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Cleopatra (1934)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  5 October 1934 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,138 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 35 critic

The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

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(from an adaptation by: historical material), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: Cleopatra (1934)

Cleopatra (1934) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Warren William ...
...
...
Ian Keith ...
Gertrude Michael ...
...
...
Arthur Hohl ...
...
Ian Maclaren ...
Cassius (as Ian MacLaren)
Eleanor Phelps ...
Leonard Mudie ...
Grace Durkin ...
Ferdinand Gottschalk ...
Glabrio (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In 48 BC, Cleopatra, facing palace revolt in her kingdom of Egypt, welcomes the arrival of Julius Caesar as a way of solidifying her power under Rome. When Caesar, whom she has led astray, is killed, she transfers her affections to Marc Antony and dazzles him on a barge full of DeMillean splendor. But the trick may not work a third time... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The love affair that shook the world! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kleopatra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daily Variety reported that the film was badly panned by Italian critics, one of whom called it a "travesty and a burlesque," when shown in Rome. It also was met with "catcalls and derisive laughter" from the audience. See more »

Goofs

The main doors to Cleopatra's chambers have modern metal hinges. See more »

Quotes

Cleopatra: Queens don't hiccup.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: April Fools (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Cleopatra one of DeMille's more literate pictures
13 October 2002 | by (Lansing, Michigan) – See all my reviews

I have been very fond of this movie for years, particularly as compared with Fox's bloated monstrosity of 1963. Colbert is admittedly somewhat miscast (her face is altogether Parisienne), but she handles the part with considerable charm. Warren William, usually a very limited actor, is as good a Caesar as I have seen on film, commanding and uncomfortable by turns; while Henry Wilcoxon is the definitive Mark Antony, laughing, brawling, swaggering, crude and brooding. C. Aubrey Smith as Enobarbus, the last of the hardcore Roman republicans, is perfect. Victor Milner's cinematography is superb, if old-fashioned. There is one magnificent pullback shot aboard Cleopatra's barge, with more and more stuff entering the frame, which as pure cinema is worth more than all four hours of the Liz Taylor version for my money. Shakespeare and Shaw have both been drawn upon here and there, and the movie has generally good (and fun) dialogue, not always one of DeMille's strengths. Consider also the scene of Cleopatra's entrance into Rome: contrary to DeMille's usual reputation, this scene is underplayed, depicting a plausible parade through a very real Roman street with authentic trappings, compared to the outrageously bogus and overblown spectacle given us in 1963. A word is also in order for the music of Rudolph Kopp, an extremely obscure Hollywood composer, who turns in an atmospheric score redolant of the old silent movies. This style is easy to make fun of, but see how effective it is in the highly theatrical opening credits! DeMille used silent film technique well into the talkie era, particularly in crowd scenes, and it still works. The battle scenes are the weakest point, since evidently Paramount ran out of cash and C.B. had to make do with a bunch of short shots put together with Russian cutting; nevertheless, this is still as good a picture on the subject as has yet been made, a bit of extravagant old Hollywood at its most polished.


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DeMille's splendor that has stood a test of time! marcin_kukuczka
Mark Antony's dogs... marcin_kukuczka
Romantic barge scene goof? operabuff67
Script littleduck16
Claudette Colbert... Badbury
Soundtrack available anywhere? TheMysteriousLady
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