IMDb > Antony & Cleopatra (1981) (TV)

Antony & Cleopatra (1981) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
8 May 1981 (UK) See more »
Octavius Caesar (later renamed Augustus Caesar, adoptive son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Mark Antony... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Definitely not Taylor and Burton See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Jonathan Miller 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William Shakespeare  play

Produced by
Jonathan Miller .... producer
Original Music by
Stephen Oliver 
Film Editing by
Howard Dell 
Production Design by
Colin Lowrey 
Costume Design by
Alun Hughes 
Makeup Department
Eileen Mair .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Ray Angel .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Atkinson .... senior camera operator
Dennis Channon .... lighting technician
Editorial Department
John Barclay .... vision mixer
Other crew
Sally Gilpin .... choreographer
David Snodin .... script editor
John Wilders .... literary consultant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Antony & Cleopatra" - USA (video title)
See more »
170 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jonathan Miller used Paolo Veronese's The Family of Darius before Alexander as a major influence in his visual design of this episode, as it mixes both classical and Renaissance costumes in a single image.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Cleopatra (1910)See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Definitely not Taylor and Burton, 15 August 2014
Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York

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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Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits IMDb Drama section
IMDb UK section

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