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The middle class doesn't want to destroy us. It simply wants to take our place... and very gently.


The Leopard
(1963)

A bit of a slog on some levels, as it's very talky, it's subtitled and it's more than three hours long. But Visconti’s film does gradually become engrossing as (dubbed) Burt Lancaster's Prince of Salina and his family ride the tide of social and political change in 19th century Sicily. 

Also featured are Alain Delon (dubbed) and Claudia Cardinale (never more gorgeous, dubbed). It's like watching a reverse Leone western, but with less gunfights. 

The gradual weight of age and change gradually bear down on the Prince throughout the film, and although it is initially disconcerting to have Burt not sound like Burt, apparently the US version with his actual voice is even odder. Lucilla Morlacchi is excellent as his quiet and discontented daughter. 

Beautiful vistas from Visconti, and the scenes of elegance and ceremony recall something of Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

****

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