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Cleopatra (1912)

Unrated | | Drama, History | 13 November 1912 (USA)
The fabled queen of Egypt's affair with Roman general Marc Antony is ulimately disastrous for both of them.



(adapted from the play by)
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Complete credited cast:
Cleopatra - Queen of Egypt (as Miss Gardner)
Pearl Sindelar ...
Iras - An Attendant (as Miss Sindelar)
Miss Fielding ...
Miss Robson ...
Nicola - a Child (as Miss Helene)
Charles Sindelar ...
Mr. Howard ...
Pharon - a Greek Slave and Fisherman
James R. Waite ...
Mr. Osborne ...
Diomedes - a Rich Egyptian (as Mr. Osborn)
Harry Knowles ...
Mr. Paul ...
Mr. Brady ...
Serapian - an Egyptian Priest
Mr. Corker ...
Ixias - Servant to Ventidius


When she discovers that a slave named Pharon professes his love for her, Cleopatra makes a bargain with him: she will give him ten days of "love," at the end of which he is to commit suicide. He agrees, although the queen's handmaiden Iras, in love with the slave, isn't happy with the arrangement. Later when Cleopatra is seducing Marc Antony, her relationship with Pharon is used against her, but with little effect. She allies herself with Antony against Octavius, participates in a brief war, then meets her end rather than be subjected to Roman rule. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 November 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra: The Romance of a Woman and a Queen  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$45,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


William Shakespeare's play was produced in London circa 1606-7; Victorien Sardou's play, "Cléopatre", opened in Paris on 23 October 1890. See more »


Featured in Cleopatra: The First Woman of Power (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Helen Gardner in Denial
23 September 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

At the peak of her fame, Vitagraph "vamp" star Helen Gardner formed her own company and released this ambitious multi-reel feature. But, while financially and critically successful, this dreadful "Cleopatra" proved to be a gross artistic miscalculation by Ms. Gardner and director/partner Charles L. Gaskill. Some context is required. In 1912, "movies" were widely considered to be a vulgar and cheap form of entertainment, when compared to the "legitimate theater." For example, snooty critics saw movie close-ups as inferior because they only showed part of the actor, and many performers refused to appear in flickering films.

Apparently, Gardner and her company shot "Cleopatra" with theatrical intentions. So, the carrying around of fake sets in front of a static camera was intentional; the crew could have gone out on location, but didn't. Moreover, Gardner's wild gesturing purposefully imitated a stage style of acting. Probably, Gardner hoped she and "Cleopatra" would surpass Sarah Bernhardt's recently released "Queen Elizabeth" (1912) in critical acclaim. Instead, it looks like Gardner forgot how to act. And, with her full figure unflatteringly accented by off-camera fans, she looks dreadful. This "Cleopatra" leaves us with only its historical importance.

** Cleopatra (11/13/12) Charles L. Gaskill ~ Helen Gardner, Charles Sindelar, Helene Costello, Harry Knowles

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