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Cleopatra (1963)

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1:03 | Trailer
Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Writers:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screenplay), Ranald MacDougall (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
3,007 ( 6)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Cleopatra
Richard Burton ... Mark Antony
Rex Harrison ... Julius Caesar
Pamela Brown ... High Priestess
George Cole ... Flavius
Hume Cronyn ... Sosigenes
Cesare Danova ... Apollodorus
Kenneth Haigh ... Brutus
Andrew Keir ... Agrippa
Martin Landau ... Rufio
Roddy McDowall ... Octavian - Caesar Augustus
Robert Stephens ... Germanicus
Francesca Annis ... Eiras
Grégoire Aslan ... Pothinus (as Gregoire Aslan)
Martin Benson ... Ramos
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Storyline

In 48 B.C., Julius Caesar (Sir Rex Harrison) pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII (Richard O'Sullivan), now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra VII (Dame Elizabeth Taylor), attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinus (Grégoire Aslan) and Achillas (John Doucette). To win Caesar's support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus (Cesare Danova), her servant, presents to Caesar. The Roman is immediately infatuated. Banishing Ptolemy, he declares Cleopatra Egypt's sole ruler and takes her as his mistress. A son, Caesarion (Loris Loddi), is born of their union. Caesar, however, must return to Italy. Although he is briefly reunited with Cleopatra during a magnificent reception for the Queen in Rome, Caesar is assassinated shortly thereafter, and Cleopatra returns to Egypt. When Mark Antony (Richard Burton), Caesar's protégé, beholds Cleopatra... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The motion picture the world has been waiting for!


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Switzerland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$57,777,778

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$57,777,778
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (director's cut) | (roadshow) | (50th Anniversary) | (HD)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| DTS 70 mm (70mm re-release)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nightmarish experience of filming this movie, combined with the movie's financial losses, virtually destroyed the careers and reputations of Writer and Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Producer Walter Wanger. See more »

Goofs

Theodotos is Ptolemy's tutor. After Theodotos and Ptolemy are exiled from the palace, Cleopatra pronounces his name "Theothodos." See more »

Quotes

Cleopatra: [Kicks cushion from throne to Caesar, to get him to kneel] You have such bony knees.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Premiered at a length of 243 minutes. A week after the premiere, the film was reduced to 222 minutes, and edited further to 194 minutes for general release. The 194-minute version was the default broadcast television version for years; home video and cable television releases are of the full-length cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mork & Mindy: Mork the Swinging Single (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Cleopatra Comeback?
20 June 2001 | by mspedantSee all my reviews

I'm pleased to read all the positive reviews of this film, which I first saw when it was released and have seen perhaps five times since. In 1963 the movie was almost universally condemned by critics, and I was just about the only person who admitted that I loved it. Part of that, though, had to do with the Taylor/Burton affair and the scandal it created. Liz Taylor in 1963 was not only considered the most beautiful woman in America, she was also thought of as a serial home-breaker and a real threat to the morals of the American Republic.

Why? I don't agree with many positive comments about the acting. Taylor and Burton were not too bad, but they didn't handle the pompous dialogue as well as Rex Harrison, Hume Cromyn, Martin Landau and especially Roddy McDowell, who was perfection itself and, I believe, accurately portrayed as the very young, ambitious and unscrupulous, but brilliantly intelligent Octavian (later the emperor Augustus).

Sure, some of the dialogue stinks, and the movie seems too long (perhaps because so much of it was cut to fit into fours hours). Nevertheless, for sheer magnificence and recreation of a most critical time in the history of two vanished high civilizations it has never been, and probably never will be, surpassed.


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