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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of a sensational story
Firstly I must say that even though the approach they take is very different I really love and appreciate BOTH versions of "Cleopatra". It seems to be inevitable that the two are endlessly compared as to their general worth but in reality they are very different while essentially telling the same story.
I found Claudette Colbert to be an excellent Cleopatra and while...
Published on April 18, 2002 by Simon Davis

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A 1913 Newspaper Photo Transfer
AWSOME!!! film, hideous transfer. What Wells did to Hearst Universal didn't even bother to try in transferring this abysmal DVD more grainer then a 1910's newspaper photo!!!!
Published 12 months ago by LR


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of a sensational story, April 18, 2002
By 
Simon Davis (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Firstly I must say that even though the approach they take is very different I really love and appreciate BOTH versions of "Cleopatra". It seems to be inevitable that the two are endlessly compared as to their general worth but in reality they are very different while essentially telling the same story.
I found Claudette Colbert to be an excellent Cleopatra and while she is most famous for portraying sophisticated modern women in "Cleopatra" and her other epic production from that time, "The Sign of the Cross" she captures beautifully the feel of that far off time in history. Claudette was an extremely capable actress equally adept at performing in comedy, drama and spectacle. Here she has a role of a lifetime and it is one of the roles she is justly remembered most for.
Contrary to what a lot of reviewers always state I find Cecil B DeMille's work wonderful to watch. I guess being a history buff I just love the times most of his productions are set in.I think that a great deal of thought and care has gone into all his productions...no more obvious than in his 1934 version of "Cleopatra"
The film positvely glows with one exotic scene after another. Cleopatra's seduction of Marc Antony on her barge has to be seen to be believed!! Surely the queen's real barge was never so lavish!! Her entry into Rome as part of Ceasar's entourage while well done can't possibly compare to the incredibly lavish entry scene in Elizabeth Taylor's version unfortunately.
As a history exercise it stays close to what real history says happened but never once does the entertainment let up. The settings , costumnes, music used are pure DeMille and are thus a sight for the eye. I feel that Claudette also has tried to inject more of a human element into her characterisation displaying frustration and fear of things that might occur and tiredness at the burden she must carry as one Queen up against the whole Roman Empire. When she exclaims "It's always Egypt!" meaning it is her resposibilities always ahead of her own needs she displays a great human side to a impressive character.
I can't fault this production and it still holds up today as impressive entertainment. I never tire of the story of the Queen of the Nile and all the intrigues of her court. And the costumns and sets make the film well worth viewing for that alone.
Not a really great history lesson but terrific entertainment as it was intended. They dont make films like this one nowadays mores the pity!!!.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cleopatra for all time..., March 28, 2007
This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
After reading the reviews left by other AMAZON folk, I must admit that I am happy to (still) be able to view a cinematic work, using the frame of reference of its (own) time rather than that of the twenty-first century... even though this monument remains thoroughly watch-able today. I regard this film as neither Kamp(sic) nor Kitsch.

To me, whenever a film, of any era, comes close to "opera" , I am won-over... completely; I use "opera" in the sense of spectacle transcending its storyline to become something larger than itself... and this film soars.

Although of a film acting-tradition "of the grand gesture", most of the performances are thoroughly winning... and Henry Wilcoxen is simply STUNNING as Marc Antony... in all senses of that word. Miss Colbert equally triumphs as the young queen, wise beyond her years... "pulling-out all the stops" to secure her position as ruler of Egypt.

As another reviewer attests... that "royal barge" seduction scene, in which Cleopatra secures the devotion of Marc Antony is truly breathtaking... the most beautiful... and effortless "abduction" ever; the poor beguiled Roman wakes-up in Eqypt! This one, single, magically-crafted scene, on its own, warrants seeing this film.

As movie viewers, part of the experience must be acceptance and self-surrender. We must not impose our personal twenty-first century sophistication upon what we are viewing. Instead, we must accept any film on its own terms, understanding the era in which it was conceived, so much as we might be able. To do otherwise will almost invariably diminish the cinematic experience; we must allow a film to "wash over" us. In defense of C.B.deMille, I must cite that so many of the scenes... scenes of "huge-ness", were conveyed with beautiful efficiency by positioning... or "immersing" the camera in such a way as to capture the "intimacy" of that particular scene... even those scenes of battle... and that is something both practical and artistic... and very modern. It would very difficult to realistically capture the vastness of Egypt in any other way; the camera plunges us into the scene, as if the scene were unfolding around us.

I own this movie, and every so often, I indulge all over again, so if you have never seen this film, I encourage you to do so; like so many others, I am certain that you, too, will find yourself recalling the magic of this great movie, long after its viewing. Enjoy!!!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film But Surprising Uneven Print, May 16, 2009
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This review is from: Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series) (DVD)
I have been looking forward to this film on dvd for some time. unfortunately
the print isn't especially in mint condition. i recently bought the Pre-Code
Hollywood set also from Universal Home Video and films in this set looked
much better. this is particulary surprising since the films in the boxed
set are older than CLEOPATRA. With all the digital technology available
today the 75th Anniversary Edition of Demille's 1934 Oscar winning film
could have looked a hell of a lot better.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But A Missed Opportunity, April 9, 2009
By 
Jay Fenton (Washington, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series) (DVD)
The 75th Anniversary edition of Demille's Cleopatra is good. The Picture isn't any better than the previous one in the box set from a few years back. This could have been remastered in HD, and perhaps it will someday-------the "new way" in DVD entertainment is to re-issue and re-issue a film with a few new extra each time.
What baffles me the most is that the famous ten minute short "The Hollywood You Never See" which is a behind the scenes look at the filming Cleopatra with DeMille, Colbert and other members of the cast and crew wasn't an extra. It's quite interesting.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lavish DeMille Spectacular, January 22, 2012
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This review is from: Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series) (DVD)
First and foremost, Cecil B. DeMille was a showman and although his films don't stand up to close scrutiny, they were almost always entertaining! This film is another in a long line of lavish, gaudy, and campy spectaculars. At this point, I doubt that if historians were able to give us a real and honest account of the life of Cleopatra, it would pale compared to the myth that Hollywood has projected throughout the years!
Claudette Colbert portrays her with just the right amount of aplomb to make the character interesting, even though much of the dialogue is enough to give you a case of the giggles! I'm sure there were audiences at the time of it's initial release that thought the script was campy, long before "Campy" was in our dictionary. Henry Wilcoxon, who would become a DeMille regular, plays Marc Antony. Henry was not that good of an actor, and he has two facial expressions in this, stern, and not so stern. But he and Colbert looked good together, and I guess that was what DeMille wanted.
I gave it 4 stars because this movie is so much fun, and despite it's flaws, it's immensely watchable! And yes, the film definitely shows it's age, but that's also part of the fun. So if you're viewing it for Claudette, or for the spectacle, you're going to be entertained either way!

P.S. The print is in good condition considering it's age!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Claudette Colbert: the only Cleopatra (Elizabeth who?), September 12, 2000
This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I am probably speaking against popular opinion, but for those who can look beyond the flamboyance of Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra, Claudette Colbert does far more justice to the image of Cleopatra. Not only does she have the perfect sultry and seductive charm, her deep, resonant voice depicts the powerful female far better than Taylor's ineffectively weak one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleo Rules!, January 27, 2007
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This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I love this movie. I especially love and admire Warren William who, in my estimation, was the greatest heart throb of his time. That beautiful voice and his profile -- well, he beats out John Barrymore's profile in my opinion! What I liked most of all was the music. The music was so beautiful, especially when Cleo seduces Caesar on her boat floating down the Nile! This movie wins over the remake with Elizabeth Taylor which I thought was a huge piece of nonsense. Claudette Colbert was exquisite as Cleopatra, so full of life and lust for power!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly Good Fun, December 15, 2001
This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Claudette Colbert isn't really an actress you'd expect to find playing the Queen of the Nile, but she and her co-stars make the 1930s film version a lot more entertaining than the mammoth Elizabeth Taylor version ever was: playing with tongue firmly in cheek from a very high-flown script indeed, they make CLEOPATRA a very entertaining show.
Although the film holds true to stereotypes rather than fact, it is consistent in its presentation of ancient Egypt, and everything looks and sounds like it belongs together. The 1930s costumes and sets (which refrence earlier Deco interpretations of Egyptian motif rather than the originals themselves) are lavish, and they lend a great deal of fun to the slightly whoopsie nature of the performances. If you're looking for a serious, historical Cleopatra, you won't find her in de Mille's over-the-top film--but it is a LOT of fun!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining. Best of the Cleopatra movies., June 23, 2000
By 
This review is from: Cleopatra [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Hollywood has been making this story over and over again but has yet to equal the entertainment value of DeMille's 1934 extravaganza. Shorter than its counterparts, this film moves along so you won't get bored. Yet, it still tells the same complete story as the more famous 1963 film with Liz Taylor.
Sexy costumes, bold Romans and very enlightened Egyptian women (this is a pre-code film) make for grand filmaking that is exceptable for all but the youngest family members. I love it and have viewed my copy at least a dozen times. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God bless Claudette Colbert, September 5, 2011
This review is from: Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series) (DVD)
Claudette Colbert was a true Queen of the Silver Screen. She did such a beautiful job as Cleopatra that this Film desrved to recieve an Oscar nomination. She was so beautiful that she graced Magazines and advertisements for years to come. Warren William was amazing as Caesar and the portrayal of his assassination was breathtakng. The scenes of her and Marc Anthony in the Royal Barge are amazing and they show DeMille's passion for detail as a Director. When one sees this Movie you know that you are seeing a true canvas portrait of how Cleopatra lived and how those who came in contact with her were bewitched by her presence.
I want to get the DeMille Collection which includes this Film and The Sign of the Cross which has Claudette as the wicked Roman Empress. That Film is also in dealing with the phychopathic attitudes of Nero and how the early Christians suffered. When I get that collection I will tell you about what I thaught about it.
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Cleopatra 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series)
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