefer my Visconti campy and baroque rather than oh so tasteful and respectable.

  4. It’s very different than both, although closer to Lyndon in terms of visuals as it’s like a living painting. Although, Visconti uses deep focus, and indoor lighting is not candle lit like Kubrick’s.

    Mango: Ever try watching Le Notti Bianche? It’s very romantic, and short. Nothing like the other Visconti’s I’ve seen.

  5. Who is that woman in the picture? She looks ravishing….

  6. The one and only, Claudia Cardinale. Easily one of the most beautiful women to grace the screen.

  7. I know she looked familiar. You can’t see her face that clearly in the pic because of the angle but wow…what a beauty. I’ve booked this film from my library and should be receiving it in 2011.

  8. I saw “Il Gattopardo” (the original Italian title) last week and was completely blown away. After a little while I realised I’d seen my favorite film of all time. It’s a real epic without trying to be larger than life and it the central character played by Burt Lancaster is very powerful. Rotunno’s cinematograhy, Nino Rota’s music and Visconti’s brilliant direction make this movie absolutely perfect. I don’t see any influence in Barry Lyndon (which I loved too) but Coppola and Scorsese certainly watched this film before making The Godfather and The Age of Innocence.

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