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Antony and Cleopatra [DVD] [1913]

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Synopsis

Antony and Cleopatra
First filmed in France in 1903, William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra was given a lavish screen treatment in this 1913 Italian adaptation. Though the name of the actress who played Cleopatra is not known, Antonio Novelli was prominently billed as Marc Antony. The actors perform operatically, their every gesture geared to the last row in the balcony. Even in her death throes, Cleopatra manages to perform a brief dance for the benefit of the "tired businessmen" in the audience. While the acting is hard to take seriously, the film itself is an impressive achievement, filled with spectacular crowd scenes and battle highlights (according to publicity, 7,500 "supernumeries" appeared in the picture). Running eight reels -- approximately 110 minutes when projected at silent speed -- Antony and Cleopatra was released in the U.S. by George Kleine. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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