Director: Luchino Visconti
Runtime: 2hr 02min
Conversation Piece (Italian: Gruppo di famiglia in un interno) is a 1974 Italian drama film by director Luchino Visconti. The film name refers to an informal group portrait, especially those painted in Britain in the 18th century, beginning in the 1720s. The film explores such themes as the collision between old and new, imminence of death, existential crisis and social gap between generations.
The film features an international cast including the American actor Burt Lancaster, the Austrian Helmut Berger, the Italians Silvana Mangano and Claudia Cardinale (in a very short role as the professor’s wife), and the French actress Dominique Sanda in a cameo as the professor’s mother.
The movie was shot in English language; however, an Italian dubbed version was also produced at the time, in which Lancaster’s and Berger’s lines are dubbed into Italian by other actors. We will be watching the English language version.
The film was censored in Spain for the nude and political content and because Francisco Franco’s daughter and son-in-law are mentioned. Nevertheless, it was re-released there, uncut, in 1983.
The word cunt was removed from its UK original release but restored on the British DVD edition.