6.9/10
2,829
49 user 34 critic

Cleopatra (1934)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 5 October 1934 (USA)
The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Mark Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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 6.9/10 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
Cleopatra (1917)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The story of Cleopatra, the fabulous queen of Egypt, and the epic romances between her and the greatest men of Rome, Julius Caesar and Antony.

Director: J. Gordon Edwards
Stars: Theda Bara, Fritz Leiber, Thurston Hall
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A struggling widow and her daughter take in a black housekeeper and her fair-skinned daughter; the two women start a successful business, but face familial, identity, and racial issues along the way.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
The Crusades (1935)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

King Henry VIII marries five more times after his divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Donat, Franklin Dyall
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The adoptive father of a young woman is horrified to learn she plans to marry the son of the man who accidentally killed her aunt years before.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Leslie Howard
Viva Villa! (1934)
Biography | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. In 1910, he befriends American reporter Johnny Sykes. ... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Conway, Howard Hawks, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Wallace Beery, Fay Wray, Leo Carrillo
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
The Big House (1930)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing
Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Calpurnia
...
Enobarbus
...
Apollodorus
...
Brutus
...
Casca
Ian Maclaren ...
Cassius (as Ian MacLaren)
Eleanor Phelps ...
...
Pothinos
...
...
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:

Set In A Spectacle of Thrilling Magnificence! 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 more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film largely came about because Cecil B. DeMille's previous film, Four Frightened People (1934) - which also starred Claudette Colbert - had been a huge flop. Paramount head Adolph Zukor wanted DeMille to replicate the success of The Sign of the Cross (1932) and told him he had to make another historical epic next with lots of sex in it. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Cleopatra: Is this a time to talk of Romans? I've had no breakfast! I'm hungry!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight at the Wax Museum (1936) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Wonderful
14 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is an excellent adaptation of the life of Cleopatra, based mostly, I think, on Shakespeare. Claudette Colbert is not one of my favorite actresses, but this is probably the best part I've seen her in. Even better are those around her. The only actor of whom I had heard in the film is C. Aubrey Smith, the venerable character actor. He is excellent here as Antony's general, Enobarbus. Warren William is a very good Julius Caesar. Gertrude Michael plays his wife, Calpurnia, well. Ian Keith is just how I'd imagine Octavian. Joseph Schildkraut has only five minutes of screen time as Herod, which is truly unfortunate considering how good he is. The film's standout performance comes from Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony. Wilcoxon is very good at projecting Antony's conflicted interests. While the acting is great, Cleopatra is probably most memorable for its lavishness, DeMille's speciality, of course. Caesar's and Cleopatra's triumphant entrance into Rome is fantastic, while not going anywhere near as overboard as they did in the crappy 1963 version starring Elizabeth Taylor. The scene in which Cleopatra and Antony first make love is an enormous spectacle. And the film contains perhaps the best war montage that I've ever seen. The previous year's Best Picture, Cavalcade, had a horrific WWI montage. Cleopatra contains the most amazing scenes of ancient warfare. They all happen quickly, but the production in these bits is superlative. The sea battle, even if it may be only thirty seconds long, is a dozen times more believable than the stale, cheap naval battle of Ben-Hur, filmed over 20 years later. And there are also many moments of subtlety, which I didn't predict. Julius Caesar's execution is well done. DeMille doesn't try to overwhelm the audience at that point, preferring to film it simply. The aftermath is given more attention (of course, Caesar isn't the focus of this film). And Antony's emotional suicide is good, as well. It's a very good film. 9/10.


21 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017