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Cleopatra (1963)

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Queen Cleopatra 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
1,620 ( 1,493)
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 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., Caesar pursues Pompey from Pharsalia to Egypt. Ptolemy, now supreme ruler after deposing his older sister, Cleopatra, attempts to gain favor with Caesar by presenting the conquerer with the head of Pompey, borne by his governors, Pothinos and Achillas. To win Caesar's support from her brother, Cleopatra hides herself in a rug, which Apollodorus, 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, 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, Caesar's protégé, beholds Cleopatra aboard her elaborate barge at Tarsus some years later, he is smitten and becomes both her lover and military ally. Their liaison notwithstanding, Antony, to ... 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:

USA | UK | Switzerland

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cleopatra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,115,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$57,777,778

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,777,778
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Alex North was chosen to score the film after Joseph L. Mankiewicz's son Christopher Mankiewicz told him that North had done a magnificent job in composing the score for Spartacus (1960). See more »

Goofs

When Caesar is saying goodbye to Cleopatra in Alexandria before sailing back to Rome, one of his aides hurries him by warning, "Caesar, I'm afraid the tides will soon be against you." In fact, Mediterranean has no tides, or more precisely, its tides are so minimal that they don't affect navigation. No ship sailing from a Mediterranean port would have to worry about catching a tide. See more »

Quotes

Cleopatra: I will not be told where I can go and where I cannot go!
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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 Saturday Night Live: Buck Henry/The Grateful Dead (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Film Of Two Halves
2 November 2005 | by no-skylineSee all my reviews

First of please note this is a review of the recent restored DVD version of the film not the savagely cut older version of the film.

Having watched the documentary on this film it seems amazing this film was ever completed how the director managed to get anything even vaguely coherent to the screen is a minor miracle in itself. Cleopatra is a luscious period epic and it's clear no expense was spared on either scenery or costumes, gorgeous to look at but somehow unsatisfying at the end. The movie seems to lose it's way half way through as Rex Harrison departs so for me does the quality of this movie.

It's difficult to tell whether this is due to over the top performances from Taylor and Burton or the forced cuts to reduce the running time. Roddy McDowell is the highlight of the 2nd half of the film and i'm sure Joaquin Phoenix must have researched his role for Gladiator here, McDowell's Octavian is chilling in the extreme. But the rest of the 2nd half of the movie descends into melodrama, where the 1st gave us the excellent Harrison restrained and regal as Ceaser the 2nd gives us real life lovers Burton and Taylor locked in an over-acted doomed romance. But throughout the film there are supporting actors giving first class performances that without the cuts would be interesting to see Martin Landau, Andrew Keir, Hume Cronyn and George Cole all have their moments it's just a shame there aren't more of them.

If I could split my vote over the two halves of the movie the first half would get 9/10 the 2nd 6/10 as I can't I'm going with a 7/10 overall.


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