Blu-ray Release: Conversation Piece

Blu-ray Release Date: April 10, 2011
Price: Blu-ray $29.98
Studio: Raro Video

Conversation Piece movie scene

Burt Lancaster stars in Luchino Visconti's 1974 drama Conversation Piece.

Italian DVD label Raro Video releases the 1974 drama Conversation Piece, Luchino Visconti’s (Senso) penultimate film, one month after issuing the film on DVD in early March, 2012.

Entitled Gruppo di famiglia in un interno in its native Italian, the movie examines the solitary life of a retired American professor (Burt Lancaster, Sweet Smell of Success) who lives alone in a luxurious palazzo in Rome. When he is confronted by a vulgar Italian marchesa Silvana Mangano, Dune) and her companions – her lover (Helmut Berger, The Romantic Englishwoman), her daughter (Claudia Marsani, The Hired Gun), and jer daughter’s boyfriend (Stefano Patrizi, Lion of the Desert) – he is forced to rent them an apartment on the upper floor of his home. Before long, the introverted professor’s routine is turned upside down and he becomes entangled in his tenants’ machinations—for better and worse…

A well-received 1970s arthouse picture, the film was shot by the late, great cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis, whose stunning work can also be seen in Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971), Robert Bresson’s L’Argent (1082), Ettore Scola’s A Special Day (1977) and Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet, for which he won an Academy Award. That said, we’re hoping Conversation Piece will look gorgeous on Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray of the English language film contains the following bonus materials, all of which were featured on the Raro’s DVD release:

-Original Trailer
-Interview with film critic and screenwriter Alessandro Bencivenni
-Fully illustrated booklet by Mark Reynolds


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.