IMDb > Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood (2001) (TV)

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Brent Zacky (written by) &
Kevin Burns (written by) ...
View company contact information for Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 April 2001 (USA) See more »
A trip through the idiosyncrasies and difficulties of making one of the most tormented movies ever filmed. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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(5 articles)
TV highlights 23/07/2013
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 22 July 2013, 11:00 PM, PDT)

Review: Cleopatra
 (From Comicmix. 4 June 2013, 1:16 PM, PDT)

Blu Crew: Cleopatra, Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary, and Gangster Squad
 (From Cinelinx. 8 March 2013, 5:56 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Superb Documentary on a Legendary Much-Maligned Epic See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Robert Culp ... Narrator (voice)

Roddy McDowall ... Himself (archive footage)

Darryl F. Zanuck ... Himself (archive footage)
Mel Gussow ... Himself (archive footage)
Spyros P. Skouras ... Himself (archive footage)

John Wayne ... Himself (archive footage)

Elvis Presley ... Himself (archive footage)

Marilyn Monroe ... Herself (archive footage)
Jack Brodsky ... Himself

David Brown ... Himself
Joe Hyams ... Himself
Brad Geagley ... Himself
Geoffrey Sharpe ... Himself

Joanne Woodward ... Herself (archive footage)

Joan Collins ... Herself (archive footage)
Walter Wanger ... Himself (archive footage)
John DeCuir ... Himself (archive footage)

Elizabeth Taylor ... Herself (archive footage)

Michael Todd ... Himself (archive footage) (as Mike Todd)

Eddie Fisher ... Himself (archive footage)

Debbie Reynolds ... Herself (archive footage)
Richard Meryman ... Himself
Kim Masters ... Herself

Stephen Boyd ... Himself (archive footage)
Keith Baxter ... Himself

Peter Finch ... Himself (archive footage)
Stephanie Guest ... Herself

Rouben Mamoulian ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Green ... Himself
Tom Mankiewicz ... Himself

Hume Cronyn ... Himself
Christopher Mankiewicz ... Himself (as Chris Mankiewicz)
Rosemary Mathews ... Herself (as Rosemary Mankiewicz)
John Karlsen ... Himself

Rex Harrison ... Himself (archive footage)

Richard Burton ... Himself (archive footage)

Brook Williams ... Himself

Martin Landau ... Himself
Carey Harrison ... Himself
C.O. Erickson ... Himself (as C.O. 'Doc' Erickson)

Richard D. Zanuck ... Himself (as Richard Zanuck)

Irina Demick ... Herself (archive footage)

Robert Wagner ... Himself

Édith Piaf ... Herself (archive footage)
Seymour Poe ... Himself, 20th Century executive vice-president (archive footage)

Suzy Parker ... Herself (archive footage)
Bert Parks ... Himself (archive footage) (as Burt Parks)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz ... Himself (archive footage)

Johnny Carson ... Himself (archive footage)

Maureen O'Hara ... Herself

Bill Mechanic ... Himself
Nick Redman ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maia Newley ... Herself (archive footage)

Yul Brynner ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jodie Foster ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mel Gibson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Hope ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rock Hudson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Ryan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Raquel Welch ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Kevin Burns 
Brent Zacky 
Writing credits
Brent Zacky (written by) &
Kevin Burns (written by) and
Monica Bider (written by)

Produced by
Kevin Burns .... executive producer
Joyce Caruso .... field producer
Colin Cotter .... associate producer
Jessica Falcon .... executive producer: American Movie Classics: Backstory Special Edition
Michele Farinola .... producer: backstory special edition
Frankie Glass .... field producer
Kevin Granahan .... field producer
Scott Hartford .... senior associate producer: Prometheus Entertainment
Marc Juris .... executive producer: American Movie Classics: Backstory Special Edition
Erika Schroeder .... coordinating producer
Dawn Smith .... field producer
Steven Smith .... producer (backstory special edition)
Michael D. Stevens .... supervising producer (as Michael Stevens)
Brent Zacky .... producer
Original Music by
Tom Jenkins 
Chris Many 
Film Editing by
Zack Bell 
Tori Rodman 
Andrew Willenger 
Makeup Department
T.C. Thecla Luisi .... hair stylist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
T.C. Thecla Luisi .... makeup artist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
Sarina Servilli .... hair stylist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
Sarina Servilli .... makeup artist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
Diana Solomon .... hair stylist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
Diana Solomon .... makeup artist: Laura Geller Make-Up Studios
Production Management
Maria Broccoli .... production manager
Andrew Giacometti .... post-production manager
Lisa Howard .... director of production management: Foxstar Productions
Kaki Kirby .... executive in charge of production: Foxstar Productions
David Sehring .... executive in charge of production: American Movie Classics
Sound Department
Tom Amelotte .... re-recording engineer
Gerard Byrne .... sound
Bradley Elster .... sound
James Mulryan .... sound (as Jim Mulryan)
John Simonson .... sound
John Steadwell .... sound
Alex Woodson .... assistant sound re-recording engineer
Visual Effects by
Lars Bunch .... motion control photography: Arroyo Media
Russell Frazier .... motion control photography: Matchframe Video
Martin Kauper .... motion control photography: Arroyo Media
Wade Lageose .... main title graphics: Whitney Digital Imaging
Leigh Thomas .... chyron
Doug Whitney .... main title graphics: Whitney Digital Imaging
Sean Williams .... chyron
Camera and Electrical Department
Steve Coleman .... camera operator
Gary Corrigan .... camera operator
Cory Geryak .... camera operator
David Lacolocci .... camera operator
Derek Pennell .... camera operator
Dan Walworth .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Troy Bogert .... editor: Backstory Special Edition
Cary DeVore .... junior assistant editor
Scott Freeman .... avid technician
Mark W. Jacobs .... on-line editor
Darla Marasco .... director of post-production
Nickolas Perry .... assistant editor (as Nick Perry)
Music Department
Lloyd Hardy .... music coordinator
Alex North .... conductor: "Cleopatra" score
Other crew
Carlos Aguirre .... media coordinator
Susan M. Bowles .... production counsel: Foxstar Productions
Mimi Christensen .... production coordinator: Prometheus Entertainment
Jen Dante .... researcher
Rachel Ginnerty .... unit publicist
Richard Green .... production consultant
Terry James .... accounting services: Oberman, Tivoli, Miller & Pickert, Inc.
Jerianne Keaney .... director of clearances
Ruth O'Neill .... additional researcher
Marvin Paige .... production consultant
Tyrone Richardson .... media technician
Erik Sequeira .... media manager
Geoffrey Sharpe .... production consultant
Shawna Soper .... production secretary
Jose Valencia .... media assistant
Daniel Wascou .... archivist
Jason Willensky .... production assistant
Alan J. Adler .... acknowledgment (as Alan Adler)
Schawn Belston .... special thanks (as Sean Belston)
Richard Burton .... dedicated to the memory of
Hume Cronyn .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Hume Cronyn .... very special thanks
Ron Fuglsby .... acknowledgment
Richard Green .... acknowledgment: still photographs courtesy of
Stephanie Guest .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Stephanie Guest .... very special thanks
Rex Harrison .... dedicated to the memory of
Hugh M. Hefner .... acknowledgment: still photographs courtesy of
Hugh M. Hefner .... special thanks
Joanie Horton .... acknowledgment
David Kamp .... acknowledgment
Jaime Barton Klein .... acknowledgment (as Jaime Klein)
Christopher Mankiewicz .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by (as Chris Mankiewicz)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz .... dedicated to the memory of
Tom Mankiewicz .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Rosemary Mathews .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by (as Rosemary Mankiewicz)
Roddy McDowall .... dedicated to the memory of
Maia Newley .... grateful thanks
Nick Redman .... acknowledgment
Geoffrey Sharpe .... acknowledgment: still photographs provided by
Walter Wanger .... dedicated to the memory of

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
119 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Superb Documentary on a Legendary Much-Maligned Epic, 6 August 2012
Author: dglink from Alexandria, VA

The most famous and beautiful woman of the mid-20th century, Elizabeth Taylor, plays the most famous and powerful woman of the ancient world, Cleopatra. At the peak of her box office appeal, Taylor commands a million dollars to take the role and, during filming, falls passionately in love with the actor playing Mark Anthony, Richard Burton. Such stories create headlines and sell tabloids. "Cleopatra: The Film that Changed Hollywood" is a riveting feature-length documentary that details the complex runaway production of arguably Hollywood's most publicized motion picture.

Directors Kevin Burns and Brent Zacky set "Cleopatra's" troubled production history within the context of late 1950's Hollywood, when the idea to remake Fox's 1917 Theda Bara "Cleopatra" was first floated. With only a dusty silent-movie script, the studio engaged producer Walter Wanger, who had long conceived an epic film about the Egyptian queen, and the production escalated from an anticipated B-movie "sword and sandals" epic with Joan Collins into the most costly film of the era. Luck did not shine on Fox or Wanger; the studio teetered on bankruptcy and the veteran producer never made another movie. Filming in England was aborted by weather and the star's illness, which led to millions in losses and little usable film. New sets were constructed in Rome, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton replaced Peter Finch and Stephen Boyd, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz replaced Rouben Mamoulian. However, the changes took a heavy toll on studio executives and 20th Century Fox coffers, and the new director had no usable script. Burns and Zacky go into great detail, and the documentary is compelling throughout, not just for fans of the film, but also for anyone interested in Hollywood history.

Keith Baxter, cast as Octavian during the London shoot, provides much insight into the English fiasco during his interview. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's wife and two sons add further depth and emphasize the stress endured by the Oscar-winning director, who was producing in the morning, directing in the afternoon, and writing during the night. Drugs kept him stimulated, and drugs put him to sleep. Mankiewicz conceived a grand masterpiece, and he was crushed when Darryl Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, fired him and cut the film from his intended six-hour two-film vision down to the 246-minute roadshow version and, subsequently, even further to a 196-minute general-release print.

Elizabeth Taylor was not only the star of the film, she emerges as a woman as shrewd and intelligent as the queen she portrayed. Her contract resulted in at least a $7 million salary; gave her director approval; earned her licensing fees for the Todd-AO process, which she inherited from her husband, Mike Todd; and put her name alone above the title. Of course, the story of "Cleopatra" is indelibly entwined with the romance of Taylor and Burton, and the love affair is well documented, but neither salaciously nor to the exclusion of the studio politics and mismanagement that played a major role in the runaway costs. Unfortunately, Taylor was not interviewed for the documentary, although Roddy McDowall, Hume Cronin, Martin Landau, and publicist Jack Brodsky provide a wealth of memories and anecdotes. Much maligned as a flop, the film was the highest grossing movie of 1963 and eventually turned a profit after the initial TV sale; subsequent cable, video, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray sales are pure gravy. Among the finest Hollywood documentaries and arguably the best on a single motion picture, "Cleopatra: The Film that Changed Hollywood" is a must see for students of Hollywood lore and those who want to separate myth from fact about the production.

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