Conversation Piece (film)

Conversation Piece (Italian: Gruppo di famiglia in un interno) is a 1974 Italian drama film by director Luchino Visconti.

Gruppo di famiglia in un interno
UK DVD cover
Directed byLuchino Visconti
Produced byGiovanni Bertolucci for Rusconi Film
Written bySuso Cecchi d'Amico
Enrico Medioli
Luchino Visconti
StarringBurt Lancaster
Helmut Berger
Silvana Mangano
Claudia Marsani
Stefano Patrizi
Elvira Cortese
Romolo Valli
Claudia Cardinale
Dominique Sanda
CinematographyPasqualino De Santis
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Eliane Katz
Distributed byCinema International Corporation
Release date
10 December 1974 (Italy)
23 June 1977 (U.S.)
Running time
121 Min
LanguageShot in English; in Italy was released dubbed into Italian

The film features an international cast including the American actor Burt Lancaster, the Austrian Helmut Berger and 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. It 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.

The film was censored in Spain for the nude and political content and because Francisco Franco's daughter and son-in-law are mentioned. However, 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.


Retired American professor (Burt Lancaster) lives a solitary life in a luxurious palazzo in Rome. He is confronted by a vulgar Italian marchesa (Silvana Mangano) and her companions: her lover (Helmut Berger), her daughter (Claudia Marsani) and her daughter's boyfriend (Stefano Patrizi) and is forced to rent to them an apartment on an upper floor of his home. From this point on, his quiet routine is turned into chaos by his tenants' machinations, and everybody's life takes an unexpected but inevitable turn.


Cultural references


  • Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Nastro d'Argento
    • Winner: Best Director (Regista del Miglior Film Italiano) – Luchino Visconti
    • Winner: Best Cinematography (Migliore Fotografia) – Pasqualino De Santis
    • Winner: Best New Actress (Migliore Attrice Esordiente) – Claudia Marsani
    • Winner: Best Producer (Migliore Produttore Italiano)
    • Winner: Best Production Design (Migliore Scenografia) – Mario Garbuglia
  • David di Donatello
    • Winner: Best Film
    • Winner: Best Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero) – Burt Lancaster
  • Japan Academy Prize
    • Winner: Best Foreign Film
  • Seminci, Valladolid Film Festival, Spain
    • Winner: Best Film
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