Il gattopardo (1963)
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Beautifully rich cinematography. Lush interiors and perfect exteriors. The Italian countryside comes to life on screen. It was a little long for my liking but every minute was a feast. I had a hard time following the plot but each scene was wonderfully acted.
Visconti's attention to detail pays off with this extravagantly gorgeous epic. The production design and cinematography are close to perfection.
I did feel its length, however. I don't believe this needed to be three hours long. Some smart editing choices could've been made to considerably trim down the film without compromising its tone and spirit.
Nevertheless, it's highly recommended.
Regarded as one of the greatest films ever made by people (yes, people!), I have to admit Luchino Visconti's film left me rather cold. Don't get me wrong: it is beyond gorgeous, boasting some of the most extravagant production design and thoughtful cinematography you will encounter. And the dialogue that emerges about class and the eradication of the old-school aristocracy - symbolised through Lan Burtcaster's Prince Don Fabrizio Salina and his family - are fascinating. It's absolutely clear where the appeal has come from. But I reluctantly have to admit I found its immaculate costume drama somewhat plodding and 'neat' too, even if it is ultimately a purposeful facade. A film I found very easy to admire but hard enough to love.
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In 18 official lists
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This movie ranks #18 in IMDb's History Top 50
This movie ranks #25 in Cahiers du cinéma 100
This movie ranks #29 in Cannes Film Festival - Palme d'Or
This movie ranks #30 in IMDb's 1960s Top 50
This movie ranks #38 in FilmTV's 100 Greatest Italian Films
This movie ranks #67 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #72 in Sight and Sound 2012 - Combined List
This movie ranks #74 in They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
This movie ranks #93 in Il Grande Cinema Italiano
This movie ranks #167 in Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing List: Narrative Films (2012)
This movie ranks #224 in Roger Ebert: the great movies
This movie ranks #252 in Empire 500
This movie ranks #261 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #342 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #398 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #476 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #502 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films
This movie ranks #629 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films