Cleopatra

1963

Biography / Drama / History / Romance

21
IMDb Rating 7 10 26890

Synopsis


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Cast

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra
Roddy McDowall as Octavian - Caesar Augustus
Richard Burton as Mark Antony
Martin Landau as Rufio
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.79 GB
1280*576
English
NR
23.976 fps
3hr 12 min
P/S 12 / 46
3.34 GB
1920*864
English
NR
23.976 fps
3hr 12 min
P/S 28 / 71

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 8 / 10

For the splendid role of history's ultimate femme fatale… the highest fee ever paid an actress up to then…

Mankiewicz shaped the characterization to suit Liz Taylor's role... The movie follows her from the father-daughter romance with Caesar to the tempestuous man-woman contretemps with Marc Antony…

As the cunning, nubile daughter to Caesar's wise father, Liz is quite pleasing... She's expected to do much more acting as the womanly, passion-driven Queen, but she's more in control of the character when she's playing Caesar's pupil rather than Marc Anthony's teacher... Her high comedy exchanges with Harrison have quiet authority; her doomed romance with Burton never ignites…

The brilliant script by Mankiewicz covers the eighteen years leading up to the formation of the Roman Empire, starting with Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor) meeting Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) in Egypt, when he arrives as conqueror, and ending with her suicide when defeated by Rome and when her Roman general and lover Mark Anthony (Richard Burton) also ends his life…

The visual content of the film is stunning, especially Cleopatra's entry into Rome, carried on a vast throne-platform and bringing with her the son sired into Tarsus, and the vast battle of Actium…

The sets and costumes are among the finest ever created for the screen, but it is the literacy of Mankiewicz's script and the strength of his direction that give Cleopatra distinctions of great importance…

Reviewed by EdgarST 9 / 10

Cleopatra

Joseph L. Mankiewicz laughed the last. His goal –a diptych to be released separately, rich in Shakespearean's tragic force, ample in scope, but intimate in tone- was betrayed by 20th Century Fox's chairman Darryl F. Zanuck, who butchered it into a four-hour film. In spite of all the troubles surrounding its production, "Cleopatra" defined big cinematic spectacle for me: I was 12 years old and saw it on a Cinerama screen. It was huge, and it was grandiose. Elizabeth Taylor carried the movie on her back, but she had not developed into a full dramatic actress yet; and Leon Shamroy's Oscar-winning cinematography ranged from dramatic lighting to flourishes of color that resemble the light show of a cabaret in La Habana. But the story was compelling, and everybody gave their best. It also became the entrepreneurial model for pre-selling movies before the cameras rolled. It did not have very good reviews, and 1960's yellow press, which had nothing to do with Mankiewicz's reflection of power and love, tarnished its values. By the 1980s a tendency to reevaluate the movie had grown, and moreover it became an icon of the big historical Hollywood spectacle. Not a masterpiece by scholars' standards, it is nevertheless the big opus in the career of Mankiewicz, maker of "All About Eve."

Reviewed by straker-1 7 / 10

Mutilated potential classic

Fritz Lang's Metropolis is rightly regarded as a classic, but many reviews make note of the 'illogical' story and bad character plotting. Characters come and go without rhyme or reason, and the plot makes no sense, they say. Well, yes, but that's not Fritiz's fault, nor the movie's; Metropolis makes little sense because 55 minutes of the film was hacked out and destroyed, never to be seen again, by the US distributors. Of course it's gonna be a dog's dinner with an hour missing, ya clods!!

The same is true of Cleopatra, and this is basically the only reason the film fell flat on its' 1963 release. It was originally intended to release Cleopatra as two three hour movies, the first dealing with Cleo's relationship with Caesar, the second her affairs with Marc Antony. Fox said no to this idea, and demanded a single four hour film instead. This decision is like taking Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings Trilogy and removing an hour from each film wherever an hours' worth can be removed...a recipe for incoherence and total disaster.

So, with two hours of footage gone, major characters are reduced to glorified walk-ons, vital plot points and motivations are lost, and the story loses what LOTR has...length with the proper pacing. People will sit and watch 4 hours of Return Of The King because it flows properly. People will not sit and watch 4 hours of stitched together rough cuts...that's what Cleopatra is, even in the DVD roadshow edition...because what we have is something that is too bitty and haphzard to sustain interest.

But there is still glory in Cleo....Roddy McDowall, Martin Landau and Rex Harrison all act their socks off, the sea battle is kick ass, and Liz Taylor looks pretty scrummy in Egyptian softcore porn clothes. And only a Gen Xer like me could love that hideously pompous overblown dialogue.

Great film! For what it is. It just should have been TWO films, that's all. Real eyepopping trippy spectacle, done in a 'damn the money, full speed ahead' way that just doesn't happen any more. Like Casino Royale, Cleo is a wonderful disaster.

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