Directed by Luchino Visconti • 1974 • Italy
Starring Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano
Luchino Visconti’s award-winning classic examines the solitary life of a retired American professor (Burt Lancaster) who lives alone in a luxurious palazzo in Rome. When he reluctantly rents an apartment to a vulgar Italian marchesa and her companions—her lover, her daughter, and the daughter’s boyfriend—his quiet routine is soon turned upside down and the introverted professor becomes entangled in his tenants’ machinations. In the midst of this chaos, each of the new neighbors’ lives—including that of the professor himself—takes an unexpected but inevitable turn. Visconti’s penultimate film, CONVERSATION PIECE marks the culmination of his career as a master of Italian cinema.