Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (2001)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary, History  |  3 April 2001 (USA)
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A trip through the idiosyncrasies and difficulties of making one of the most tormented movies ever filmed.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Mel Gussow ...
Himself (archive footage)
Spyros P. Skouras ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Jack Brodsky ...
Joe Hyams ...
Brad Geagley ...
Geoffrey Sharpe ...
Herself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)


Hosted by Robert Culp, this two-hour program combines film clips, behind the scenes footage, and recent interviews to create a look at the troubled 1958-1963 production. The interviews include a few surviving (at the time) actors such as Hume Cronyn and Martin Landau, plus 1995 bits from Roddy McDowall. Written by filmfactsman

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Release Date:

3 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra - Der Film der Hollywood veränderte  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Was featured as a bonus feature on the 2001 "Fox Five Star Collection" DVD release of Cleopatra (1963). See more »


The name of emcee Bert Parks is misspelled onscreen as "Burt Parks". See more »


David Brown: There are two misfortunes in life... not getting what you want, and getting what you want.
See more »


Features Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Hollywood really does have to Thank Cleopatra
30 November 2001 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This excellent documentary goes through the making of Cleopatra with what happened behind the scenes and how if affected Hollywood. It starts of saying how bad things were for Hollywood at the time and that they were relying on epic films to make money and how regular films were burning at the box office. Then it shows who they were choosing for the role of Cleopatra. Many actresses were considered like Audrey Hepern, Joan Collins and Sophia Loren. But eventually 20th Century fox came to their senses and choose the right woman. Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Then it goes on to explore how Clepatra was originally set in England but Elizabeth Taylor became chronically ill and nearly died and had to be rushed into hospital and resusitated. Then how the set was destroyed in England and they started filming in Egypt. It then looks at Elizabeth and Richard Burton and how they started. It was during this film that they two of them became an item and how it crushed her Elizabeth's other husband at the time. Then it tells that the director was on ther verge of a nervous breakdown and had to have injections to give him energy then and an injection to put him asleep. Also the expensive budgeting of the film how it nearly bank rupted Hollywood as 20th Century fox was spending thousands of dollars a day on the film. Then the success of the film. They money and hard work paid off for the cast, crew and 20th Century Fox. Seats were fully booked at the cinema for 4 months after it was released. This is the best documentry I've seen in a long time. It's insightful and inspiring. Watch it.

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