MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 947 this week

Cleopatra (1934)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  5 October 1934 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,372 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 38 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(from an adaptation by: historical material), (screen play), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 24 Jun 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 10 Mar 2013
 
a list of 21 titles
created 08 Apr 2014
 
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 25 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Cleopatra" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Cleopatra (1934)

Cleopatra (1934) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Cleopatra.

User Polls

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi
The Crusades (1935)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

King Richard and the Third Crusade (1190-1192) are given the DeMille treatment with more spectacle than history.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Loretta Young, Henry Wilcoxon, Ian Keith
Cleopatra (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian Queen born in 69 B.C., is shown to have been brought by Roman ruler Julius Caesar at age 18. Caesar becomes sexually obsessed by the 18 year old queen, beds ... See full summary »

Stars: Billy Zane, Timothy Dalton, Rupert Graves
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Director: Joel Núñez
Stars: Ximena Herrera, Víctor González, Roberto Palazuelos
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: H.B. Warner, Dorothy Cumming, Ernest Torrence
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The first part tells the story of Moses leading the Jews from Egypt to the Promised Land, his receipt of the tablets and the worship of the golden calf. The second part shows the efficacy ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort, Estelle Taylor
Union Pacific (1939)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The title represents the hopeful, ambitious students at a hospital training school and is primarily a story of the stern discipline and laborious physical and mental toil they endure in ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Cummings
Stars: Loretta Young, John Boles, Dorothy Wilson
Certificate: Passed Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Grace Moore, Tullio Carminati, Lyle Talbot
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Herbert Marshall, Mary Boland
Edit

Cast

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

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:

History's most seductive woman! The screen's mightiest spectacle! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren William was cast largely on the strength of his performance in The Mouthpiece (1932). See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Cleopatra: It's not the Senate I'm worried about but their fat wives. Do you know anything about senators, Charmion?
Charmion: Well, we only got here yesterday, Majesty.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 65th Annual Academy Awards (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pure Cecil B DeMille! Great, lavish production that has stood a test of time!
20 November 2005 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

Since I am a fan of epics, particularly ancient and medieval ones, I had been looking for this movie for a long time. The name of Cecil B DeMille is probably most associated with his magnificent remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) where he made a total use of his imagination, where, as one of the movie critics said, "lavish sets and grandeur reach its peak." There are also people who love his silent THE KING OF KINGS (1927). DeMille's films do not seem much dated. With these expectations, I bought CLEOPATRA (1934), sat in my chair on one of the frosty evenings and started to watch. The movie involved me so much that after 20 minutes, I had to see it at least to the half, at the half, I admit an undeniable need for seeing it till the end.

The story of Cleopatra has been put on screen several times. From Helen Gardner in 1912, Theda Bara in 1917 (presumed lost) to Claudette Colbert here. The impersonation of Cleopatra was later followed by the great performances of Vivien Leigh in CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945) and, of course, Liz Taylor in ultra long CLEOPATRA by Joseph L Mankiewicz, which had been the only Cleopatra film I had seen before this one. From the very beginning of watching DeMille's film, I was astonished by significant virtues of this high camp production, but realized fully that this film cannot be compared to any other film about Cleopatra.

HUMOR: Maybe this point will seem strange to mention at first, but what mostly struck me in this film was how excellent combination of history and humor it is. The script is full of very amusing contexts that lead a viewer to a wonderful atmosphere. "Together we could conquer the world," says Cleopatra to Caesar on one moonlit night, to which the Roman leader replies: "Nice of you to include me!" "I am dressed to allure you, Antony," says Cleopatra to her new Roman lover. Or after the moment when the half naked girls dance at the ox, Cleopatra says to Mark: "I wish you could see your face now. I'd have more chance with a stone wall." I know that some of these may seem dated, but they make a perfect sense in the scenes alone.

GREAT CAST: Claudette Colbert, though better known for playing in comedies, impersonated two historical figures on screen twice at DeMille's: Poppaea and Cleopatra. While her Roman empress was an object of lust and desire, her queen of the Nile is full of elegance and magnificence. In all these sophisticated fabulous costumes and gowns, she plays Cleopatra so well that she should have won an Oscar for this role. Unfortunately, Cleopatra lost to Ellie Andrews in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. The other great star of the film is Henry Wilcoxon who plays Mark Antony. He gives a marvelous, one of the best performances ever seen in historical epics. Pride, irony, love, and honor are presented by him so memorably that you will never forget this performance. I dare claim that he is a better Antony than Richard Burton in CLEOPATRA (1963). The third star of the film, in my opinion, is not Warren William as Caesar, but C.Aubrey Smith as a Roman soldier Enobarbus. I saw him in several roles, including DeMille's THE CRUSADES (1935), but here, he does an extraordinary job combining his role with honor, pride and wit. However, feminists... be careful! There are slogans said by Enobarbus that are unacceptable! Ian Keith, a mainstay of historical epics, does not give a very remarkable performance as Octavian. He is not bad; however, most historians imagine Octavian differently. Warren William is not bad as Caesar but indeed not the best.

SPECTACULAR MOMENTS: The whole movie is filled with DeMillean splendor. Scene by scene leaves a gorgeous experience for the fans of lavish sets. But three scenes are a must see: first, the royal barge which is elegantly setting off when Cleopatra and Antony are making love (flower petals, dancing girls, enormous sets); second, the gowns and art direction when Cleopatra awaits Caesar on the day of his tragic death (every movement she makes in a gorgeous gown is worth admiration); third, the final shot, one of the most memorable death scenes in cinema ever (this one is hard to describe, it must be seen)! Moreover, Cleopatra's entrance to Rome, which was the moment that the movie with Liz Taylor boasted so much, is more natural in DeMille's. Here, we get the most realistic picture of Roman streets instead of a huge Sphynx statue and rather a parade than an entrance.

HISTORY: The movie is not a very good historical lesson. In this respect, Liz Taylor version supplies you with more knowledge of history. Nevertheless, we all must take into account two aspects: the period the film was made in (the 1930s required more of entertainment than of facts) and by whom it was made. It was Cecil B DeMille, a spectacle lover of crowds, gowns, peacocks, leopards, and lavish sets (late Zygmunt Kaluzynski, a Polish movie critic, once joked that when DeMille was making THE KING OF KINGS, others feared that he would entail 24 Apostles because 12 is not spectacular enough). Therefore, it is important to watch this film as a part of Cecil DeMille.

All in all, it is absolutely right to say that it is not TEN COMMANDMENTS, KING OF KINGS, or SIGN OF THE CROSS that define DeMille most. These are absolutely gorgeous films in all respect. However, the film that gives the picture of his soul and talent is CLEOPATRA. It is, however, not only an unforgettable experience of DeMille's fans, but for all fans of historical epics, Hollywood elite of the 1930s, and love stories. It is simply a must see and a must release on DVD! Though more than 70 years old, some films never fade... it is, undeniably, CLEOPATRA. 9/10


24 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Claudette Colbert... Badbury
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
Soundtrack available anywhere? TheMysteriousLady
Discuss Cleopatra (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page