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 »
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>
When she first started having discussions with Cecil B. DeMille about playing the part of Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert expressed a lot of unease about her climactic scene with an asp, being terrified of snakes. On the day the scene was to be filmed, DeMille had one of the largest snakes sent over from Los Angeles Zoo and approached Colbert onset with it as she sat in costume on her throne. The actress was terrified and pleaded with him not to come any nearer to her with the enormous snake, whereupon DeMille produced the diminutive little asp and said "How about this instead?" Colbert was perfectly happy to film the scene with such a small snake instead. See more »
Cleopatra VII, a woman of the 1st Century BC, wears makeup of the 1930s--even lips painted in the heart shape made famous by Jean Harlow. See more »
What do I care for empire now? Caesar is dead! My lover is dead!
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Was Demille more daring than any other director or was he just clueless? What does one say when the curtains close on Antony and Cleopatra and suddenly the screen erupts with more sexual symbols than any moment in Hollywood's history? From the phallic symbols (oars) to the yonic symbols (curtains) until finally both orgasmically mesh together in a final combination (a drummer with his drum), the scene tells us we're viewing the artistry of a kinky genius or a shameless carney.
And along with the jawdropping visuals, the film is crammed with juicy Demille-like dialog. Unlike other Demille films, this one has a wonderful cast to deliver his unique oneliners, and there are so many. My own favorites are the moments of dumbdowned Shakespeare. Instead of speaking of Cleopatra's "infinite variety" we are told she is always "many colored" and, of course, instead of "Et tu, Brute?" we get, "You? You too, Brutus?" What can you say about a movie in which Julius Ceasar says "Nope" to his senators? Nothing. One can only savor every delicious moment of camp that only a Demille could serve up.
The Taylor/Burton version is more spectacular, more intelligent, and more historical, but for those who relish kitsch--and this story always lends itself to it--this version is the best.
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