Octavius Caesar (later renamed Augustus Caesar, adoptive son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Mark Antony, and Lepidus form the triumvirate, the three rulers of the Roman Empire. Antony, ...
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After the murder of her lover Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor: Octavius.
After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.
After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... See full summary »
Cymbeline, the King of Britain, is angry that his daughter Imogen has chosen a poor (but worthy) man for her husband. So he banishes Posthumus, who goes to fight for Rome. Imogen (dressed ... See full summary »
Aegeon of Syracuse has come to Ephesus to seek his son, who went in search of his missing twin and mother months ago. Unfortunately, Ephesus has just declared war on Syracuse, and will ... See full summary »
James Cellan Jones
Octavius Caesar (later renamed Augustus Caesar, adoptive son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Mark Antony, and Lepidus form the triumvirate, the three rulers of the Roman Empire. Antony, though married to Fulvia, spends his time in Egypt, living a life of decadence and conducting an affair with Queen Cleopatra. In Antony's absence, Caesar and Lepidus worry about Pompey's increasing strength. Caesar condemns Antony for neglecting his duties as a statesman and military officer. Hearing that his wife, Fulvia, has died and that Pompey is raising an army to rebel against the triumvirate, Antony feels he must return to Rome. Caesar and Antony try to patch up their quarrel through the marriage of Antony to Caesar's sister Octavia. In Egypt, Cleopatra is told that Antony has married and is furious with jealousy. However, when the messenger says that Octavia is not very beautiful, Cleopatra feels confident that she can win Antony back. The triumvirs meet Pompey, who agrees to keep peace in ... Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <email@example.com>
When shooting the scene with the snake, actress Jane Lapotaire, who was afraid of snakes even prior to the shoot, became quite panicked when the snake suddenly slithered down the back of her dress. See more »
Shakespeare's great play Antony & Cleopatra (1981) (TV) was directed by Jonathan Miller for the BBC. As with all the BBC Shakespeare productions, this film attempts to give us Shakespeare's plays as we think people would have seen them in Shakespeare's time. Costumes are excellent, but props are sparse and we don't ever see a cast of thousands.
The lovely Jane Lapotaire plays Cleopatra--whether childish or, later, older and wiser--in a direct and excellent fashion. Colin Blakely makes a fine Antony. However, in my opinion, Ian Charleson. as Octavius Caesar, gets the acting honors. I think that Charleson acts the part exactly the way it was written. In essence, he is telling us that Antony is ruled by his heart, but he, Caesar, is ruled by his head. Ultimately, of course, Octavius Caesar prevails in the play, as he did in history.
I enjoy the BBC Shakespeare movies because we don't have to accept a director's "concept" of what he or she wants to do with the play. It isn't shown in modern times, with automatic rifles instead of swords, it isn't shown with huge armies or navies doing battle. It's essentially a stage play, adapted very well for the small or large screen.
I have studied Shakespeare on film, so I have a standard of comparison based on what I have seen from non-BBC productions. If you want leaps of creativity, and the director's thoughts about how Antony would look as a World War II general, look elsewhere. If you want to see the play based on the text, look at the BBC production.
P.S. As I write this review, this movie has a horribly low IMDb rating of 6.1. It's much better than that. Find it and see it. It was made for the small screen, so, obviously, will work well on DVD.
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