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Cleopatra (1934)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 5 October 1934 (USA)
The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Mark Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Cleopatra
... Julius Caesar
... Marc Antony
... Herod
... Octavian
... Calpurnia
... Enobarbus
... Apollodorus
... Brutus
... Casca
Ian Maclaren ... Cassius (as Ian MacLaren)
Eleanor Phelps ... Charmion
... Pothinos
... Iras
... Glabrio (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

In 48 BC, Cleopatra, facing palace revolt in her kingdom of Egypt, welcomes the arrival of Julius Caesar as a way of solidifying her power under Rome. When Caesar, whom she has led astray, is killed, she transfers her affections to Marc Antony and dazzles him on a barge full of DeMillean splendor. But the trick may not work a third time... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The love affair that shook the world! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

5 October 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kleopatra  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren William was cast largely on the strength of his performance in The Mouthpiece (1932). See more »

Goofs

Cleopatra VII, a woman of the 1st Century BC, wears makeup of the 1930s--even lips painted in the heart shape made famous by Jean Harlow. See more »

Quotes

Cleopatra: What do I care for empire now? Caesar is dead! My lover is dead!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Claudette Colbert (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful
14 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is an excellent adaptation of the life of Cleopatra, based mostly, I think, on Shakespeare. Claudette Colbert is not one of my favorite actresses, but this is probably the best part I've seen her in. Even better are those around her. The only actor of whom I had heard in the film is C. Aubrey Smith, the venerable character actor. He is excellent here as Antony's general, Enobarbus. Warren William is a very good Julius Caesar. Gertrude Michael plays his wife, Calpurnia, well. Ian Keith is just how I'd imagine Octavian. Joseph Schildkraut has only five minutes of screen time as Herod, which is truly unfortunate considering how good he is. The film's standout performance comes from Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony. Wilcoxon is very good at projecting Antony's conflicted interests. While the acting is great, Cleopatra is probably most memorable for its lavishness, DeMille's speciality, of course. Caesar's and Cleopatra's triumphant entrance into Rome is fantastic, while not going anywhere near as overboard as they did in the crappy 1963 version starring Elizabeth Taylor. The scene in which Cleopatra and Antony first make love is an enormous spectacle. And the film contains perhaps the best war montage that I've ever seen. The previous year's Best Picture, Cavalcade, had a horrific WWI montage. Cleopatra contains the most amazing scenes of ancient warfare. They all happen quickly, but the production in these bits is superlative. The sea battle, even if it may be only thirty seconds long, is a dozen times more believable than the stale, cheap naval battle of Ben-Hur, filmed over 20 years later. And there are also many moments of subtlety, which I didn't predict. Julius Caesar's execution is well done. DeMille doesn't try to overwhelm the audience at that point, preferring to film it simply. The aftermath is given more attention (of course, Caesar isn't the focus of this film). And Antony's emotional suicide is good, as well. It's a very good film. 9/10.


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