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Cleopatra: 50th Anniversary Limited Edition [Blu-ray]
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Note: The book acts as a case that holds the 2 Blu-Ray discs.
Top Customer Reviews
Quite simply this is the best CLEOPATRA has ever looked on home video - and that is no small feat considering that the title also received raves 10 years ago when it debuted on standard-definition DVD. Restored from original 70mm Todd-AO elements, the High Definition picture brings out all the hidden detailing in sets and costumes, and Alex North's haunting score glistens in full DTS Master audio.
The one thing I criticise is the placement of the film's Entr'acte. Just like the earlier DVD presentation, it has been placed at the end of Disc 1, when it should ideally be on the second disc before launching into the final portion of the film. Whether or not this will be corrected on the American Blu-ray release I've yet to discover* - hopefully it has, but it's a very minor quibble on what is an otherwise comprehensive package.
The fascinating feature-length documentary "Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood", the vintage featurette "The Fourth Star of Cleopatra", and audio commentary with the brothers Mankiewicz, Martin Landau and Jack Brodsky are all ported over from the original DVD release.Read more ›
Assuming that the US edition mirrors what's available in the UK, viewers are in for a terrific experience. This particular transfer yields what is quite simply the most spectacular Blu Ray I have ever seen. More than any other studio, Fox has lavished a great deal of time and money on preserving its widescreen films of the 50's, 60's and 70's. Nowhere is the success of that campaign more evident than on CLEOPATRA.
I would note that, as part of the restoration process on its widescreen epics, Fox has struck new 35mm and 70mm film prints. Here in New York, and elsewhere, these prints have been screened theatrically in retrospectives of various sorts. As wonderful as the new CLEOPATRA Blu Ray is, I can only hope that everybody with an interest in this movie will one day have a chance to see it in 70mm on a giant screen. If you have that opportunity, it is not to be missed. It's an experience you'll remember for a long, long time.
Roddy MacDowell made the comment in print that eliminating 82 minutes from the movie shortened his role a great deal. I think the cuts focused the movie on the loves of Cleopatra and avoided the immensely complicated politics of the time. For that reason, I've always found the end of the movie (the disgrace of Antony, leading up to his suicide) jumbled.
Second - no movie deserves HD more than this. The movie was made before digital scenery was invented, so all of the immense Alexandria sets are really there. The costuming is glorious, and the huge moments (such as the entry into Rome) do not disappoint. (For connoisseurs, compare that with the closing scene of Star Wars - Phantom Menace.) The bigger the screen the better. The choreography provided for slave dancers is still of the Cecil B. and not Agnes DeMille variety.
The script was being written as they filmed. That created the immense problem of portions of the script being bloated and unwieldy.
This becomes obvious when you realize that the acting styles of the stars don't jibe at all. Elizabeth Taylor, when she isn't burdened with pseudo-monumental monologues, does a good job. It is professional acting at its best, and if it doesn't move us, I believe the fault lies with the script itself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor. Pure Magic. Add the legendary Rex Harrison. You gotta be kidding me. AWESOME!Published 26 days ago by submariner
After all these years, I've finally watched this movie! It came out during my last couple years in high school, and I guess just wasn't the kind of adventure I wanted to see. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Doug Snyder
Very popular movie of history. I watched this movie about thirty years ago, but I like to watch it again.Published 1 month ago by Leon Ejercito, Jr.