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Franklin J. Schaffner
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After the murder of her lover Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Marc Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor - Octavius.
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Pope Julius is eager to leave behind works by which he will be remembered. To this end he cajoles Michelangelo into painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When not on the battlefield uniting Italy, the Pope nags Michelangelo to speed up his painful work on the frescoes. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The Sistine Chapel could not be used for filming the painting of its ceiling so it was recreated on a sound stage at Cinecittà Studios, Rome, Italy. See more »
On the eastern wall of the Sistine Chapel, we can see two frescoes that have been painted by Arrigo Paludano in 1571 and Matteo da Lecce, thirty years after Michelangelo completed the Last Judgement (1541). They replaced the first paintings by Signorelli and Ghirlandaio destroyed by a partial collapsing of the wall. Obviously, they couldn't be shown if the action takes place between 1508 and 1512. See more »
Pope Julius II:
What do you think we should do here? Bramante wants to pull it down. He likes pulling things down! No, I want to do something less destructive.
See more »
Historical picture about two great figures Renaissance : Michael Angel and Julio II
The picture deals upon Michael Angel (Charlton Heston) who is working on the Carrara's marble creating sculptures and is ordered by Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison) the painting the Sistina chapel (thus called but was made by Pope Sisto) . Meanwhile , they'll develop a relationship with other Renaissance's important person . The film is correctly based in historical deeds and famous personages , thus: Raphael( Tomas Milian) who appears painting the ¨Athenas's school¨, Bramante (Harry Andrews) author of the dome Vatican , Girlandaio and the Medicis Florencia's descendants (Diane Cilento and Adolfo Celi). Besides , the film paces itself the confrontation among the Julio II troops and the France and Germany army for the possession of the Pope's states . There are epic and impressive battles where the same Pope fights against enemies . The motion picture narrates specially the creation of the enormous paintings on the ceiling and the difficulties what Michael Angel is suffering to achieve the immortal legacy . The Pope Julio II also will assign him the realization of his tomb.
The feature obtained a limited success and had a moderated box-office , it is nowadays better valued . Acting by two principal actors is first-range , both of whom are magnificent . However , Rex Harrison did not get along with Charlton Heston at all during filming ; twelve years later, while filming ¨Crossed swords¨ , he avoided him completely . Leon Shamroy cinematography is rousing , the colorful paintings are glowing and glittering reflecting Bible's scenes . Alex North music is riveting (like ¨Spartacus¨ who he equally made). The sets are overwhelming and breathtaking , they were realized by John De Cuir as production designer . Carol Reed direction and production is excellent , he has got many experience with a long career and had directed other classics (The third man) . Rating: Very good, above average and well worth seeing.
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