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Cleopatra (1963)

 -  Biography | Drama | History  -  31 July 1963 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 18,301 users  
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Historical epic. The triumphs and tragedy of the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 6 more credits »
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Title: Cleopatra (1963)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cleopatra as a firm ruler and military tactician who embarked on a ruthless rise to power. Cleopatra twice married brothers, killing each of them as well as a sister. Romantic alliances ... See full summary »

Stars: Angelina Jolie
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pamela Brown ...
George Cole ...
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Kenneth Haigh ...
Andrew Keir ...
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Eiras
Grégoire Aslan ...
Pothinus (as Gregoire Aslan)
Martin Benson ...
Ramos
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Storyline

In 48 B.C., Caesar pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Ptolemy, now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra, attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinos and Achillas. To win Caesar's support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus, her servant, presents to Caesar. The Roman is immediately infatuated; banishing Ptolemy, he declares Cleopatra Egypt's sole ruler and takes her as his mistress. A son, Caesarion, is born of their union. Caesar, however, must return to Italy. Although he is briefly reunited with Cleopatra during a magnificent reception for the queen in Rome, Caesar is assassinated shortly thereafter, and Cleopatra returns to Egypt. When Mark Antony, Caesar's protégé, beholds Cleopatra aboard her elaborate barge at Tarsus some years later, he is smitten and becomes both her lover and military ally. Their liaison notwithstanding, Antony, to ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The motion picture the world has been waiting for!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1963 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Kleopatra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$57,750,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (director's cut) | (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)| (70mm re-release)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Twentieth Century-Fox was in financial trouble in the late 1950s due to disappointing box-office returns of some major releases. Orders were given to search the Fox script library for a proven property that could be remade. The project chosen was Cleopatra (1917), a Theda Bara film that had been a smash hit for the studio. With no surviving prints, they based their judgment on an archived copy of the original script and some stills from the production. Then the studio needed a producer willing to handle the project. At the same time, veteran producer Walter Wanger approached Twentieth Century-Fox with an idea for a project he'd been planning for several years: the story of Cleopatra. In the words of David Brown, "We fell on him." See more »

Goofs

When Caesar is saying goodbye to Cleopatra in Alexandria before sailing back to Rome, one of his aides hurries him by warning, "You will miss your tide." In fact, Mediterranean has no tides, or more precisely, its tides are so minimal that they don't affect navigation. No ship sailing from a Mediterranean port would have to worry about catching a tide. See more »

Quotes

Julius Caesar: Ah, yes. I seem to recall some mention of an obsession you have about your divinity... Isis, isn't it?
Cleopatra: I shall have to insist that you mind what you say. I AM Isis. I am worshipped by millions who believe it. You are not to confuse what I am with the so-called divine origin which every Roman general seems to acquire together with his shield. It was, uh, Venus you chose to be descended from, wasn't it?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beverly Hillbillies: Clampett City General Store (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It has it all
2 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

Breathtaking photography, fabulous costumes, wonderful lead and supporting role performances, a dual love story that is timeless - the romance with Caesar for power and the romance with Marc Antony for love, unmatched music by Alex North, that's what's in Cleopatra. From the time that it came out, I have remained a person who has not been afraid to say that I have loved it.

Elizabeth Taylor's legendary beauty is very evident here. My favorite scenes of hers are Cleopatra's anguish upon finding out about Marc Antony's [Richard Burton] marriage and the closing scene with her reunited with the dying Marc Antony. Similarly, Caesar's [Rex Harrison] opening war scene, Marc Antony's gut-wrenching soliloquy as a broken man after the defeat at Actium , Octavian's [Roddy McDowall] harsh scolding of an officer that let him know of Marc Antony's death, Sosigenes' [Hume Cronyn] death scene, Apollodorus' [Cesare Danova] support for Cleopatra, and Rufio's [Martin Landau] support for Marc Antony are all permanently etched in my memory.

The shear lushness of the production has to be seen to truly believed. Remember, this was released in 1963 far before the gimmickry of computer enhanced effects. The crowds in these scenes are real, the buildings are real, this is not a movie that was put together with the smoke and mirrors of computers. I truly do hope that restorers are able to eventually find the footage that was deleted, primarily due to Zanuck's influence and not Mankiewicz's desire, so that we may see more of what Mankiewicz had in mind.

I also strongly recommend that one view the DVD release. The included documentary about putting the film together helps one get a good perspective about the real headaches involved in getting this film made.


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