Conversation Piece

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A parable about the approach of death, this centres around a slightly Prospero-like professor (Lancaster incarnating a role similar to the one he played in The Leopard) who finds his carefully nurtured, opulent solitude upset by the eruption into his life of a wealthy woman (Mangano) and her chaotic jet-set entourage. Berger, for whom the film on one level seems a valedictory love-song, plays an angel of death figure, to whom a certain mystery attaches. If the dolce vita-style intrusion is given distinctly Jacqueline Susann-like overtones by the rather dissociated dialogue in the English language version, Conversation Piece nevertheless comes across as a visually rich and resonant mystery, far more fluid and sympathetic than Death in Venice.

Release details

Duration: 121 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Luchino Visconti
Screenwriter: Luchino Visconti, Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Enrico Medioli
Cast: Burt Lancaster
Helmut Berger
Claudia Marsani
Silvana Mangano
Elvira Cortese
Stefano Patrizi

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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