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Antony and Cleopatra (1913)

Marc'Antonio e Cleopatra (original title)
After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.

Director:

Enrico Guazzoni

Writers:

Pietro Cossa (inspiration), William Shakespeare (inspiration)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Gianna Terribili-Gonzales Gianna Terribili-Gonzales ... Cleopatra
Amleto Novelli ... Marcantonio
Ignazio Lupi ... Augustus Caesar Ottaviano
Elsa Lenard Elsa Lenard ... Ottavia
Matilde Di Marzio Matilde Di Marzio ... La schiava Agar aka Charmian
Ruffo Geri Ruffo Geri ... Il capo dei congiurati
Ida Carloni Talli Ida Carloni Talli ... La strega
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruto Castellani
Giuseppe Piemontesi Giuseppe Piemontesi
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Storyline

After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.

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Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

December 1913 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antony and Cleopatra See more »

Filming Locations:

Egypt

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Version of Antony and Cleopatra (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

orientalist not a Shakespearian view of Cleopatra's Egypt
11 August 2018 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

Although it is often described as being based on the Shakespeare play Antony and Cleopatra, this film actually resembles the Shakespeare play very little altough obviously the bais story (from Plutarch is he ame). What is noticeable here is that there is remarkably little sympaathy either for Cleopatra or for the Egyptians in general. I have only seen the film in an English version but here the intertitles rather oddly emphasise continually thier "pagan" and "barbaric" nature - oddly since, after all, the Romans were in fact not less "pagan" nor less barbaric (the court culture of the Ptolemies was basically Greek).

One is reminded of the fact that the flourishing of the Italian epic at this period coincided with Italy's post-union attempts to join the ranks of the colonisers with the Italo-Turkish war of 1911-1912 bringing them what is now Libya but it had also acquired Eritrea (from Egypt) long harboured ambitions in the horn of Africa (eventuually leading to Mussolini's extremely barbaric invasion of Abyssian/Ethiopia). So the Italians were eager to present the Romans (seen obviously as symbols for themselves) as a sort of "nearly Christian" power involved in a civilising mission amongst the pagan and barbaric peopes of Africa. None of this is there in Shakespeare but it was probably there in Pietro Cossa's very orientalist 1879 verse play (I have only seen the set designs) and it is certainly there in Guazzoni's film.

Shakespeare privileges the autumnal love of the two principal characters (both in practice middle-aged) above the "wide arch of the rais'd empire" but here it is the imperial project that is regarded not merely as the inevitable winner but also as the desirable outcome.


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