Cleopatra (Five Star Collection)
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- 3 disc set
- New Two Hour Documentary: "Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood"
- Original 1963 "making of" featurette: The Fourth Star of Cleopatra
- Archival footage from New York and Hollywood premieres
- Extensive still gallery with Behind-The-Scenes photos, costume sketches, concept art and more
Top Customer Reviews
When director and editor Joseph L. Mankiewicz first screened the rough cut for Fox executives back in 1963, the film ran approximately 5 and a half hours. Mankiewicz conceived the film being released as two separate features, the first detailing Cleopatra's relationship with Julius Caesar and the second exploring her liaison with Marc Antony. Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck adamantly refused Mankiewicz' plan: Fox had so much money invested in the film that the studio was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Zanuck wanted to rush the film into theatres quickly and recoup as much money as possible while the public was still fascinated by the real-life romantic scandal taking place between Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra) and Richard Burton (Antony). He ordered Mankiewicz to edit the film down to a cut that ran a little over four hours (248 minutes). This is the version that was shown to reviewers and early "roadshow" audiences.
However, when it came time to send the film into general release, theatre owners complained that the movie was so long, it could only be shown once per evening. Zanuck agreed and had the film cut again, down to about 222 minutes, and then a second time to a little over three hours in length (192 minutes) so that it could be shown twice per evening and thus, theoretically, bring in twice as much money, and quickly. This 192 minute theatrical version thus became the most complete edition of the film that most original audiences ever saw.Read more ›
The documentary, "Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood" is in on it's own an engrossing and informative two hour movie. For anyone who knows little of the history of CLEOPATRA, or who was not around at the time, this documentary will give them the feeling of what those last days of old Hollywood were like. And therein one can find the reasons why this intimate epic is indeed the wonder that it is. Much thanks must be given to the Mankiewicz family and the producers of the documentary.
The print and the sound of CLEOPATRA seems now to surpass what I recall it to be in its first presentation nearly forty years ago. The depth of the colors and the richness of the shadows are indeed splendid. In it's present form it is hard to believe this film is as old as it is. The commentary track is like finding the lost treasures of the long dead monarch. For there are wonderful recollections by Martin Landau, Tom and Chris Mankiewicz, and even Jack Brodsky gets to read sections from his book "The Cleopatra Papers". But I must give special mention to Landau's part. With his keen eye for the art direction of John DeCur one sees things in the background and along the edges of the scene that one never noticed before. Such lovingly detailed sets and interiors will never be seen again. The costs today are just too prohibitive.Read more ›
More than thirty years after its release I saw this movie again and was amazed: such a great epoch reconstruction, such historical accurateness, such great performances from the three main characters!
The story is well known. A young and beautiful Egyptian princess seduces and gets protection and support from the mighty Roman general Julius Caesar. A love affair emerges and a boy is born. Cleopatra seeks Caesar to be King of Rome and his son to be his heir. Unfortunately March Ides arrive and Caesar is murdered by his entourage.
Cleopatra flies to Egypt; there she awaits the development of political events. Finally Marc Antony arrives and starts a new love affair. There is a final confrontation among the Roman rivals and fate is again blind to Cleopatra's hopes.
Decoration and Costume both won, deservedly, Oscar Award. A full scale reproduction of Alexandria's port and marketplace is shown. The Egyptian palaces' reconstruction is amazing. The same may be said of Roman buildings and halls.
Cleopatra's costumes are gorgeous, she wore 65 different! The wardrobe of all the cast is impeccable!
Special mentions must be addressed to: Rex Harrison's performance as Julius Caesar, sober and realistic, no overacting or histrionics; Elisabeth Taylor at the apex of her career is just adorable; Richard Burton gives the audience a passionate and ruthless personification of Marc Antony.
A film to be admired and treasured!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a fan of Roman history, and while Elizabeth Taylor's performance was spectacular, and the processions and parades where impressive, I expected more from a 4 hour movie. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Gregory Smith
Problem with continuity in the instant video version. Have to watch my VHS and see if it is the movie itself or just this version. Love the movie minus the obvious editing errors.Published 1 month ago by charlote61
Cleopatra is an extraordinary effort that succeeds in every way. The sets are gorgeous and realistic, giving you an idea of what Egypt and Rome looked like over two-thousand years... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Carsten
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