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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The main doors to Cleopatra's chambers have modern metal hinges. See more »
Actually, this movie was better than I thought it might be. (Sometimes lower expectations help!) It had some good dance numbers, almost Busby Berkeley-like extravaganzas held in Cleopatra's barge. It also had a few decent action scenes and a fairly good and easy-to-understand story.
Claudette Colbert and few others surprised me a bit by showing off quite a bit of cleavage, but then this was released just before the Hays' Code was in effect. Colbert was not shy: she had been nude in an erotic milk-bath scene two years earlier in "The Sign Of The Cross."
Warren William, as "Caesar," and Henry Wilcoxen, as "Marc Antony," both overacted and looked almost like silent film characters with all the makeup. They were terrible.
Why this film won an award for cinematography, I don't know. Perhaps it was the elaborate sets by Cecil B. DeMille that caught people's attention.
If you are a fan of classic films, this is one to definitely check out.
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