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Legions of the Nile (1959)

Le legioni di Cleopatra (original title)
Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. ... See full summary »


Vittorio Cottafavi


Vittorio Cottafavi (scenario), Giorgio Cristallini (scenario) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Cristal ... Cleopatra / Berenice
Ettore Manni ... Curridio
Georges Marchal ... Marcantonio
Conrado San Martín ... Gotarzo (as Corrado Sanmartin)
María Mahor ... Marianna
Alfredo Mayo ... Ottaviano Augusto
Daniela Rocca ... Teyrè
Mino Doro Mino Doro ... Domiziano
Andrea Aureli ... Imotio
Stefano Terra Stefano Terra
Stefano Oppedisano Stefano Oppedisano ... Rays
Salvatore Furnari Salvatore Furnari ... Mute Midget
Rafael Durán ... Egyptian Priest
Juan Maján Juan Maján ... Vezio
Tomás Blanco ... Ovidio


Roman Emperor Octavian rules the empire from Rome, and his rival Marc Antony has taken Egyptian queen Cleopatra as his lover and seized the eastern empire, ruling it from Alexandria. Octavian intends to regain his empire by landing his army at Alexandria, besieging the city and capturing and executing the pair. However, while Octavian's army is bigger than Marc Antony's forces, he and Cleopatra have allies who can come to their aid. Both sides prepare for a final showdown. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Italian | English

Release Date:

December 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Legions of the Nile See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


20th Century-Fox bought this film from its producers for $1 million and shelved it so it wouldn't draw potential customers away from its own upcoming "sword-and-sandal" epic, Cleopatra (1963). See more »

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User Reviews

Very poor peplum.
3 July 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Mankiewicz's movie,even if it's unfairly looked upon by pretty much as a failure is a great director's /writer's work.It's not only a question of money;give the same big budget to Vittorio Cottafavi and he will not do what Mankiewicz does.Definitely not.

"Some French critics ,much to the Italians' surprise,called Cottafavi "an auteur" who transcends the peplum genre".(Jean Tulard;dictionnaire du cinéma,T1).It's wishful thinking.The cock and bull screenplay cannot be taken seriously one single minute.Unlike Mankiewicz's work,which encompasses the whole story,beginning with the rivalry Cleopatra/Ptolemy,"legioni" begins after Actium (maybe it was too expensive to direct a naval battle.So we have Cleo and Mark-Anthony back in Egypt,waiting for Octavius' armies. History is given a rough ride as ever:the plot focuses on a Marc-Anthony's friend,Carridius ,who tries to reconciliate the two former triumvirs.A spate of clichés waits for the audience:taverns where everybody's drunk and fighting,gladiators scenes,tortures aplenty -one of these nice pastimes might indicate that the wicked cruel Egyptians (we do not see the Romans do such a thing)invented the ancestor of the Nuremberg virgin-, and exotic dances,some of them in a low dive,by Cleopatra herself incognito.

The plot loses itself in an uninteresting supporting cast which includes a gladiator who becomes friend with the hero Carridius and whose laugh will get on your nerves:a comic relief,this is definitely not;a young and gorgeous slave girl who falls in love with.. well you guess;a courageous slave boy;a very sadistic gladiator.

Because of these pointless subplots,we lose sight of the essential,and Georges Marchal,the best actor of the cast,who plays Marc-Anthony ,takes a back seat to the secondary characters.He tries to do the best he can with the lines he gets ,but what can an actor who used to work in "la comédie française" theater do in such a company?

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