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William K. Howard
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Cleopatra hasn't been on the throne of the pharoahs of Egypt very long when Julius Caesar pays a visit. Caesar finds the prospect of romance more tempting than he expected, since Cleopatra is a rare woman who is bright as well as beautiful. And for Cleopatra, a friendly relationship with the most powerful man in the world may pay dividends in the future.Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
" Caesar and Cleopatra " was the most expressive British production up to this point ( 1946) costing an astronomical $5m. See more »
Caesar refers to his nose as "rather long" and "a Roman nose," but the idea of a "Roman nose" was not introduced until almost 150 years later, when the Emperor Hadrian erected statues of his favorite, Antinous, throughout the Empire (where many of the people had never seen a Roman), and Antinous's long nose was taken as typical of Romans (even though Antinous was a Greek). See more »
I saw this when it first came out (1945-46) and it struck me then as a really great film. I saw it again tonight on video and still have the same opinion. This is NOT an historical film. This is a movie version of G.B. Shaw's play of the same name, just as "My Fair Lady" is a musical play/musical movie based on Shaw's "Pygmalion."
The performance by Vivien Leigh (32 yrs. old at the time) as a 15-16 yr. old Cleopatra was stunning as was the performance by Raines as Caesar. This is not a vehicle to describe history but rather, a vehicle for Shaw to present his ideas and comments -- and this movie serves Shaw's intent quite well.
His little barbs tweaking the British culture and character were well delivered. His ideas of what things lead to a civilized life and what things to a spiral of vengeance and barbarism are timeless and as appropriate to the twenty-first century as they were to the very early twentieth when Shaw wrote the play.
The cast was great, and the chemistry between all, especially Leigh & Raines, was superb -- as well as the sets and filming, too.
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