5.6/10
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6 user 2 critic

Legions of the Nile (1959)

Le legioni di Cleopatra (original title)
Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ettore Manni ...
Curridio
Georges Marchal ...
Conrado San Martín ...
Gotarzo (as Corrado Sanmartin)
María Mahor ...
Marianna
Alfredo Mayo ...
Daniela Rocca ...
Teyrè
Mino Doro ...
Domiziano
Andrea Aureli ...
Imotio
Stefano Terra
Stefano Oppedisano ...
Rays
Salvatore Furnari ...
Il nano
Rafael Durán ...
Sacerdote egiziano
Juan Maján ...
Vezio
Tomás Blanco ...
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Storyline

Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. Octavian intends to regain his empire by landing his army at Alexandria, besieging the city and capturing and executing the pair. However, while Octavian's army is bigger than Marc Antony's forces, he and Cleopatra have allies who can come to their aid. Both sides prepare for a final showdown. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

December 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Legions of the Nile  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Although Argentine actress Linda Cristal, who spoke English quite well, is obviously speaking her lines in English, her voice is dubbed by that of another actress. See more »

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User Reviews

 
LEGIONS OF THE NILE (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1960) ***
20 April 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This superior Epic rendition of the 'Antony and Cleopatra' affair, helmed by one of the undisputed Italian masters of the genre, is nevertheless a conceptually flawed effort: incidentally, it seems to have taken a leaf from two recently-viewed and almost identically-titled movies i.e. SERPENT OF THE NILE (1953), which deals with much the same events, and PRINCESS OF THE NILE (1954) – the former in view of the Egyptian Queen's more prominent secondary liaison (not to mention, its love/hate nature) and the latter by way of her leading a double-life as an exotic dancer (for no historically valid reason in this case)!

Even so, Linda Cristal's beguiling Cleopatra here is among the more sober, thus notable (if completely unsung), portrayals; interestingly, this would be bookended by her appearances in two films which also featured Maltese character actor Joseph Calleia, including John Wayne's pet project THE ALAMO (1960)! However, the female protagonist's relationship with Antony (an otherwise well-cast Georges Marchal) is vastly underwritten – as they barely share a scene throughout the proceedings! In fact, Ettore Manni (who had co-starred with the latter in Cottafavi's earlier THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL {1958}) is the nominal lead: he falls for Cleopatra when incognito, but then renounces her when he misconstrues her actions to have been politically-motivated and not genuine! To counter this, Manni is involved with a girl whom he buys (along with her brother) at a market place; the boy becomes devoted to him but perishes during a skirmish inside a cave! Both women also get to interact (chiefly so as to intercede for the hero), but Cleopatra then can do nothing to prevent the other woman from being tortured – via the intriguing ruse of premature burial! Also on hand are a dwarf (mute this time around) and Manni's Roman henchman (who constantly makes eyes at a middle-aged but feisty tavern-keeper), both of whom had also featured in that earlier Cottafavi film in practically the self-same roles!

Despite my reservations vis-a'-vis the script (one final quibble concerns the fact that neither of the two potentates' famous deaths are shown and, disappointingly, they are forsaken even during the conventional final shot: ironically, I had commended the director for going against the grain at just this moment in my review of THE WARRIOR AND THE SLAVE GIRL!), the technical side of production really cannot be faulted – indeed, Cottafavi's sense of composition (particularly in the handling of action sequences) has virtually no peers within the mini-budgeted arena (no pun intended)!


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