In sixteenth century Padua, Hortensio loves Bianca, the youngest daughter of Baptista. But Baptista will not allow the two to get married until his eldest daughter, the extremely headstrong... See full summary »
A duke usurps his brother's land and power, banishing him and his retinue into the forest of Arden. The banished duke's daughter, Rosalind, remains with her cousin Celia. She has fallen in ... See full summary »
In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.
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.
Important silent version of the Antony and Cleopatra story
Based loosely on Shakespeare's play, Plutarch's "Life of Antony", and Pietro Cossa's dramatic poem, "Cleopatra", this movie was spectacular for its time. It offers location shots made in Italy and Egypt, large crowd scenes (e.g., the Roman army embarking in Alexandria), lots of emotional drama (Marc Antony & Cleopatra, his wife Octavia, sister of Antony's rival Octavian, unhistorically coming to Alexandria to beg him to return to her, and some mean, mean looks exchanged between Octavia and Cleopatra. The scene in which the slave Charmian is threatened by alligators is truly creepy. I wonder whether it was this scene that inspired Cecil B. DeMille to have alligators eat the Christians in the arena in his 1932 "Sign of the Cross". He certainly had no basis in fact for this.
The video version I saw was not of the highest quality, but then this may simply be the best print they could find. The organ music that was added to the film, however, does not sound like anything someone would have played in 1913 and is so annoying that you may simply want to turn the sound off.
For another review of this film, see Jon Solomon, The Ancient World in the Cinema (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2001), p. 62-63.
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