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Cleopatra hasn't been on the throne of the pharoahs of Egypt very long when Julius Caesar pays a visit. Caesar finds the prospect of romance more tempting than he expected, since Cleopatra is a rare woman who is bright as well as beautiful. And for Cleopatra, a friendly relationship with the most powerful man in the world may pay dividends in the future. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Caesar refers to his nose as "rather long" and "a Roman nose," but the idea of a "Roman nose" was not introduced until almost 150 years later, when the Emperor Hadrian erected statues of his favorite, Antinous, throughout the Empire (where many of the people had never seen a Roman), and Antinous's long nose was taken as typical of Romans (even though Antinous was a Greek). See more »
Considering that this movie was made in 1946, when many of its technical features were in its infancy (including color) it is still a wonderful interpretation of the play. But to be objective we must place ourselves in that period in time, otherwise the movie seems dated and some of its characters out of place.
It is no easy task to interpret a play into film, and this movie even though it wants to give a feeling of outdoors, we (now that we are so sophisticated with our special effects) can tell it is a studio. But let's give credit where credit is due. Vivien Leigh shines by itself, she is the perfect Cleopatra, I find that Claude Reims is also a character to contend with. We might find him with our modern eyes, not physically attractive, and you wonder what Cleopatra sees in him, but let's not forget that, through out the play it is always out in the open the fact that she wants a younger man for herself, this is not a love story between them, but simply the encounter of a couple of very strong, intelligent, determined and ruthless human beings, as such, they are a pair to admire!
Claude Reims seems paternal, sometimes there are other types of attraction as well as rejection, he seems that he never takes her seriously, however he never forgets every word she speaks. Considering that he is supposed to be the most powerful man of its time, it can make any man, a very sexy man! Power is an aphrodisiac (if not lets look our own culture with all our icons in hollywood and in the sports arena, now even politicians are getting into it).
In the other hand Shaw's wonderful wit and facility use of the English language is evident all over the place, he is always so caustic and economic with his subtle criticisms of his own time. We must remember, this movie is about the value of words and the intellect between these two, not about the bloated romance Hollywood has produced so far.
Yes there is a story and an ambiance, but the essence of this play/movie is the underlying meaning of the dialog between them. If you liked "Pygmalion" the other Shaw play made into a movie later reincarnated by Hollywood as "My Fair Lady" you will love this movie.
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