Sophia Loren plays a dual role, as both the sultry Queen of the Nile with a "man-a-night" appetite and a beautiful slave girl who takes her place and is wooed by a bodyguard who thinks she's the real monarch.
Cleopatra is a beautiful woman but has a small flaw: when she likes an officer of the guard, after a night of love she makes him poison by the trusted Tortul so that Marcantonio does not find out. Cesarino is a new officer, not yet aware of Cleopatra's little vice and immediately agrees to guard the queen. When she enters, however, she does not find the true sovereign, but Nisca, a slave her double who the perfidious Tortul had found to allow Cleopatra to go incognito to Marcantonio. But, after the first night, the real Cleopatra returns.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
What would you do if you were in my place?
If I had a husband like Marc Antony I would be faithful to him.
A dog is faithful, a woman never.
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According to some sources, the original European edit contained more nudity on the part of Sophia Loren during the bath scene. The 2003 Region 1 DVD release includes a bath scene with partial nudity that appears to have been edited into the film from another, lower quality print. (The DVD is also dubbed into English). See more »
TWO NIGHTS WITH CLEOPATRA (Mario Mattoli, 1953) **
This one can't seem to make up its mind whether to be a vehicle for Italian comic Alberto Sordi or a peplum spoof, perhaps the first in the genre; I tend to find Sordi's brand of humor in this early stage overbearing as for the latter, CARRY ON CLEO (1964; which I watched in January) is far superior!
Lovely Sophia Loren (not yet the international star, she featured in a famous bare-breasted black-and-white publicity still for this very film!) has a dual role as the conniving Cleopatra and a lookalike slave, who is made to pass for her when she absents herself to visit Marc Anthony (played by peplum regular Ettore Manni). Sordi is an Egyptian merchant who contrives to (literally) win a place as a personal guardian to the Queen of the Nile: the trouble is that she's in the habit of taking these as lovers and then have them killed!; the title, then, refers to Sordi's having trysts with both of Loren's characters (comforting the despairing slave while aggravating the no-nonsense ruler!). By the way, "Euro-Cult" stalwart Paul Muller is Cleopatra's villainous adviser.
For the record, director Mattoli helmed several Toto' vehicles around this same time; besides, the script was co-written by Ettore Scola (later a top director in his own right) while Giuseppe Colizzi, a future Spaghetti Western specialist, served here as production manager. Incidentally, I had resisted renting this on DVD in a dubbed version but, when it eventually turned up on Italian TV, the battered print used featured a number of jump cuts so that the film ended up being even shorter than its already modest 78 minutes!
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