Il Gattopardo, 50th Anniversary

2013 is coming to an end and we are still conmemorating many anniversaries.

Now we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Il Gattopardo” , directed by Luchino Visconti and starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale.
“Il Gattopardo” is based on Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel of the same name.
The film features an international cast including the American Burt Lancaster, the Frenchman Alain Delon and the Italians Claudia Cardinale and Terence Hill.
It is generally seen today in the Italian-language version, in which Lancaster’s lines are dubbed into Italian by Corrado Gaipa; however, an English dubbed version was also produced at the time, in which Lancaster’s own voice is heard.When Visconti was told by producers that they needed to cast a star in order to help to ensure that they’d earn enough money to justify the big budget, Visconti’s first choice was one of the Soviet Union’s preeminent actors, Nikolai Cherkasov (Star of the “Alexander Nevsky” and the famous “Ivan the Terrible” films), learning that Cherkasov was in no condition, healthwise, to take the part, Visconti then set his hopes on getting Laurence Olivier, but he already had another commitment. The producers chose Hollywood star Burt Lancaster without consulting Visconti, which insulted the director and caused tension on the set; but Visconti and Lancaster ended up working well together, and their resulting friendship lasted the rest of their lives.

The film has circulated in numerous versions. Visconti’s first cut was 205 minutes long, but this was regarded as excessive; he cut it down to 185 minutes for the official release, and regarded this version as his preferred length. The version shown in the English-speaking world was a 161-minute dubbed version edited by 20th Century Fox. A 151-minute version was released in Spain.
Awards and honors:
1963 Cannes Film Festival
Winner: Palme d’Or – Luchino Visconti[3]
Nastro d’Argento
Winner: Silver Ribbon – Luchino Visconti
Winner: Best Cinematography, Color (Migliore Fotografia a Colori) – Giuseppe Rotunno
Winner: Best Costume Design (Migliori Costumi) – Piero Tosi
Winner: Best Production Design (Migliore Scenografia) – Mario Garbuglia
Academy Awards
Nominated: Best Costume Design, Color – Piero Tosi
Plot: In the spring of 1860, Italy’s movement for unification reaches its peak as Garibaldi’s Redshirts invade Sicily and crush the Bourbon monarchy. Plebiscites are set up in which Sicilians vote in favor of joining the rest of the peninsula in forming the United Kingdom of Italy. Most strongly affected by the political upheaval is Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, who realizes that the inevitable change will mean the end of the privileged class. Aware that he must endure certain changes to preserve vestiges of the dying aristocracy, he accepts the rising middle class. Consequently, when his favorite nephew, Tancredi, falls in love with Angelica Sedara, the daughter of a wealthy bourgeois, Don Fabrizio resolves to support the match, despite the fact that Concetta, one of his three daughters, loves Tancredi. To restore wealth to the Fabrizio family and provide dowries for his other daughters, Don Fabrizio arranges for Concetta to marry Angelica’s wealthy tradesman father, Don Calogero Sedara. He refuses, however, to take a senate seat in the newly-formed government, explaining that he is a man caught between the old and the new, and ill at ease in both. Tancredi introduces Angelica to Sicilian society at a lavish ball. After watching the ambitious girl relax in this new life of luxury and beauty, Don Fabrizio leaves the ball and strolls quietly in the gathering dawn–a proud but lonely figure in a changing world.
Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster in “Il Gattopardo”, directed by Luchino Visconti.
Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale
The largest waltz scene in history of cinema.  By the way,  we can hear the “Valzer Verdi”, composed by Giuseppe Verdi (previously unpublished) and arranged by Nino Rota.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of “Il Gattopardo”!
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