The Leopard

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The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) is a 1963 Italian film about the Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, who tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.

Directed by Luchino Visconti. Written by Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Enrico Medioli, Massimo Franciosa, and Luchino Visconti, based on the 1958 novel The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
Luchino Visconti's Enduring Romantic Adventure.


Don Fabrizio Corbera[edit]

  • We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals and sheep, and the whole lot of us - leopards, lions, jackals and sheep - will continue to think ourselves the salt of the earth.
  • Sleep, my dear Chevalley, eternal sleep, that is what Sicilians want. And they will always resent anyone who tries to awaken them, even to bring them the most wonderful of gifts. And, between ourselves, I doubt very strongly whether this new Kingdom has very many gifts for us in its luggage. All Sicilian expression, even the most violent, is really a wish for death. Our sensuality, wish for oblivion. Our knifings and shootings, a hankering after extinction. Our laziness, our spiced and drugged sherbets, a desire for voluptuous immobility, that is... for death again.
  • [of the Sicilians] They never want to improve. They think themselves perfect. Their vanity is greater than their misery.
  • You know what is happening in our country? Nothing... simply an imperceptible replacement of one class for another. The middle class doesn't want to destroy us. It simply wants to take our place... and very gently.
  • I belong to an unlucky generation, astride between two worlds and ill-at-ease in both. And what is more, I am completely without illusions. Now, what would the Senate do with me, an inexperienced legislator who lacks the faculty for self-deception, an essential requisite for wanting to guide others. No, I cannot lift a finger in politics. It would be bitten off.
  • [to Father Pirrone] You're used to naked souls. You should know that naked bodies are far more innocent.
  • Things will have to change in order that they remain the same.
  • Yes, love, of course! Fire and flames for a year, ashes for thirty. I too know what love is.
  • We're not blind in spirit, Father. We're just human beings in a changing world.

Don Francisco Ciccio Tumeo[edit]

  • It seems Donna Bastiana is a kind of animal. She can't read, write, or tell time. She can barely talk. She's even incapable of loving her own daughter. Good for bed, and that's all. But what can you expect? You know whose daughter she is? She's the daughter of one of your peasants from Runci. His name was Peppe Giunta. He was so filthy and savage that everyone called him Peppe Cowshit.

Tancredi Falconeri[edit]

  • If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

Dialogue[edit]

Don Fabrizio Corbera: And you, Don Ciccio, how did you vote on the 21st?
Don Francisco Ciccio Tumeo: [coughs up drink]
Don Fabrizio Corbera: What are you afraid of? There's no one else here but us, the wind, the dogs.
Don Francisco Ciccio Tumeo: Excuse me, Excellency, but that question is useless. You know that everyone in Donnafugata voted, voted 'yes'. They said you, yourself, advised those who couldn't decide to vote like that.
Don Fabrizio Corbera: I did, indeed. So, you voted 'yes', hmm...
Don Francisco Ciccio Tumeo: [walks up to the Prince, and then walks away] No, Excellency! I voted absolutely 'no'! No, I swear I voted 'no'! I know, Excellency, I know what you told me: necessity, unity and opportunity, Excellency. And you might be right, afterall. Politics I know nothing about, I leave that to all the others. But Ciccio Tumeo cannot be walked on! An obscure artist... poor and miserable, with holes in his pants, maybe. But benefits he's received, I promise you, he'll never forget! As you know, Excellency, it was Queen Isabella, of Spain, who was Dutchess of Calabria then, who made me study, and allowed me to be who I wanted: Organist of the Mother Church, honored by the benevolence of Your Excellency, and be a respected citizen. The years we were in terrible need, when my poor mother sent a petition up to her court, the money arrived to help us, sure as death every month! And if, today, these holy Kings and lovely Queens, were looking down from Heaven... what would they say? Would they feel that Don Ciccio Tumeo betrayed them? No, Excellency, no! Fortunately they know the truth in paradise.

Father Pirrone: Is Your Excellency here for confession?
Don Fabrizio Corbera: Confession? It's not Saturday.
Father Pirrone: Listen to me. Come to confession.
Don Fabrizio Corbera: There's no need. You know it all already.
Father Pirrone: The power of confession lies not only in telling our sins, but in repentance.
Don Fabrizio Corbera: I know. I know! What would you have of me? I'm a vigorous man. I can't find satisfaction with a woman who crosses herself in bed before every embrace, and can only say "Gesummaria" afterwards. I've had seven children with her and I've never seen her navel. Is that right? I ask you. *She's* the sinner!

Angelica Sedara: Listen to me. Concetta is right. To marry him after loving you would be like drinking water after tasting... [They kiss]
Tancredi Falconeri: Tasting what?
Angelica Sedara: Marsala. [They kiss again]

Cast:[edit]

External links[edit]

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