When she discovers that a slave named Pharon professes his love for her, Cleopatra makes a bargain with him: she will give him ten days of "love," at the end of which he is to commit suicide. He agrees, although the queen's handmaiden Iras, in love with the slave, isn't happy with the arrangement. Later when Cleopatra is seducing Marc Antony, her relationship with Pharon is used against her, but with little effect. She allies herself with Antony against Octavius, participates in a brief war, then meets her end rather than be subjected to Roman rule.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is one of the first six-reel feature films produced in the United States. With the tagline "The most beautiful motion picture ever made", the film was the first to offer a feature-length depiction of Cleopatra, although there had been a short film about Antony and Cleopatra earlier. See more »
The costumes and hairstyles of Cleopatra and her servants are reminiscent of the Greek style, definitely not Egyptian, albeit in the Roman Period. See more »
Helen Gardner Picture Players, Tappan-on-the-Hudson, New York. See more »
A restored version, funded by Turner Classic Movies and in the George Eastman House Collection, was shown on Turner Classic Movies on 10 August 2000. It has an original music score by Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, and runs 88 minutes. See more »
I just saw this version of "Cleopatra" as part of TCM's Women Pioneers in Film Series. Although I think they did a beautiful job on the restoration, I found the new, avant-garde soundtrack too invasive and distracting. In fact, I had to watch it with the mute on.
Having said that, though, I did find this adaptation interesting. It is true that, like many films of this era, it is a bit creaky and primitive. However, it provides a fascinating glimpse of early filmmaking--no closeups, the camera hardly ever moves, etc. I also found Ms. Gardener fascinating, given how much of the production was actually done by her, including costume design. I wish there were more information available on her life and career.
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