If you were one of those unlucky people to miss out on seeing the restored print of Italian director Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963) when it played at Film Forum in August, your luck has returned. Back by popular demand, the masterwork returns to the screen for a 9 day run, starting today through Jan. 20.
With a 3 hour running time, The Leopard is the kind of vast epic which makes you realize how few current directors really know how to tell a sweeping historical drama like this one. Burt Lancaster stars as the aging Prince Salina who sees the power slipping away from the Italian aristocracy, as young men like his idealistic nephew Tancredi (Alain Delon) take over the country. Much of the movie centers around Tancredi's wooing of the rich merchant's beautiful but bourgie daughter, Angelica (Claudia Cardinale).
Every detail of this movie is just so, from the statues flanking the gardens at the Sicilian vila to the room filled with chamber pots glimpsed during the final ball sequence. It's a classic movie, redone with a gorgeous print by Criterion pictures, and a total must see.